But, it was never as interesting or as clever as I'd hoped it would be, not at 700+ pages. And, I didn't really care about any of the characters.
None of which is necessarily a problem, except the part about my being convinced it would be a better book at half the length. It's just that it was tiring to read, and, as nancylebov reminded me, given an average lifespan and current reading patterns, we're likely to have about 6,000 books of reading time in us, give or take. And, books like that? No, sorry. I want better. Or, at least, more to my taste.
Guy Gavriel Kay's Ysabel is, thus far, more to my taste. I'm not sure folks would consider it better. Oh, I think it is better written, but Kay has a few authorial tics that really, really tick me off. The one I hate the most is where the authorial voice refers to the future, e.g., "Looking back, he would..." This is something Kay does several times. In. Every. Book. And, it's something that doesn't usually work for me.
And, a couple of times thus far, he's dropped into present tense. This turns me off. There is no good reason for present tense there.
And... I care about what's going on. I care about the characters.
The ending could still suck. I won't know till I get there, but the odds are that I'm going to be glad I've read this and sorry, rather than relieved, when it ends.