Nov 26, 2016: Even though I have numerable issues with the story, this story absolutely excels in pretty much every other area. The character interactions are fantastic. At times they are funny and at other times they show humanity and lead to believable and meaningful character growths. The world is extremely fleshed out and I absolutely adore how it is essentially sci-fi disguised as fantasy. Subplots weave together very well, and I found it easy to sympathize with many POV characters besides the villain POV (which to be honest was somewhat boring to read about).
While it is an otherwise great story, the author’s rather extreme political and social views seem to bleed into the story a little too heavily for my taste. The only people who are allowed to believe that males and females are different literally either hate all women and think of them as being "only good for sex" or take multiple wives and believe that men should have supreme power over women. On the other hand, you have a paramilitary that only accepts women into their ranks (which is quite ridiculous because if most of your soldiers died on the battlefield you would have significantly less children in the next generation) and a disproportionate number of absurdly physically strong women. As an example, the named Thieves’ Guild enforcers (the people that actually fight and intimidate) that actually do things productive for the guild are all female.
Another criticism I have is that no one besides mooks and redshirts ever die and little else ever happens that truly seems like a real problem. I would say that this is primarily due to the fact that the Big Goods are way too OP. The most senior university professor is the greatest archmage ever that has lived for millennia, and she is on good terms with the human gods, an equally powerful shaman, the most powerful nation in the world, and a sentient dragon. And since our protagonists are under her protection, they have never been in any real danger for 12 books. Another reason that nothing really happens is that everyone with a lot of power is good-natured even to their enemies (with the probable exception of only 1 relatively weak character), so the job of being evil usually falls to the mooks. While this could be explained by the actual existence of gods, it makes for less entertaining writing in my opinion.