I thought this was a pretty solid book. I liked the world it was set in. While there is clearly a larger world out there, we only get details about where the story takes place, which is nice - the book isn't bogged down in hundreds of pages of details we don't need. I really like the fleshing out of the religion(s) and the politics plaguing this particular world.
I really liked that it was a young-adult novel without a really irritating romance dogging the whole story. We don't have to deal with longing and love triangles and that crap.
The intrigue was fun, and the pacing (I though) went nicely. It was slow during some of the set up time, but not slower than I would expect. I would, however, expect the sequel to move faster, so we'll see how that goes.
Most of the characters were nicely done. The downside is that they were a little two dimensional.
There were a lot of shakey plot devices in the book, and I don't know how the rebellion gets such a good start when there are some seriously talky characters. No one can keep a secret to save their lives and are even open about information that they should not be, while it works great for the reader to know everything, it makes the rebellion a little implausible.
All in all, it was pretty decent, and I like that it was a self-contained story even if it was the first in a series (no irritating cliff hangers necessitating me reading the next book, even though I will).