While the writing is excellent, be aware that you will need to really love worldbuilding in order to enjoy this book. If you love Tolkien's Similarion, this book is for you.
Otherwise, start reading at the start of Chapter 12, and skip the first 3/4 of the book. This is the place where the story actually starts. Any important details you missed are covered again in the last 6 chapters. This book is aptly named, as the antagonist doesn't actually make a move or do anything until the very last chapter of the book.
The rest of the book the characters are receiving very vague portents of doom, and we learn almost every nation is fighting with almost every other nation. The world in the novel is the same state as the world in about 1890s, except there is some steampunk technology, magic, oh - and dragons, of course.
The pace of the novel never gets above 'slow' until the very last chapter.
However, now that author got all that worldbuilding and omens of doom out of the way, maybe something of interest will actually happen in book 2?