1. The magic. There was a slight magical element that I was not expecting. The idea of a long-lost royal line that has been in hiding was intriguing. Add in that the daughters of the royal heirs have secret abilities, and the interest factor jumps. I would be crazy if I didn't mention the freaky Queen. She had some sick abilities that made my skin crawl!
2. The characters. Charlie was a pretty resourceful gal. I enjoyed her cleverness. Her friends, eh. Some of them did not have large enough roles, and others hard too much presence. Max was also a delight. He was mysterious and brooding. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with Charlie in Max as the series progresses.
3. The story telling. The pages flew by as I read. This was an easy read, but it didn't come across as being an amateur read. It was fun. A perfect light, enjoyable read. It's one of those books that you can just get lost in.
Overall, I enjoyed The Pledge. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise, and a series I will continue to read.