"A Princess of Roumania" by Paul Park
Actually, "A Princess of Roumania" starts a 4-part series, of which I am on the third book. It's an interesting story - original in setting, system of magic, and characters. The books possess that rare quality of true unpredictability; I never know what will happen next. People live, people die, people act with honor or stupidity or grace or vindictiveness, and you never can tell what's coming.
My main problem with it is the jumping around between points of view. We don't just hear the story from the major characters; lots of minor characters have passages devoted to their thoughts and feelings. Personally, I tend to be impatient with this writing style - it's as though the author doesn't know how to develop a character except by writing from their point of view.
A secondary problem: I am bored of the villain. When I read the backs of these books, half the praise goes to the villain - how striking, how realistic, how fascinating! You can tell that that's how the author feels, also - Paul Park is completely enamoured of his villain, wants to spend half his pages writing about his villain. But I'm just bored by these passages.
Overall, the books are worth a read, especially if you're interested in speculative fiction.