This is much more a war story than I expected going in. And even more than other war stories I've read, it tells of atrocities, of insanities, of screaming suffering, of inconsistent traps with no way out that I just can't wrap my head around. The humans outside of the main family here seem to have lost their humanity, and I was desperate for them to regain it at every turn.
I feel like the war is the main character in this story much more than any of the individual people. It's really well-written, but I only felt that I was beginning to get to know Mikal toward the end of the book -- he's tough to get to know. It's his defining characteristic, I know. But most of the other characters were distant, as well.
So it's well-written but not an easy read. You should probably prepare yourself before diving in.