This was a re-read for me - but it's been over 20 years since I first read it. It's interesting to come back to something after so long. I'm happy that I still really, really liked it.
It's a reading experience that's more like experiencing a poem or a song than a typical novel. This is not to say that the plot is not clear and easy to follow (if anything, the plot might be overly simple, given such a rich and complex universe), but it is suffused with almost a synaesthesia of the senses, with music and glittering darkness. It's full of weird and wonderful imagery.
That said, perhaps some people might find it dated in some ways - personally, I found it giving me a nostalgia for the time period when it was written, which was much more filled with over-the-top fantasy, with an unabashed flair for the dramatic. Although this is sci-fi, it's definitely aesthetically influenced by the goth scene of the time, and reminds me of when goth was all about beauty, decadence and playing at cruelty and power, skirting the edges of convention. Some people found goth rock too bombastic too. I don't.
I wish Somtow would write more SF. Being a conductor is all very nice and worthwhile, but.... More Books! :-)
For now, I think I'll re-read this entire series.