It's risky to rate the first book of a trilogy without reading the subsequent two volumes--which I will embark on as soon as I finish this little review--but I reacted strongly enough to this to take the risk. So for what it's worth, as fantasy set-ups go, I am happy to give this five stars. It's gorgeously written, with intriguing magic, rich allegorical layers--most obviously of Indian mythology--and compelling moral stakes. Of the three narrative centers, Jandu and Keshan receive the most attention--their affair was passionate and tender. Tarek's role is less obvious and his scenes (I suspect/hope) function more to set up future events than any plotline that became obvious in this book--I hope he will be given a role worthy of him. My main niggle was that the names and positions are quite hard to keep track of, though going back and rereading the opening scene cleared up most of my lingering confusion.
Based on the ratings, I think the subsequent books hold up, so hopefully I will not be coming back and angrily deleting or qualifying these initial reactions. For now, I have no trouble warmly recommending this for fans of M/M high fantasy.