I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Initially I loved it, but changed my mind the more I read. I'll try to sum up what I felt below:
* It's very well written, in terms of the story telling style and the descriptions of the setting. I have problems with the characters and the unsatisfactory amount of back story, but the way the story is told is lovely. I guess that makes no sense, but what I mean is the prose flows mostly well and I felt immersed in the setting. Very descriptive, beautiful writing.
* There's definitely chemistry between Raven and Lark, which I liked, but what seemed like a hint of romance near the start seemed to dissolve. I'm not sure if there will be a romance between them in the other books now. That's unfortunate. There most likely is a romance but there didn't seem to be much passion between them by the end.
* The backstory - I don't feel we learned strongly enough about why the Royal family was killed and how Raven escaped. Things were hinted at here and there but for such a short novella we really needed to get to the point. I don't have a clear image of how bad the Royal family was, what Raven used to be like, and about the revolution, so I don't understand very much about Raven and his motivations now.
* Lark's backstory - I like Lark very much. If we weren't TOLD she was the most hated and most powerful of the Ariane warriors, I'd think she was a lower class warrior who is searching for the King, and totally understand her character. Naive, brave, driven, emotional. But we are TOLD she is the most hated and most powerful warrior, which doesn't at all fit with this young emotional girl. It doesn't work. What we SEE is great. Adding a tagline and her thoughts about her reputation irritated me, because it didn't fit. It just didn't fit.
I didn't hate this book - I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could. Not bad at all, but needed some work on the back story and the characters. Such a shame, because the writing is so good that this could have been amazing. It's just my opinion - others seem to like it - but it could have been so much more. I don't think I'll read the others in the series, as I'm not emotionally invested. But not bad.