A lot of thought and effort was obviously put into this book, and into the world, many elements being presented in great detail, including a few that aren’t commonly “customized” as part of fantasy worldbuilding. This gives the impression that the series should have a truly epic scale, and the complications, if I may use the term, added towards the end enhance that feeling, yet it doesn’t threaten to be crushing or overwhelming, Kinch’s first person presentation being enjoyable and including plenty of humor, which usually works, at least for me.
In spite of that, it seems far from realizing that potential. Of course, it’s possible that much of it is merely because it’s the first book in what’s intended as a series, but the author seems to try too hard, in both directions, in a book that’d have probably needed to be about three times the size for all of the information to come naturally, to be shown rather than told. As it is, much is forced upon the reader, the action being paused for a detailed explanation the first time the matter comes up. This tends to reduce the weight and the impact of the story, and Kinch’s lighthearted attitude makes it even worse, driving away that feeling of actually reading a personal account that a first person presentation should normally enhance. In addition, elements such as slang, other languages or different coins and currencies, which would have added flavor if there’d have been enough room for them, strike me as unnecessary complications under these circumstances, while on the other hand the number and the development of the characters is clearly insufficient for something intended as an epic tale. Then again, quite a number of times, especially when powerful magic is involved, it feels more like a fairy tale than actual epic fantasy, and that’s a style that I’m not fond of.