So, apparently I'm in the minority of neither loving nor hating this book. There were some problems, but overall it was pretty decent.
I'm not a huge fan of the author's prose. The book could have probably lost considerable bulk without losing any of the atmosphere, intricacy, plot, or complexity. There's a lot of repeated words/phrases/ideas. A metric fuck-tonne of foreshadowing, which doubles up, to not just plumping up the book, but making nothing a surprise. Ever.
Most of the characters were decent enough. I did like a lot of the secondary characters a lot better than the main character.
The world building was glorious. Set in an alternate earth, populated by the offspring of angels/Jesus, you could still identify the places, religions, and cultures of our world.
I actually liked the little amount of blatant magic that was present least, because the alternate world was more interesting without it (specifically the Master of the Straights stuff).
So yeah, Phedre was born a gorgeous d'Angeline except for one flaw, which marks her as one who feels "pleasure in pain" and raised by someone who uses her to spy, which is incredibly useful since the major players of the court are all into bdsm(?). I found the sex in it to be neither very shocking or exciting, just there as a tool, which means I probably read too much smut, because I wouldn't qualify this book as erotica. I did like the society that sees sex as natural ("Love as thou wilt") and joyful and free, and not puritanically weird/shameful/disgusting like mainstream American culture.
The fact that Phedre is a Mary-sue, sexin' her way through the entire world-scape and in the middle of (and fixing!) everything didn't really bug me, because I did enjoy all of the intrigues.
The plots (with the houses/leaders of Terra d'Ange/Skaldi/Alba) and twists and machinations of the different leaders were delightfully fun (but again, not terribly surprising because, foreshadowing).
There were plenty of things that could be picked apart, but it was overall a rather solid book with good characters. I probably would have given it a 4 star if she hadn't set the end of the book up for a sequel (which I own and was going to read anyway). She had a great ending, and then ruined it.
So overall - Worldbuilding was A++, most of the characters were pretty solid, lots of interesting/entertaining characters of both sexes, powerful women (yay!), but it was just the writing that turned me off to liking it more, which was particularly disappointing because the first thing I ever read by Carey was a short story that I adored.