Promising premise, and I am crazy in love with the cover art, but just didn't find the characters very compelling. Worse, the book seemed to lose rather than build momentum for the first 350 pages or more, and when the pieces finally started locking together, I just found it lackluster. No real plot to speak of, just the early biographies of three characters. A lot of things that should have been left to the imagination weren't; the narrative seemed to fall in this strange gray area between 'should've shown more to make that development believable' and 'shouldn't have bothered showing that at all because a little mystery and/or wonder would have served better.' Like the cover art on the second book too, but I doubt I'll bother to read it.