I would love to say I loved this book, and indeed there was much I did enjoy about it. I found the main characters to be engaging and well written. The world building I thought was excellent. I enjoyed reading it and will certainly read the sequel, Bitterblue.
What really let the novel down in my opinion was the poor pacing. I felt too much time was spent on the wrong things. For example we seem to spend several chapters wandering around in the snow with Katsa and Bitterblue and yet the final confrontation with Leck, to which the entire book has been leading, is over within half a page or so. This left me feeling somewhat cheated. In addition, this confrontation occurs still some way from the end of the novel; I kept expecting another twist, not setup for the next novel.
I also felt the author missed some golden opportunities to explore some interesting themes, such as how do those who have grown used to power cope when they are powerless? It is touched upon briefly, but I would have welcomed a deeper exploration of these.
Having said that, I think these are things the novelist will become more adept at handling (this is her debut novel, after all) and I imagine a bright future for her.