I’ve never read Dresden Files. This is my first book by Jim Butcher, but it will not be my last.
I think the author did an excellent job of painting an intricate fantasy setting without ever resorting to exhaustive exposition. The world-building elements were instead woven seamlessly into the narrative. There are many things about the Cinder Spire world that remain a mystery. However, this volume contained more than it needed to tell the current tale. That which is still hidden only adds to the anticipation of coming volumes.
I appreciated the strong, well-defined characterization. While it could be stated that most characters strayed little from common tropes (Some dialog between Grim and Journeyman has previously been uttered by Kirk and Scotty), I still considered them to be comforting reminders that were well executed.
If you’re searching for true steampunk, I’d say this only bares a passing resemblance. But definitely worth the plunge.