The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon
is required reading for any aspiring fantasy novelist. It's just as detailed and well-imagined as anything Tolkien ever wrote, but it couldn't be more different. Ditching magic and the English countryside completely, it presents a world full of wonders and horrors that also serves as a mirror of our own world.
It's a shame, though, that the actual storyline is not particularly original or interesting and that the books are rather overwritten. This could have been a shorter, leaner and better story. By far the most problematic element is its protagonist, though: Carnelian is a well-meaning guy, but for very large parts of the syory, he is weak and spineless. With a more proactive protagonist, this story might have been much more enjoyable.
If you're looking for some amazing worlbuilding, then by all means check out The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon
. But be warned: the journey can be a slog at times.