I love epic fantasy. I also want to love epic fantasy.
See, a lot of epic fantasy is purely awful. Turgid prose, clunky infodumping, one-dimensional characters that are so filled with wish-fulfillment that their violet eyes glow. Writing good fantasy is not easy. It is just as hard as writing any sort of fiction well, with the added burden of building a coherent, interesting world. Done well, it is entrancing. Done poorly, it makes me want to pull my hair out by the roots.
Promise of Blood is pretty good fantasy. For me, it doesn't rise to the level of great fantasy, like Lord of the Rings, but then again, that it is a high bar to jump.
Like much fantasy, it starts with a bang, then slows dramatically as the reader becomes acquainted with the world. There are familiarities - I am strongly reminded of the French revolution. There are also things that I didn't understand about the magic system. Perhaps they will become more clear, perhaps they don't matter. I am also reminded of Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy, which makes sense, since the author credits Sanderson with being his mentor.
The book picks up again near the end, propelled toward the conclusion.
I'll be continuing with the series. There are a number of short stories and novellas that were published after the first book, which I will probably read next. Some are prequels, some occur following the events of book 1.