I saw this book in my local library's fantasy section and checked it out because GRRM recommended it. He may be milkin' the crap out his Fire and Ice Series, but he knows fantasy. Abraham has worked with GRRM before on some Wild Cards stories, but I prefer this writing of his. The first part felt like it was heavily influenced by Martin's Fire and Ice Series, but quickly morphs into its own work. It's epic fantasy without much violence. I mean there is still violence, but it's more implied than anything and described as graphically as in Martin's books or Abercrombie's.
I highly recommend this book and will check out his others.