Hi, Charlotte! Nice to really meet you. I have to say, your reading nest on the couch sure sounds comfortable!
By the time I finished The Garden of Stones, I liked it, but the first half of the book did take quite a bit of work. Also, I'm right there with you on
2nd most common result!
Short answer, no, although there are characters in it from the First Law trilogy.
I am much more a contemporary or science fantasy person than classic epic/high/medieval fantasy.
I am definitely tired of the Tolkien/D&D