After a string of really bad books I've read recently, this one was a blessing from the skies.
I haven't read a lot by Robin Hobb, but what I have read has left me entranced with her sensibility, world-building and characters. Nothing is obvious, and yet everything is clear. There are so many levels this book could be an onion, and yet you don't have to understand all of them to enjoy it. The character development is flawless. Her description of an abusive relationship was so spot-on it made me feel physically sick.
The only reserve I could have, if I should have any, is that the action takes a while to start. But, since the book is structured as a memoir, it's understandable that it would start with the characters childhood and progress slowly through that. Besides, the setting is essential for the rest of the story.
I loved it, and can't wait to start on the next.