I stopped reading Sword and Fantasy books years ago because they all felt like retreads. This is completely different from the "same old, same old" trilogies that line the shelves. It's an excellent book, full of vivid characters who are human in many ways but from a really alien set of cultures. (One of the most interesting parts of the book is the way she introduces you through the different characters to the different cultures that share this world.) As in 24, people die unexpectedly, minor characters grow in prominence, and there's a new adventure around every corner. I'm a jaded grown-up and I can't wait for Book 2 to come out. You won't be disappointed!