I loved the way Will Wight has created a new and fantastic world. I thought it was a refreshing New take on magic, where it is earned through battling your way through your respective territories. The Vallinhall territory is wonderfully described, for some reason I pictured thy Nye as dementors. By defeating each room in turn, the travellers gain a new power, but they can't keep using these powers, they run out and need to be refilled. The fights seem a bit like top trumps, matching 1 power with another. It's a good, easy read, plenty of magic, plenty of action, a lot of sword fights and all the characters are built well. I've also just finished the second part and waiting patiently for the third, so it must be good.
BUT to get to the good stuff you have to force your way through the first 20% of the book. I very nearly discarded it as it was so slow to build, and the first proper fight scene after the villagers get taken was a bit grim. So glad that I did keep reading