I love Rutkoski's writing; it's so clear, precise and fun to read. The plot is simple enough and easy to follow which is no wonder why this is labeled a children's book. However, there are still some delightful plot devices that is enjoyable for all readers. It's obvious that the novel applies a formula: problem, find solution, discover solution, war/battle, use solution, tie up loose ends.
Either way, I don't care. If I was a bit younger, I'd probably give this a 5 star rating. But the female lead Petra Kronos was just too annoying and heartless to ignore. Her role as a main character wasn't as important as the author tried to make it out to be. I liked how she had a sweet love interest but she was just..too bad to be any help. I got so annoyed by her stupid actions and yes, she may be able to fight but half the time, she is selfish and whinny. Oh yes, she lost her father and is trying to find a cure for him but she is just so reckless. Understandably, she's that typical kind of impulsive, crazy character but it just doesn't work for me.
Now, the star of the show is Neel. He is just fantastically hilarious. All 'kneel' before the king! (Gaha.) He was just too smart and clever and it's no wonder he gets to have so much power. Seriously, I gotta watch out for Mrs. Rutkoski. She's got some skills in the fantasy genre. Kudos!