I read the prior novellas to this book being realized. I don't think I would've understand the story fully if I had not bothered. Therefore, I would recommend reading them otherwise you would be missing a lot in this particular novel.Also, I keep hearing that this is advertised as a teen game of thrones. Whoever wrote that obviously has not read A Song of Fire and Ice series. This book is more of a mix of Hunger Games and Poison Study. As for the writing, its simple and easy to read with an interesting plot. If you don't like love triangles, don't read this.