It's rare that I will put a book down without finishing it, and I hacked my way through three-quarters of the novel before I dropped this one. At that point I was only reading it to see if she got together with The Guy, but it was becoming apparent that the author had lost interest in that storyline so I gave up. The prose is clunky and overblown, with every single hand gesture being described in vivid detail as if we are watching a movie instead of reading a book. Her curls, for example, are described again, and again, and again. Every man has the habit of rubbing his beard, because we need to be reminded over and over again that they are hairy. Because of all this description, the plot pacing is extremely slow. The decoy spends most of it out on the road, camping. How facinating.
I started reading (and gave my review an extra star) because of what I thought was an interesting premise: instead of someone discovering that they are The Chosen One, she starts out thinking she is The Chosen One and finds out she's not. The Real Chosen One was kept safely hidden out in the country, while our heroine was raised in public to take assassin's poison for the princess. Think of all the interesting places that could go! Think of all the non-traditional paths that could take! She could be an anti-heroine! She could run away! She could take the throne herself!
The author takes none of them. Sure, the decoy toys with some of these ideas, but not seriously enough that we are fooled into thinking she will do any of the above. Instead, the former princess resolves to avenge her "parents" deaths, spends most of her time seeking out the real princess (so she can slap her, apparently, which is what she does when she finds her), meets a handsome rouge, and finds out that she IS A Chosen One - one with more power than a mere princess. Sound familiar? Yeah. All in all, a big disappointment, especially when she decides to use her new-found powers to dispose of the evil invader and put the rightful heir on the throne. Isn't that far more interesting than seeing something fresh and different?