Not as bad as the dragon on the cover led me to believe.
Actually, quite good - a nice little fantasy, with adult themes, wrapped up in a normal-sized volume.
I would have said this could be marketed as a young adult if it weren't for certain of those adult themes...
It starts out with quite a hook; Ward is 19 and the son of an abusive father; he's been pretending to be an idiot for seven years to keep from being killed. Of course he's the scion of a noble family, etc., etc. But all in all this has a quite different feel from your typical coming-of-age fantasy quest; grittier and uglier.