I managed to tear through this fairly quickly; it's one of the better books I've read in a while. The writing style is excellent, especially the use of detail to ground the story and add some realism, but without swamping the reader; there's always an excellent picture of events, and its clear the author has a clear image of what's going on in his head. The frequent mentions of uses of the warding system are especially well done. Similarly, although one gets enough information about the world to avoid frustration at wondering what's going on, at the same time enough is left unexplained that one gets the sense of a larger and very well integrated world that one discovers gradually as the book progresses. And although the story deals with a wide range of topics and themes, the writing remains consistently terrific throughout. My one major gripe was the ending. I was rather sad there had to be one, but even more so because it seemed a bit rushed, seemed to leave some threads hanging; the reader is left with no few questions, some of which are rather large and close to the plot. However, on the other hand, the work does fit in with a larger setting, which I believe is documented in other places, including the events resulting from this book. Over all, however, I really loved it; could I add another half star, I certainly would.