This is a difficult book to review, partly due to the fact that the story is far from concluded at the end of this volume, but mainly because this is one of the most unusual fantasy books I have ever read.
This volume contains the first two parts of a quartet. At the end of each part, the author pauses, reminding the reader that they may wish to stop reading on at this point and that it is no easy road. Wolfe is right, it is
no easy road but somehow I feel it is worth reading on.
The prose is poetic with a dream like quality. The story unwinds in a most unpredictable fashion, seeming to digress in often confusing and seemingly senseless ways that appear to have no relevence to the story but under the surface allude to an undercurrent of themes that the reader only barely glimses. As such, I imagine that this book would benefit from one or more re-reads in order to absorb and understand the story a little better. In time, I might well increase my rating.
It can get quite confusing and disorienting but never too much or for too long before the author reigns it in again and stops the reader from getting disenfranchised with the story. As I said, it is no easy road but it seems a road worth treading and I look forward to the last two parts of this story.