Thanks Tim, that's really interesting. it's great that they gave you a lot of creative freedom and the final say in the matter. It seems as though publishers are aware that one of the things that appeals to readers of the fantasy genre is something different rather than the formulaic. I guess escapism isn't escapism without some surprises. I'm writing a book myself that does fantasy a little differently (although there definitely a touch bit of Vancian picaresque in there), so I'm very glad to see that publishers can be open-minded.