I'm going to come right out and say it: I didn't find this a difficult read at all, and I loved every bit of it.
I can certainly see why some people didn't like this. And I can clearly feel the influence of Glen Cook and the Black Company on it too. Since that's one of my favourite series, that's all good as far as I'm concerned.
I could have gone with 5 stars, but I've been told book 2 is even better. So I had to leave some wiggle room!
So I'd write a big long epic analysis, but I'm late to the party, this book is not new and is popular enough everyone has gotten to it before me, which only makes me wonder once again, what on earth was wrong with me that I didn't read this a whole lot sooner. Also it's vacation which means I have absolutely no time, because all my family wants me to be doing a billion things at once.
And if anyone is reading all the scary "this book is so hard" reviews, I honestly suggest just give it a try. And if you do need some direction, Tor did one of it's re-read read throughs, and those are always good for working through a difficult book. And I'm not trying to make you feel bad if you do find this difficult, because there are certainly books out there that it seems everyone else "gets" but I just don't. It's just kind of nice to be on the other side of the fence for once.