Hmmm. So this is a bit of a classic, but I've never read it before.
So I'm not really coloured by a bunch of fond memories, and I think I would have liked this book a lot more as a teenager.
For: A smart and capable female protagonist to add to my pile of books for the kids to read. Albeit one not above using sex to get her way. In fact, quite ruthlessly. She's smart and kind to the downtrodden, the poor and the disenfranchised, ensuring their loyalty, but she's calculating and cruel to her peers. Actually that may be an against. She's smart enough to use and trust her employees and advisors to their best capability, something that is the downfall of so so many characters, in so so many books.
Against: Really just one thing: She's so damn lucky. It's deus ex fluke after fluke. She ought to take up poker or something. Every bluff works, every feint, every huge gamble with her life and that of her entire clan, pays off. Each one in turn is well written, and fun, but in total it's a little overwhelming just how damn lucky Mara is.
So, a 3.5, if there were half stars, but down a little, because the luck factor doesn't work right for me. It's still a ripping good read, and I can be a little harsh on my scores, and it's a really good example of co-writing at it's best, the writing is seamless and the voice is united, there's no sign who wrote what and no jarring transitions between authors. So take the 3 as what it says: I liked it.