Bleh. The main characters in this book were essentially the Stark family from A Song of Ice and Fire, children in the same birth order and everything, except stripped of everything that made those characters interesting. There was a "shocking" revelation that the chancellor was evil in like chapter 3, made somewhat less shocking by the fact that every fantasy chancellor ever is evil. Also, chapter 2 is awarded (tentatively) the newly-created Clumsiest Exposition Ever Award: all four royal children (male and female, ages 9-16) are getting a lesson from their collective tutor and he proceeds to ask them to name the 6 (six!) provinces composing their father's country and the name of the founder of their dynasty (yes, their own!). Remind me again, how old are these kids? Are they developmentally disabled? (Sadly, apparently not. It would have been funny if they were though.) When I was 13 one of my teachers required us to memorize all 46 counties in our state in alphabetical order, an assignment that I can only assume would reduce these teenagers (I should add that this particular question was asked of the 15-year-old) to bewildered tears. And of course we'd learned the 50 U.S. states before that. If Durham can't come up with a halfway-believable way to relate the basic information about his world (or, y'know, just trust us to look at the map) I can't be bothered to read the book.
Then I realized I was only 30 pages in and already ranting about the book, and returned it to the library. Good riddance.