There's a lot of telling instead of showing. The reader has to wade through a compilation of infodumps. Especially in the first half of the book, it gets progressively better towards the end. But I rather have infodumps to be spread over the story than all told to me in one go without a moment to breathe. Because of this action scenes were not well written and confusing. In the middle of the action the author would abruptly give us explanations of the magical system etc. Multiple times I had to scroll back to the previous pages just to remember where the author left. And because of all the telling I didn't have the chance to really get to know the characters.
I desperately tried to ignore the butchering of the history of France and Carcassonne in particular but I couldn't. A couple of months ago I had a discussion with a friend concerning historical accuracy in literature (fiction). He told me he's not capable of reading a book that distorts historical events, if he encounters an historical inaccuracy he will abandoned the book. I'm not that strict concerning loose interpretations of historical events in literature, after all I like to read historical romances. It doesn't bother me as long as it is done well and I have a good time. I'm not a purist but I do have a limit. Combining seventeenth century historical personages as Louis XIV etc and the mystery of the man in the iron mask with Carcassonne makes me cringe. Carcassonne is mostly known as 'la cité médiévale', the author could easily have used the cathar crusades and the inquisition in her book, no need the invent new historical events or fall into anachronism. History in itself is already fascinating enough. That's only my opinion of course.
I'm a bit disappointed about what happened with Tomas. I didn't see it coming but it felt like he wasn't supposed to fulfil that role initially when he was created. He gets introduced very early in the story and only completely changes in the last 10% as if suddenly the story needed another villain and had totally another purpose for the Tomas.
I still kind of enjoyed it and will probably read the next one but I hope it will improve.