If I wrote a checklist of things I like in fantasy books--attention paid to economics, non-static scientific development, multiple political players with shifting alliances, numinous magic, strongly characterized women, a clear sense of place, coherent worldbuilding in general, detailed rituals and ceremonies, a sense that the protagonists are genuinely at risk, no clear black and white sides--this would have hit almost every one. And yet I struggled to become emotionally involved in the story and had no difficulty setting it aside for days or weeks. I'm still not sure why it didn't work for me.
The only complaint I can clearly articulate is that the exposition was often clunky, all too frequently descending into literal "As you know, Bob" exchanges. It occurs to me that the Elliott I love best--the Jaran series, The Labyrinth Gate
--are those in which the protagonists are outsiders who have entirely logical reasons to need everything about the world patiently explained to them. Still, I'll read the sequel. Maybe now that the basics of the world have been laid out, the storytelling will go more smoothly.