What I liked best about this book is that I really cared about the main characters -- of which there were several. The author writes in such a way that the personality of each character is distinctive -- no cardboard look-alikes. The lead characters are *heroic* but not superhuman. Plus they are reasonably ethical, but not unbelievably perfect. There are complex relationships among the characters, which evolve in interesting ways over the course of the story.
The story itself involves evil wizards who are out to conquer the world. They invade & attack with large armies composed of human soldiers who have been magically enthralled into berserk status. These berserkers have no fear of death, & take no prisoners.
During battles, the wizards use their spells mainly as a form of magical artillery -- blowing away city walls and doors and entrenchments.
The main leading characters (the good guys) have a bit of magic of their own, and warriors, but are no match against the forces of the evil wizards. Therefore, the good guys are mainly in a state of fight-escape-run-skulk throughout much of the story. There are lots of exciting battles, clever tactics, innovative escapes, & thrilling sneaking around.
Also, there is an on-going set of mysterious bad guys (WHO are they?) & ominous foreshadowing (WHY is she acting so strangely?). Jolly good fun! A superb read. I just ordered everything this author has written -- with my fingers crossed that she has sustained or exceeded the superb quality of this book -- her first effort (I think).