It took me a surprisingly long time to finish this book - especially considering I ended up giving it 5 stars! But I find that's often the case when a book has many different storylines. I end up being so wrapped up in each of them, that I get almost disappointed when a new one takes over and it's therefore easier to put down the book, rather than just read on.But Robin Hobb does spin a good yarn. I loved the Farseer trilogy, and so far this one hasn't disappointed me. I enjoy getting to know the characters (even if I wouldn't mind less of Kyle and Malta - those two infuriate me!) and am interesting in seeing what happens next.It does frustrate me a bit that this first book was so obviously just seeing the scene for the two others - many issues were raised, but few (if any) were resolved. Fortunately I was aware that this would be the case before starting the book, so it didn't annoy me as much as it would otherwise have done, but it might have been a factor in how long it took me to finish the book. But now that I have finished it, I can't stop thinking about it, and want to start the next one straight away!