Despite the generic title and forgettable cover art, this is actually a fairly high quality fantasy book. It's kind of what you would get if you took Game of Thrones, but turned everything down by 30%-40%. The events are dangerous and occasionally grim, but not too much so. The politics are interesting and semi-complex, but not to the point that you need a wikipedia page to figure out the lines of politics and succession. The writing is enjoyable and crunchy, and not quite so embroidered and elaborate as to describe every meal at the feast. It's also a very quick read; if I had not needed to pack for a trip it could have easily been a one day, 500 page excursion. It helps that the book starts off strong, with some action but also with a road trip where 90% of the people are pretending to belong to professions that they actually know nothing about. It's not a typical start to a fantasy adventure, but I liked it and it helped lead into the rest. The PoV characters are generally fine, but I'd like to particularly commend one of them, Weber, for being like the farce-road trip and not at all the typical fare for a fantasy epic. He's a character where for long periods I was genuinely unsure about where he was going/becoming. Other positive qualities: there is fighting, but probably not more than once per 100 pages, and even then it tends to be a brief and self contained thing. There are also a bunch of animal themed fantasy races (the author mentions in the afterward that he is a *huge* furry), but as with the title this works far better than you would expect. In summary, this isn't a genius work of fantasy, but it is one where things are consistently better/more interesting than you would expect, and where many of the common irritants of the genre are not present.