Bound is an interesting mix of fantasy with a touch of science fiction technology mixed in. Mellea is a poor country girl trying to save up money to go to university. She never expects to be picked up and "claimed" by one of the royal sons - a Successor. Leo is an ass. Yes, a giant royal pain in the butt. But there are moments when it seems he might be more. It's his only redeeming quality for most of the book. Mellea on the other hand, it stubborn, honest, and tells it how it is. Things don't go very well for this opposites attract type of couple.
There is also quite an adventure going on throughout the story. With people disappearing and the Guardians threatened, things quickly spiral out of control. M.J. Stevens does a fantastic job of balancing parts in this book. The Guardians are equal parts great people with good motives and stuck up snobs that can't admit when they're wrong. The bad guys (I can't tell you who they are) are smart with actual cause to want to fight, but they do it dirty and don't really care who may get caught in the middle.
This was a great start to a series. I wish I had liked Leo earlier in the book. It was difficult to read when he seemed like he was supposed to be a good guy and I didn't even like him. Their religion and magic and how it manifested was a great idea and well developed.
Be warned - there is a cliffhanger and it looks like we may have to wait until December (according to goodreads when I wrote this) to find out what happens.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*