Good art, interesting themes, and the crappiest writing ever.
A)Brian, do your fucking research. Oh, your women are going to Valhalla? Sons are inheriting their father's kingdoms? I think not. You fucking hack.
B)Brian, women are not just holes and tragedies. Feel free to include even ONE woman who is not sexy and brutalized. You fucking fuck.
C)Brian, have you ever HEARD human speech? Or do you just copy out as many cliches as will fit into a word-bubble?
D)Brian, your plot is NOTHING BUT HOLES. Every single plot point makes no sense once examined.
E)Brian, your main character is an unlikable bastard. So why do so many characters fawn over him?
That said, there are some good bits buried in the drek of Brian Wood's Issues. What ruling means, how far intelligence will take you, the relative importance and recognition of honor, identity politics. It's still an awful book that I would recommend to no one, but the art and some of the concepts (if not their execution--the writing is excreble) raise this from one star to two.