I really enjoy Sharon Shinn's work. When its at its best there's a sort of subtle magic beneath the surface simplicity of the tale. But for some reason I didn't feel that magic here, this one was just a little bit too much fantasy by the numbers for me to love it wholeheartedly. I still enjoyed it, the world building and the magic system were both fun, and I liked the heroine and her exploration of the high and low society of her world.
The romance felt tacked on to me though, and even though it was telegraphed from the outset, I never really bought into it. I think the book would have worked just as well without it, maybe better. There were a number of characters I wanted either more of or less of, too many people I met for just a few pages and then didn't see again.