I've been pondering the rating of this for almost the entire book. On the one hand, it kept my attention. I liked many of the characters and the setting was very interesting. I liked the mix of fantastic creatures that I knew and were obviously combinations of others. (Unistag, for example is a one horned deer/horse) On the other hand, I didn't like some of the transitions from one scene to the next. For a long while, I couldn't figure out who was the focus of the story. There were divergent themes that I couldn't bring together as a reader.
Eventually, those themes did come together, and the shifting points of view got better. And then I read the end. I won't add any spoilers, but suffice to say I didn't like the way the book ended. Stuff happened that I didn't like and the book has elements and plot threads that are not complete. I'll take that last comment as an issue with myself more than the book.
I really remain torn on the rating. It should get a 3.5, but I can't do that. I was going to bump it to a 4, given I was entertained, but I'm fairly disappointed in those certain things about the end...so for now, it's a 3 star.
With all that said, I was still compelled to buy books 2 and 3...gotta find out what happens...