Greg Keyes is a little bit of a confusing author for me. His 'Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone' series is magnificent, but then I read one of his Elder Scrolls novels, and was completely unimpressed. I've got no interest at all in the 'New Jedi Order,' so I'm skipping those. But this is an excellent book. His first published novel, it's not as excellent as 'Kingdoms..' but it feels like the same author, also doing high fantasy. It's got some close-to-stock characters, but it's also intriguing, with appealing drama and a world with convincingly different cultures interacting.
It parallels the story of Hezhi, a sheltered, isolated princess coming of age in a family with strange powers, with the story of Perkar, a young cattle-herder who is selected for a mission to try to gain his tribe more pasture lands. Gods and spirits entwine themselves with their destiny, and it's got some interesting commentary on what it means to be a hero, or a princess. Well-crafted and structured, I'd recommend the book.