Gorgeous, rich and convincing world-building that never strayed from being in service to the story. Brilliant characterization with a frame story that raised tension and contributed instead of detracted from the clever concept and perfect pacing.
For readers that are bothered by that sort of thing, you should know that the rising action continues into the next book without a clear resolution, making it almost a prequel-story. I didn't feel like the cliffhanger was painful, but it was a bit unexpected to have the frame story referring to major action and what amount to pivotal historic events that take place off the page. Also of note; there is what amounts to necromancy, the raising of the dead, within the story, but tonally it feels more dark fantasy than horror; I didn't find myself scared by the goings-on at any point. Depending on your preference, that might be appealing or not.
Great to see diverse settings and diverse authors like this, especially when the book is so brilliantly written that it stands out as excellent even without such benefits! Looking forward to reading more of Chupeco's work!