I'd do nothing but reading if I could (ok, maybe eat some great food, buy some fancy shoes between two books...oh, and spend some quality time with the gorgeous guy I married while I am on reading-break anyway...)
First of all: I don't like children in books much. They are usually overly cute or damaged.
Here, the protagonist with the unelegant name of Jaenelle is a seven year old girl when the story starts.
It is a dark high fantasy story - with totally inappropriate jokes thrown in. I don't appreciate those breaks in the mood. Mostly because it isn't funny. At all.
I liked a lot of the characters. But there were just very many of them.
And so the original world-buliding and the solid plot keep this above average.
I still prefer urban fantasy (and sarcastic heroines), but will continue the series.
PS: No on-screen sex or sexual actions, but a lot of violence and mentions of sexual violence - a strange combination...