The author confesses (with other words) that he wanted to write like Glen Cook, but verbose. And at least that part he fulfills. This book is clearly in the field of the gritty heroic fantasy, where not so good characters strive to survive and from time to time to save the world.
As a first book, it has some problems as well, in the field of emotions, sex (or its absence) and depth of many characters. However it also shows good promise in world building (without being very pedagogical about it), action and coherence. Some of the characters are promising, if at times a bit too influenced by other writers, specially the Black Company books.
He fulfills the verbose part as well, but there are enough things happening and there is enough closure to make it quite enjoyable.
Not a perfect work, but an entertaining one that will make me check other books of the series.