First, I would like to say I am glad I had someone read this to me, because some of these names, locations and titles were incomprehensible to me.
Now, as for the story, I loved the imagery. The vibrant world and history. But I found this plot wordy and dense. And when it was over, I was also left with a whole lot of unanswered questions. It seemed the plot meandered and snaked, which wouldn't normally be bad. But in this case, I felt like sometimes it forgot what it was trying to convey.
The characters were at least varied. We had the leading man, the womanizing secretly gay prince, the uptight warrior, the political king, the snobby princess. This book covered the whole gamete.
If there is a second in this series, I don't know if I will bother with it.
Edit: This is a trilogy. The second is called The Kingdom of Copper, and from the blurb I'm not interested much at all.