I loved the dark premise of this novel and seeing how each sector of society manipulated their queen in order to cement their hold on the potential power. It was also interesting to watch how each group controlled their ward through both obvious and subtle means, but controlled nonetheless.
The novel did drag some in the middle. Two of the queens seemed more interested in finding love than finding power and it took a great deal of time to get them into the same place, during which the plot became rather tedious. In regards to the love interests, I was totally behind Katherine's and loved reading about them growing closer and how he was able to help her develop strength and confidence. However, I found Mirabella's love interest nauseating and wanted to smack both of them whenever they were together.
Where the first half or so of the novel dragged a little, the last third more than made up for it. I almost wish this was where the novel began, with all that came before it being condensed into a shorter intro. There are a couple of major plot twists, one I saw coming a mile away but one that I am still left trying to figure out long after I have finished the book. This bodes very well for the second book in the series, due this September.