I had read the first couple of Heirs of Alexandria books years ago, and saw this one for free at Baen.Since I had rather fond memories of those first, I gave this one a chance.
The story is interesting enough, but ... the dialog. The dialog is trying so hard. Just so hard. It tries to be smart, funny and clever, but it all comes out as weird, self-conscious, and stilted.
It's like reading the inner voice of a shy teenage boy who deep inside knows he's better and smarter and more honorable than the rest, because otherwise why would he be so lonely and sad?
I hated the dialog.
Also, the way every "good" character is better in every possible way than every "bad" character is grating.
I am now reconsidering if the fond memories of the earlier books are just selective memory, or the desperate gratitude of a fantasy reader in Argentina, where there just wasn't all that much to read at the time.