Not too bad, but since I had been read The Queen's Thief before read this, there might be a lot of comparison between both of them.
This book set in the country named Carthyan, where their king, queen and crown prince was murdered by poison. There was a noble called Conner, who gathered four boys together for his plan to deceive the whole court and set one of four boys on the throne as a false second prince. While the real prince had died long ago because of an attack of the pirates.
The story was told by Sage, young orphan who was quick-witted and had a sharp tongue. The narrating was from first person POV. Sage as narrator tried to misled the same way as Eugenides did in The Thief. He didn't success as his model, because the writer had dropped too much Chekov's Gun that I could easy to notice and collect for the collection of my own. Sage also spilled many of his secret many pages before the revelation by himself, on his own word spoke to others.
Because of that, I can guess the plot twist before getting through the half of the book. Some was too obvious for someone, like me, who had read fairly amount of books that contained more complexity in political aspect.
But as this book was aimed for Young Adult, I think the book suited this genre well. It's not too complicated for children or teenagers too read. And I also enjoyed this well. It was entertaining by interaction between the main protagonists, guessing what is next step of Sage's plan. I like how the writer interpret each character and how they were developed as the story progress. I like Sage as a character. I like Roden and Tobias too. All of them were not totally good, yet not totally evil. The one I found totally evil was Conner and Cregan. Which is not totally unacceptable, but thats mean no pity for them as well.
3.5 stars for me. I hope that the next book of the series would indicate me more of what this world was like, since most of the story has set in Conner's manor.