The world-building was so deftly done and the main characters so well realized, before you know it you're knee deep emotionally in this story. I thought the bad guy(s) was a little 'one-note' compared to the other characters and the ending a little rushed compared to the way the rest of the story unfolded but I'm so glad this is book 1 of a series because I'm fully onboard for the rest.
Came back to edit this because i realized I hadn't addressed the violence in story. Scenes of violence aren't relentlessly or consistently shown throughout story, but the threat or promise/presence of it certainly permeates it without being overwhelming (for me, at least). The scenes of violence are horrid/brutal, but not gratuitous in anyway and I think they served the character arch and the world-building,