Neil Gaiman said "I read the first paragraph and was hooked. A sixty-three page eighteenth century novel in the grand manner about a waltzing mouse. Of course."
Noel Langley's "studiously and faithfully compiled" history of Desbarollda was originally published in 1947, and now appears as an ebook for the first time.
Edward Ardizzone created the splendid colour illustrations.
I bought this book back in 2010. It was in the top 10% of books I read that year, and that's over 150.
I haven't read the original version, but whatever revisions were made for the 2010 version made it feel like a contemporary novel to me.
The SF concepts are excellent, and the main character is done very well. I didn't fell that was a lack in the other characters, although I agree that they aren't as detailed or nuanced as the main character. One doesn't really expect that in a good SF book, as the ideas and the setting are in more important in SF than in most genres.
Highly recommended if you like SF and especially Mil SF.