The amazon reviews are mostly good. This is the first book in a series by Snyder and, as far as first books go, it is pretty well constructed. Her world building could use a little work, and her characters come across a little more cardboard then three dimensional in some places. You have the one that is mean, the one that is nice, the one that betrays, the two that become friends, the heroine, the hero.....you know. If you're a follower of fantasy lit you have seen these people before. She throws in a few surprises, both in the main characters and in the secondary cast, which keeps the book interesting.
The reason I say the worldbuilding needs work is because you don't really get a sense of what the rules are. They mention a Code of Behavior but you never figure out just what that consists of. You know there is now a military structure, but you don't figure out how it works. You know, generally, that "South" is where all the action will be happening, but the rest of the landscape is a mystery. And she really does a terrible job of physical character description. Yet, for all of these faults, the book is still interesting. The very fact that I wanted to know these things says that I was interested. I'm probably going to read the next two books in the series and I hope they are better developed.
The change in cover is interesting, too. The one on the right was the original, hardcover edition cover. The one on the left is the trade edition cover that is currently available. The one on the left seems to suggest it is a fantasy book more so than the other.