This book starts by following Baru Cormorant as a young girl in Taranoke when her homeland is taken over by the Masquerade (or the Empire of Masks since they wear masks as part of their public personas). So we see the colonization and the start of the erasure of an indigenous culture and people and it's awful and harsh but I was invested in the character of Baru as a young girl so I was more or less sucked in.
Then she graduates from school and gets sent to this other land to act as Imperial Accountant and it was okay...but there was a lot about monetary policy and then there was a rebellion with battles and I just got kind of...bored. And the ending was therefore pretty meh.
Also it seems like a lot of the peoples who aren't the Masquerade are cool with homosexuality and polyamorous family structures but to the Masquerade those things are "unhygienic" which became more frustrating as the book progressed for reasons that involve spoilers. Maybe this ends up someplace interesting in later books, but I don't think I'll be sticking around to find out.