Some wizards try to re-capture an artifact that could end the world, but get caught up in wars, petty conflicts, their own desires, centuries-old curses, the works. This book is much less generic than both the title and this summary make it sound. A lot about it feels unique – like A Song of Ice and Fire crossed with Malazan.
This feeling comes from two things: The characters have unique (or at least unusual) profiles despite their flatness, and their one or two adjectives drive the plot more than anything else. And: the plot is full of twists and doesn’t follow tropes (or jumps from trope to trope so fast that it nearly doesn’t matter).
This book didn’t really work for me – everything is very “this thing happens, then the next thing happens”, and as with Malazan, it’s very much a window into a huge world. Either you get into the world (read all the books, make all the connections), or it will always be part of a bigger picture that you miss.