All in all, it is too cliched, in a genre prone to that. The Dark Lord, sealed by some cataclysm, and yet leaking out. The Young Heroes from a distant shire, helped by people who turn out to be far more important than they thought. And so on. It felt like he'd used up all his ideas, thin as they were, in volume one; and was unlikely to do more.
Here's a quote from a review that says some of what I mean:
It's clear that he's trying to build a massive, detailed world, but it's not an interesting, original world. It wouldn't be so bad if the lengthy asides were interesting, in and of themselves. If each little piece was amusing in its own right, we might forgive. But instead, we get dry, lengthy explanations of extraneous facts that we have no reason to be curious about.To be fair, another review also says something of what I found, in that whilst somewhat unoriginal it can be a fun read.