The story for this book is a compound of two horrible cliches--first, make peace by marriage with someone you don't love, but end up loving by the end; and second, shapeshifters who seem to hate each other solely on the basis that they shapeshift into different things.
I loved the book anyway. It was beautifully written, full of wonderful characters, and the cultures were rich and deep. The plot climbed smoothly up to where it needed to be, without dragging for an instant, and while I'm generally not a fan of romance, I liked Danica, and especially Zane, so much that I was fine with it.
My worst problem with the book--well, a two-way problem really--was that there wasn't enough shapeshifting, and the war the book's description advertised never really came into play. I think Zane 'shifted once at the Mistari palace, and people talked about the serpiente 'shifting a lot, but mostly it was just the avians 'shifting for traveling purposes. And I wouldn't have minded if the war continued at the beginning of the book for a bit longer, or at least more openly, before they ended it.
That hasn't stopped me from rereading the thing over and over again.