It took me a little while to get the time needed to give this book the attention it requires. With such a cast of characters you need to be reading it regularly in order to keep track of who is who (frustratingly I only found the family trees at the back after I was a number of chapters in!)
I enjoyed the read, except for one gripe (a common one I think from reading other reviews) and it is this which kept my rating at 3 stars rather than 4. I enjoyed the portrayal of different cultures and families, this worked well in my opinion, and I would be interested in seeing how the world develops over the series of books. I enjoyed the way that this fantasy book was not about some mythical quest, or combat focussed, but around the relationships between different parties. I enjoyed the plot line too, with hints of what may or may not be in store as the series progresses. My gripe? I’m no ‘puritan’, but found the frequent sexual references, often were unnecessary for the plot, somewhat puerile and detracting.