Imperial Spy (Imperial Trilogy) - Mark Robson
This one was a total chance encounter, as I picked it up as the third in a '3 for 2' deal and wasn't quite sure what I was getting. It's a young adult book, first of a trilogy, but as all three books are in print I figured it was worth a try!

The basic premise of 'Imperial Spy' is that it's the story of Femke, who has overcome the requisite Tragic Past to become a spy for the emperor - she's tasked with leading an embassy to another country, one with which they'd recently been at war, and finds herself framed for murder.

The positives are that Femke is a fairly self-reliant character, quite able to get herself both into and out of trouble (though tending a little towards the MarySue in her being fantastic at everything) and that the author is not afraid to bad things to significant characters. The downside is that initially it feels a little like you've been dropped in the beginning of book 2 of a series, since the first few scenes are so full of plot development and worldbuilding.

All in all, not a bad read and I couldn't quite see how the author was going to sort everything out, which kept my attention - the series continues in 'Imperial Assassin', which appears to focus more on one of the supporting characters in this book, and I will certainly be keeping an eye out for it.