Tongues of Serpents, by Naomi Novik
The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
I kvetched on Twitter about the first female character in this book not appearing until page 92 or thereabouts, and then other female characters only showing up every 80-100 pages or so. But that's a bit two-faced considering that I didn't kvetch the same way about the book above it in this month's list, which contains even fewer (human) female characters, one of whom only appears in letters. Oh, well.
After thinking about it, the difference for me between the two books is that in Novik's, the characters are in the military of their time, which had very few roles for women, so lack of women in the story feels less jarring for the world building. Whereas in this book, it made the world feel half-populated for me, for a significant portion of the book. The lack of women felt more glaring because the world building DOES seem to allow women to hold power and doesn't treat them as inferiors. They are simply absent for a long time, even though the ones that do appear play fairly significant parts.
Aside from that, this is an epic with an intriguing feel.
Sandman Slim, by Richard Kadrey