So let's give this a whirl (yuk yuk yuk).
What I liked: Decent world building and a female protagonist (Kendra) that was tough and intelligent. I liked the male romantic interest too (Although, a seal? Really, a seal?), and thought they had good, if sporadic, chemistry. I also liked the kind of bat-shit crazy magic mentor and the network of women that Kendra could call on for support. Some demerit points for the whole 2D mean girl thing. It felt like filler.
What I had trouble with: Keeping the who-what-which race thing straight. At the end of the story I still wasn't sure what the difference was between a chevalier and a demmellier. And I kept forgetting who was who among the adults who seemed like props for our main character's actions. I also had some difficulty with the pacing as it felt like things were getting started about halfway through. Although it was a good solid introduction, I didn't feel like it was a story unto itself.
Overall verdict: A decent, if not super-orginal YA that didn't get on my nerves. I'd consider picking up the next book in the series.