I picked up this book because the cover was stark in contrast and I like the colors. I thought it was a YA book. I've been trying new things. But when I started reading, I knew I had found something familiar...
This book is everything I love about fantasy. I've been writing since 2011 and have felt so alone sometimes because I like a raw story without all the pretense. I like real life, real emotions, real fails, and sometimes I feel like these stories lack an audience. This book has all my favorite stuff (love, blood, vengeance, personal growth, thieves, assassins), and it's set in a place that feels rich and thorough yet not overcomplicated.
As a teen I would have read this but I can certainly understand why people would feel it inappropriate. The sex is (I think) tasteful, but the words can feel crude to some people. I would not have a problem with my kids (who are 7, 8, 10, 12) reading this when they are 15 or 16, when it would make more sense to them.
The story is simply lovely. It deals with real (although melodramatic) issues, and has a great undertone of magic and possibilities that kept me interested and guessing. I felt the pacing was pretty spot on (except for the overlong footnotes, which I found extremely distracting).
The writing is (for me) perfect and beautiful (perhaps because it is exactly what I have always aimed for as a writer), and I felt the language was very suited to the story. If you like gleaming broad sword fantasy, this is not for you...but if you prefer razor sharp poisoned dagger fantasy (as I do), this book will deliver.