...dammit, Goodreads needs more stars. Or half-stars. Because my practice of reserving five stars for "everyone should read this, regardless of genre preference" and four stars for "everyone with an interest in this genre should read it" is starting to get a bit awkward.
Okay! This book. A bit clunky in spots; some of the world-building and stage-setting could have come in a bit more smoothly, but that feels like first-novel jitters at worst, and I am looking forward to the next books. (Also to picking up his short story collection, although yeep my reading backlog.) It's sword and sorcery in a way that doesn't make me groan, with the characters quite reasonably getting drawn into a fight against evil, and a world that's much less black-and-white than I realized.
The characters, on that topic, were wonderful. There are two heroes who are traditional high-fantasy gifted teenage protagonists, and that's out of five, and there is a great deal of point and counterpoint and actual plausible real-world disagreements and no one person who's actually definitively right
. I was really glad to see that.
I was not
expecting the ending. That was nice. ...that was actually really
nice; I thought I'd pegged the villain a couple of times, and I was fairly wrong (that is, wrong because I was actually wrong, not because there was an attempt to set it up to look
like someone innocent was the villain) each time.
I want to see what happens next.