Well, at least I’ll learn to not trust /r/fantasy recommendations blindly. Praised as a really good piece of German Fantasy, where the author increased the tension by letting dice rolls decide the outcome of battles, I was cautiously optimistic.
But it turns out that the book is one giant slog. The first half introduces all the 16 characters who will fight in the arena in single combat, all of them one-dimensional stereotypes (the aging fighter, the fancy warrior monk, the star fencer, the hero’s son, …). The second half contains the neverending fights, between assholes you don’t care about, who other assholes bet on (good luck keeping track who wins and who loses). I only barely finished the book, and only because I was reading it on paper.