Although I've not read the Game of Thrones series, this first part of a fantasy saga may seem derivative or similar to George R R Martin's work.
I found the beginning of it disjointed and some of the text is not particularly good English in my opinion (split infinitives etc..).
There is a long Dramatis Personae at the beginning which I skipped and hopefully keeping track of the various characters will not prove too difficult.
Another criticism would be the excessive use of description, especially when it comes to clothing and ornamentation. Do I really need to know what each character is wearing in every scene in which they appear, especially in such a long book?
The plot is quite complicated, jumping from one character to another, and I'd like to know where this is going but feel that the book is overlong. Not as good as I'd hoped.