Three stars means I liked it. This was an entertaining fantasy read that at times really held my attention and made me look forward to finding out what happened next. The magic of the world was satisfying in complexity and internal logic. Characters had sufficient background depth and motivation. Overall pacing was exciting. For some reason all these elements didn't come together to make magic for me. Everything was well crafted and well executed, but I was always aware that I was reading an invented story about imaginary characters in an imaginary world. I was never able to achieve total suspension of disbelief and feel as though the world was a place I could really go play, the characters old friends, the story a tale I'd heard long ago, then forgotten. My personal favorite fantasies make me feel as though I've actually lived them, and I know in my gut I've never really been to the Final Empire.