I had to give this one a lower rank, even though I did like it and it all worked out in the end. It was just so hard to get through the first half...almost like when I first read Gardens of the Moon. I wanted to give up on this one sometimes..but I trooped through. I think my issue was that there were so many LEtherii and Edur characters to keep straight through the first half. Later when more of them had joined plot threads it got smooth again.
EDIT: Upon a re-read--I LOVE this one! Once i got the new characters down, there was so much going on it was hard to put down, yet so much to absorb I had to keep stopping to think about it all!