**Review also on Goodreads**
So the reason I didn't give this 5 stars was that the pace for me was a bit slower than what I generally like - I'm not really one for the slow burn but otherwise this book was fabulous!
The protagonist, Talyn, is a broken warrior/princess (although, she's a badass, slit-your-throat-with-her-sai type princess) who is sent on a vague and mysterious mission to train up a protection detail for the youngest prince of a neighbouring country. Also, there is a shadowy Robin Hood-esque character that goes by the name Shadowhawk who cuts an intriguing figure in the story.
Without going into spoiler territory, the world building is magnificent, the character development is gradual and realistic, and the political intrigue is right up there (Holly Black, take notice - *this* is how you do political intrigue).
There is a climax to the story that, although I thought was a bit of a stretch to come to that conclusion by the main character when the problem was first presented, I enjoyed for the action (love me some ass-kicking action). The social injustices made my skin crawl the way I expect Lisa wanted it to, and there were characters I honestly wanted to punch in the face.
Oh, and the twist right at the end - fricking fantastic. I had a feeling something like that was going to happen, but considering I hadn't figured it out before I hit it had me impressed and wanting more.
Now excuse me while I go start A Prince of Song and Shade...