With The Riddle of the Stars, the other Patricia McKillip books that I've read, there was an immediate empathy and affection for the characters. That was not true with this book, although by the end I did have sympathy for them. There just was not enough depth to them, or flesh, perhaps. It was almost as though this were a tale told by poets or medieval storytellers rather than a 20th century fantasy.
And yet, McKillip is a very creative writer so I kept at it. And it was worth it. The story built to a very unexpected ending, perhaps a bit too easily resolved, but still very imaginative.
I would definitely recommend it to fantasy lovers.