T say that I was taken aback at the quality of the writing of the heroine (protagonist) would be an understatement. Many of the other characters fall into your stereotypical roles, but our blushing, warm, strong, magical, and independent heroine was characterized so well that it actually carries the story quite well. There are a number of story arcs that weave together to form the plot - one is a power play t take over the three kingdoms to make them one, another is to rescue the heroines father from his prison cell, another is to find out and control the power of the magic of the three stones. These three things are all inextricable, and our heroines potential marriage to Prince Ahlen could bring disaster, or the power to bring peace to everyone, but with everyone trying to kill her, she doesn't know which way to turn, and who is telling the truth and who is just out for their own greed or power.
If this book had more character development, had greater polish, removed the stereotypes, and improved the dialog, it could easily have lifted itself into the five star range. As I got it for free, this was a rare treat indeed, and I commend the author for providing such a wonderful level of writing for the entire world at no charge. The story is terribly exciting at a non-stop pace with characters that you care about in the middle of problems that you will want to see solved.
The biggest complaint I had about the book was the ending. It is what I call a MIT ending or Moment In Time. One minute the book is there, the next minute the book ends. Nothing is solved. Nothing is wrapped up. No story arcs are cleanly resolved. Typically, an event occurs at the end of the book that throws some type of monkey wrench into the main situation, or adds new light on the situation. Frankly, these types of endings make me want to scream. If my Kindle would not have broken, I would have thrown it - overhand into the corner with vim and vigor! Other than that, that book is really quite good. I am deciding if I am too insulted by the ending to buy the follow on book or not. I want to continue the story, but it was an underhanded was for me to continue. The story is definitely good enough to stand up on its own merits without the cheap tricks of MIT endings to get readers to buy follow on books.