Thoroughly engaging and fascinating book, with some fresh, original takes on the fantasy genre--especially if you're NOT Mormon. Brown, being LDS, has infused a great deal of LDS doctrine into the book's world, which makes for some pretty fascinating reading for those not familiar with it, and some comfortable reading for those who are. As a Mormon, I enjoyed how he used those points of doctrine and incorporated them into the story.
I gave the book four stars instead of five for three reasons:
1. It's obviously setting up for a sequel, probably a trilogy. I'm not absolutely sure I want to invest my time in a trilogy--any trilogy--so I prefer a first novel to be more 'closed.'
2. I didn't love it enough that I'd want to buy it or read it again. A book has to be REALLY special to fall into that file. It's very good--don't get me wrong. But not THAT good.
3. No discredit to the author, the editing was horrid. Tor's editing wing missed dozens of typos--including some that can't be explained away by over-reliance on spell/grammar check. That may not be a big deal for most readers. For me it was a deal breaker--a distraction to a writer and editor who goes to great pains to eliminate those in her own work. It is somewhat disheartening to realize that a publishing house might not be as concerned as the authors who trust them with their literary children.