I got a free copy from his website, and since I've read Permanence, Lady of Mazes and his Virga series. It was interesting. It started out looking like it would be a bog standard fantasy, or one where 'nanotech'='magic'. Schroeder introduces Jordan Mason and a bit of his low tech world. Well, by the end of the scond chapter, it was clear it was well beyond that and taking off at high speed. We met a mysterious stranger, Calandria May, and her companion, Axel, from off world. And while the world Ventus is isolated from the larger human universe, that larger human universe plays an important role. In fact, I wasn't clear until I read Ventus that Schroeder is writing novels in a shared universe, the same one as Lady of Mazes. You'll recognize some elements - the Government of the Archipelago and 3340 in particular.
Like a lot of Schroeder's work he introduces a philosophical point, specifically thalience, a form of non-human artifical intelligence. And to be honest, I know I can't do the concept justice other than that its not the traditional human understandable AI that can be found in most SF.
Now, did I like it? Yes, I did. I sort of liked Jordan at first - then he grew on me. He also didn't do the usual angsty bits of young protagonists in novels. He used his brain. Calandria May I didn't care for much at all. Yes, I get she's a profoundly damaged person, but there wasn't a lot to hang sympathy on. Axel I liked - I always like swashbuckling types like that. The one I was most surprised I liked was Armiger. His rediscovery of self and free will after a long service to 3340 and his fate I liked. I even felt sorry for him.
All in all, I liked it. Go get a copy from Schroeder's website, buy or trade the book, or raid the local library. It was fun and thought provoking.