Helliconia Spring by Brian Aldiss - 3 out of 5.
555 pages (in my edition anyway) is to many for this story & it's only book one of a trilogy. That is my main problem with this book. The pages go by & not a great deal happens, a shame really because it's pretty well written & in the most part quite entertaining. There is some great intrigue in here, but it can get lost amongst all the waffle. It's just all too slow.
The first 125 pages are really just a prelude in the form of an (almost) self contained novella.