I liked this. I don't usually go for YA (being neither young nor adult), but this sounded like a good one. I was right.
The plot revolves around two women, living a millennium apart.
The first is Rielle, lovelorn and bearing a dark secret, one that could cost her life. When an assassination attempt on her beloved prince Audric forces her to use her hidden powers to save him, her life starts to spiral out of control. All this before she falls foul of angels.
The other is Eliana, a cold-blooded killer who will do anything to protect her family, even work for the empire that has created a world of misery for its citizens. Eliana has her own secret, an ability to heal rapidly that she tries to keep under wraps. When she draws the attention of the Red Crown, a resistance movement aimed at bringing down said empire, her life (surprise, surprise) also takes a worrying turn.
The leads are great, particularly Eliana who only cares for those close to her and is willing to sell out anyone else. The rest of the "cast" are pretty good, all showing strengths and weaknesses, and the dialogue lacks the annoying earnestness that can appear in other YA books. The romance is understated and isn't central to the plot, but what little there is seems real. The exception was the dodgy sex scene that made me chuckle more than blush, and went on for way too long.
The dual character arcs were easy to follow once one got into the plot, and they were relevant to each other, while not necessarily mirroring. The MCs were also very different, with regal Rielle living among royals, while Eliana consorted with criminals. The ending seemed a little rushed, and while there is plenty of plot wrinkles to iron out in future books, I'm not certain the author can match the first book.
We shall see.