Kel Kade has managed to create a very cool kind of fantasy here, a kind of fantasy that is just as thematically-oriented as the Sword of Truth series but still possesses many of the elements of modern, swashbuckling fantasy.
The story is somewhat typical, but it's set out in a very unusual way that makes it very hard to predict. The main character is almost perfect, but it's all balanced out by the numerous flaws in the other characters. There's a lot of character development in this book. A mark of truly good characters is when readers begin to feel actually emotions for these characters as regards their fate, and this book displays that.
The pacing of the plot is quite steady. Combined with an increasingly complex magic system, it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read. Events in the book start out slow and steady and only slightly ups its pace in the final fourth or so of the book.
The story deals with a number of typical fantasy themes: love, loyalty, bravery, evil, and good. One would be forgiven for thinking the story predictable, but the author has an unusual way of churning up the norm and making it look extraordinary.
A great read.