Book 1 of 5 down.
This reminds me of all the old classic SF authors – it’s a story stripped down to its bones and sinew, no real artistic frippery. As a consequence it feels emotionally hollow to me, but covers a lot of interesting possibilities in its short run. I can see why John thought Zelazny would have written the Wheel of Time in a plausible and reasonable length! 🙂
The story structure feels extremely weird to me – there’s a real sense of anti-climax in the last 5 chapters. I haven’t yet started the next book, but I think if it’s along the lines of the blurb on the back, then shifting the last five chapters of the previous book to the beginning of the second.
All-in-all: a pretty enjoyable bit of writing, though hardly profound at this stage.
Right: now onto Book 2. One sad side-effect of my current 100%-booked lifestyle is that even a slender tome like this is a fortnight’s reading. God knows how long it will take me to get through Illuminatus!