The author has managed to created really memorable characters here. They're all well fleshed out. The reading of the book is mad even more thrilling by the discovery of each of the individual characters. Each has a different role to play. Each is unique, making the resulting blend truly exquisite. I also noticed an element of mystery in every POV character. It makes the whole thing even more intriguing, as the characters are complex and highly unpredictable.
I didn't exactly fancy the author's portrayal of the race of elves, especially their women. The grace, sternness and dignity I've come to associate with fictional elves is missing. In the book, they're more or less humans with only enhanced beauty and magical powers.
While this book would be classified by most to be Grimdark, it's extensive use of magic and creatures such as dwarves, elves, goblins and griffins among others bring it to the realm of pure epic fantasy.
It's a great story, elastic, really flexible, and continually expands. Those are the best stories. Despite there being quite a lot of magic, it doesn't distract from the story. It's a really complex story, at some point I had to slow down with my reading because I was missing too many things.
As well as being a great story, it's also unique. It's not typical Grimdark like Mark Lawrence or Joe Abercrombie, it's got a blend of Tolkien as well. There's antiheroes, heroes, and villains.
We have the usual evil vs good theme, as characterises nearly every work of fantasy, but it's cleverly covered with other layers. The entire thing is intriguing enough to distract from the main theme in the story which is the fight against an unknown evil. The antiheroes make you root for them! Their gritty, dark deeds blend with their odd but righteous sense of justice.
Love is a lightly treated issue, and I prefer it that way.
Much of what happens in the book only occurs within the city of Wesson. There are no mind blowing descriptions of the continent of Brisance, or the countryside. Despite the book's really epic scope, it's more plot driven and doesn't dwell too much on the setting.
It's a really great read. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who reads this review.