** spoiler alert **
Aurelia, crown princess of Tyrult, is in danger. Several assasination attempts later and her old classmate Robert Vauntage is back at the castle to try and solve the mystery of who wants to kill Aurelia.
The characterization is very sparse, but the effect, overall, works. Though the characters are more colourful vignettes than fully-fleshed out individuals with minute psychological description, we still have the measure of most of the players.
Greedy, selfish and deceptive Melonie - beautiful, gifted, yet still not satisfied with anything less than the crown. And she is willing to do anything to get it.
Elise, the cold, distant and constantly critiquing step-mother, who verbally abuses Aurelia.
Aurelia's own father, the King, who essentially is weak, self-absorbed and loathesome. His own flaws and sins gave rise to the entire situation.
Robert, quiet, unassuming, honest and brave. And he does care very much for Aurelia.
Aurelia, in turn, is spirited, independent, obstinate. She strives to be a good person, but is surrounded by corruption.
It felt like a quick and easy ending and I really feel that there is a sequel somewhere waiting to be published. Especially with all the unanswered questions about Aurelia's mom and the people from across the sea....