Rating of three stars because I was totally entertained by this. Not sure if I'll read the next one, though if the pacing and plot is as bananapants as this one, it may well be worth it. Plus the narrator was acting her little heart out. Bless her cotton socks.
Honestly this book was like YA Trope volleyball, where I was a spectator watching the probability math bounce back between sides of the love triangle, and between sides of the fantasy v. secondary world high middle ages setting with no magic. It started as a slow game, but descended into violence in the last set. Throwing the rest of this behind a spoiler cut. I seriously spoil the ending.
So at first the prince is leading because well, frankly he's the prince, and the girl in YA almost always picks the highest class available to her. Plus they're engaged and he's clearly on her side politically. So I assume the guard is a red herring, and am a little annoyed that the girl always picks the prince, but THEN she falls madly in love with the guard, who exposes the prince as a lying liar who lies, which the prince admits she is, so she sleeps with the guard. Now by YA logic she HAS to end up with the guard, because she can't do sexy things with a dude she doesn't marry (I don't make the rules). BUT THEN! The prince needs her for a political marriage to save the kingdom, AND it's revealed that the guard was hired to seduce her (which explains certain idiot ball moments of his), he makes a final plea that he came to love her (and was actually just an idiot about them getting caught), and our heroine does the first smart thing all book and says "A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!" and bails on both of them. Except it's a trilogy, so presumably she picks one by book three. I'm not sure if "Is highest available class" will outweigh "has seen her vagina" or what.
MEANWHILE, her entire religion is revealed to be lies, and she was just a pawn of the evil queen (there are not a lot of sympathetic non-dead women in this book) and doesn't have any magic powers at all, it was all lies lies and more lies. But hey, the fairy tale that got retold like sixty times so we'd know it's significant, THAT's real. Also we're all about to be murdered in our beds by what is essentially genderswapped Sleeping Beauty's Revenge. So that happened.
Me: WHAT IS GOING ON!?
I assume we find out next book.
Also in the last chapter she has somehow learned to read fluently, so I'm really not sure how much time has passed.
Conclusion: the MC is a doormat, which is explained by her upbringing by a series of evil mothers, and didn't in and of itself put me off as it felt like a good exploration of abusive relationships, but I wish her claiming her power at the end had involved actually doing something, not just figuring out one small thing and letting the menz fix it for her.
However, the plot was silly enough to keep me entertained for nine hours or so.