1. I found myself almost rushing to get past the civil war chapters. For me it was just hard to get excited over what was going on there compared to the real meat of the story with Pug, Magnus, etc. I also felt the civil war story arc was a bit cliché and predictable. By that, I mean you get all of this discussion from some of the main characters (Hal, etc) and how they are going to do X,Y and Z to outsmart the larger armies. The storyline then played out pretty much exactly how I figured it would. Was hoping for some sort of twist there.
2. It was nice to see some of the older characters (Boric, Kulgan, ec) make a comeback. I found some of those conversations touching and in the case of Magnus, helped to develop the characters a bit for me. That said, the entire reason for those conversations - the whole idea of those old characters imparting some forgotten, critical knowledge; it felt a little clumsy. I didn't see that it actually made a win or lose difference in the end.
3. The explanation by Macros about who the ultimate enemy is was very confusing. Maybe I need to go back and read it a few more times, but the statements about the city of forever being a blueprint; mathematics, etc - it all seemed a bit like nonsense and a lot of rambling. When Macros finally got to the part about the big bang, and the stuff left behind from it; *that* made sense to me. Getting there just felt painful.
4. Strangely, I found the epilogue the best part of the book. It was very touching. I went back and read it a few times. Part of me found the ending happy and yet also profoundly sad. At first I felt like Pug deserved more. I really thought they would elevate him to some sort of godhood or something but his ultimate fate of being reincarnated with a loving family felt very simple and yet so very clever and unexpected. It also makes perfect sense as a way to reward him and wipe away all the wounds and trauma of everything that transpired.
From Magnus's perspective, it feels sad. He reunites with someone who is for all practical intents and purposes his father, and yet is someone different now. I would be curious how Raymond intended that to feel for the reader.
In summary, a good book. I don't feel like I wasted my money. I am bummed that this is apparently the end of Feist's work in the Midkemia universe and really, based on the ending I can't see that Ray intends to do anything further aside from perhaps spin off novels or something.