Once again, this story concerns a certain Prince Manfred of Brittany and a certain Erik something-or-other from Iceland. This time, though, their story takes place in lands held by the Golden Horde, the Mongols. And we have a very strong female protagonist, the princess of the Hawk clan, Bortai, who is actually likable.
So first things first: the cover. It pretty much screams "FANTASY FICTION!" with its typeface and colour of typeface, and with its shiny cover art. That's all I have to say about it, really.
One thing that I appreciated very much about this novel was that the chapters were short, to the point, and they switched between the different characters' points of view. Also, since this 594-page book is divided into nine parts and 85 chapters (a lot, I KNOW), you get an average chapter-length of 6.98 pages. So if you read so much of this novel in one sitting that you get sick of it, it's your own damn fault.
Now, to be honest, the beginning of the story was slow. A bit boring, too - I'm not a huge fan of fictional political intrigue, and it's been a while since I read This Rough Magic, the immediate prequel. Thankfully, the pace picked up once elements of fantasy fiction (werewolf-ish gypsy-ish people! A dude who is almost a reincarnation of his legendary mad grandfather!) and ass-kickery were introduced, to make for an overall okay read. I don't regret reading it, but I won't re-read it either.