I've been trying to work out why I didn't like this book more than I did and struggling with the reason rather as struggled with reading it.
It's a decent enough fantasy plot where a young girl runs away from injustice and, finding a dying messenger, agrees to carry his message for him. But something about it just doesn't gel for me somehow.
It's the author's first novel, so I cut her some slack for that and the world she's built could be quite interesting really, but something about the actual writing is just ...off. It's not that it's derivative - it is, a bit, but no worse than many books I've enjoyed much more than this one. It's not that the characters aren't sympathetic - the protagonist tends to be a little whiny but she's been dumped into a scary situation that she feels unequipped to deal with, so that's fair enough.
I think a big part of it may be the pacing. Even in scenes of frenetic action, everything feels drawn out and overextended somehow. Obviously action scenes in books can suffer from this generally, but it seemed to be particularly bad in this instance and extended over the plot in general - the protagonist seemed to take forever to travel anywhere, for instance, while other characters were zooming about all over the place in order to be where the plot needed them to be.
I've read far worse books than this, and I may well give the sequel a try if I can find a cheap copy, but on the evidence of her firat novel, Britain isn't going to be landing on my favourite authors list any time soon.