Certainly this book had flaws all along. There are things that don't quite make sense, and a construction Tepper is fond of using at the end of chapters really annoyed me once I noticed it. However, the world-building is rich and the plot interesting, and I was enjoying the book reasonably until the last 100 pages, when she decided to ruin it by throwing every lame and lousy writing tactic available: a sprawling, poorly-written anti-religious diatribe (for those really dense readers who hadn't noticed the anti-religious message in the rest of the book, I guess), sudden introduction of new characters, technologies, and magics not previously hinted at, surprise incest, a dea ex machina, and what's that device called when a "messenger"-type suddenly shows up to give the characters important information they couldn't otherwise have?
But it was still better than the other book of hers I read. And if there were a map it might actually deserve that third star.