I read this book about 5-Jun-2018. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2018. This note was last modified Friday, 17-Aug-2018 19:19:16 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Graydon says "This isn't a Commonweal story. This is something Past Me wrote, and referred to as The Doorstop."
I believe it's been through a lot of history to reach its current state, and I would say it's not as clean or as well-structured as the Commonweal books.
What it does have is a world and a society wildly different from anything else anywhere (including the Commonweal), which works to not waste people's abilities too badly (partly because the world is harsh enough they can't afford to). That means it's not a hell-hole for very many people (mostly volunteers, though they may not realize it).
We have shape-shifters, we have dinosaurs (the feathered kind), we have multiple kinds of magic. We have kings who personally earn their kingship by being good at what they do (seed king, wit king, green king, and such). We have new land being opened. We have agreements formed with the Jotun Folk (term from Scandinavian mythology, in this book they appear to be or represent the land itself; related to the conscious terrain in the Commonweal now that I think of it).
Again, there is no apparent connection between that world and this one, except for names of things. Since it's written in this world in a language of this world I don't think it's proper to take that as any sort of proof of connection; just, no point in having to explain (and learn) each name of a new species. There are enough really new species as it is.
Again, I'm sure I missed a lot of references and connections, and there are things I didn't understand that were probably explained. Graydon writes densely, and he's counting on the reader to hold up their end. I read this fairly casually (and not in big chunks). Still, I enjoyed reading it, which is the important part for me. No doubt I will read it again some day, and get some of those things next time.
Okay, let me try that a different way. Somebody who prefers Doc Smith to Jane Austen (me) read this book casually, for amusement, and found it to be quite good. So, while there are people who might find reading it to be hard work, I wouldn't worry about that if the things I and other reviewers say it does well interest you. If those things don't interest you, well, you're not even tempted, so don't worry about it.