A bump up from three and a half stars. Written like a traditional epic fantasy, plotting still went in a few unexpected directions in romance and manipulation. At heart is a mystery why the lead was imprisioned, and part of him is reluctant to find out. He meets a person or two to boot him on his way. I enjoyed the mixup of races and clans. A few times, I was completely unsurprised by the direction the plot took, but nonetheless, it was an enjoyable ride there.Here's the problem: I enjoyed it, but I started reading it in New York, continued on a car trip with a ten year old and a six year old, and finished when I got home. Shall we say, less than ideal conditions? Thus, I feel both my reading and review suffers, so it's back on the 'to-be-re-read' shelf so I can do both justice.