While the writing is certainly superior, the detail was overwhelming. It was too many names and places and faces to keep up with, too much material detail that was not really that important to the story, and it drug on and on with back story. There was action, but not until you knew everyones grandmother's third cousin's neighbor's name, what his title was, what he drank, and to whom his allegiance fell. And if the word "incredulously" (or some form of the word, thereof) was used once, it was used a thousand times. While I hung in until the end -- and the end was good -- I could not wait for it to come to that end.