I picked this up many years ago after reading Raymond Feist's RIftwar Saga. Within the first thirty pages or so, I was hooked. I had read Janny Wurtz before, and I had read Feist. I enjoyed both of their works, but the combination of the two of them was better. They created a magnificent world with a great culture, borrowing heavily from Japanese/Oriental cultures of old. It was refreshing after so many fantasies, especially in those days, were based on medieval European cultures.
Mara, of the Acoma, is the main protag, and she is one of the most well-developed characters I've run across in fantasy. She is as real as you can get and her joys, and pains, and problems ooze from the pages and into your soul. The plotting is detailed and very well done, and the sub plots and intrigue are something to be marvelled at. I only wish I had the ability to do it so well.
As great as Mara is, what makes this book shine is the supporting cast. Wurtz and Feist have dug deep into their character playbook and they came up with nothing but winners. There are people you will absolutely despise and others you love. Some will earn your pity, and some your envy. What a wonderful way to spend a couple of nights. I say couple because it is such a compelling read, I can't imagine taking more than two nights to finish.
I have read this series four times now, and it is still enjoyable. Highly recommended for any reader interested in great worldbuilding, cultures, deep characters, and some of the best plotting I have seen.