They say that Film Noir is not a genre, but a certain stylistic convention with some thematic unity. I kinda get it when thinking about this novel not as a genre-piece, but an example of the Elric school of heroic fantastical writing. It’s not strictly a fantasy, but it has all those kinds of hallmarks and stylistic features: the Mary-Sue hero, the improbable survival of the hero in amongst a generally brutal environment, and so on… there’s some quality just eluding my elucidation which lumps this into the same kind of feel as the first Amber stuff (but not as good), most of Fiest’s writing, early Brooks, and that ilk.
Whatever else you might say about it, it’s a rip-roaring page-turner for the majority of its length. It’s got a brash energy which allows you to invest time and energy in the read. Unfortunately, by the end, it’s so ridiculously tied up in its own mythology and convoluted chronology that in the end it’s basically nonsensical.
I don’t regret reading it, but I also can’t imagine any circumstance in which I’d recommend someone read it, or read it again myself.