Trudi Canavan writes long books. Looooong books. This can make an authors writing very vulnerable as it places under the microscope. All aspects of the writing have to be excellent; language, world creation, plot, character development. And, Trudi has done this excellently. She weaves a completely gripping tale with good-sized chapters that jump between key moments of action. It must take her forever to map it all out!
I also love the way her characters take shape. For example, I didn't like Talia to begin with... she was a weak and insipid character, endlessly frustrating. But she grew very quickly through harsh experience into a likable character.
But the plot is definitely the jewel in The Rogue's crown.
Oh, and the cliffhanger! I simply can't wait for the third and final installment!