What a start to a heroic fantasy novel; Dip into Mervyn Peake or Moorcocks; Gloriana, with a city built upon the ruins of another, rooms within rooms. the denizens of the sewers who live off the rich and mighty dreaming of the light. Then Ms Gemmell introduces hints of her husbands work with the never ending battle between the city and its enemies.
But do not think that you are just getting a copied version of David's style and work. This is truly original, produced by a great fantasy writer. Ms Gemmell is walking her own road not just copying or extending her late husbands great work with this novel. I look forward to reading the sequel which I have just noticed is already out.
All out fantasy war (with some subtleties)