I approached this book with some anticipation, thanks to a friend's recommendation. Indeed, as other reviewers note here, the first chapter sets up what could be a brilliant story...and that's where it stops. The characterization is tissue-paper thin, the main character is moronic and the plot is inconsistent. One irritant that crept up on me was the way the author introduces convenient plot devices so often to work his way out of corners. For example, early on, dead characters re-animated by the perished land are soul-less and flesh-hungry zombies, whereas later examples show complete personalities, conscience and goodwill which allows them to intervene in positive ways to help the protagonists. In fantasy, there seems no reason for this inconsistency since the author has the opportunity to embed the seeds of the later story early in the plot. In this case, so often it feels as if Mr Heitz simply sat at his desk and started writing whatever came to mind, without a clear idea of plot development.
As for Tungdil; what can I say? He's just not believable. One is told he feels pain, sorry love and lust, but the author is so journalistic in these descriptions that the reader cannot really feel the emotions. Tolkein, Donaldson, Brooks and others are so much better at immersing us in their characters...perhaps I've been spoiled.
That said, the great shame of this book is just how much potential it has. So many of the incidental characters could have been worked into viable plot drivers. Likewise, descriptions of cities leave the reader yearning for more detail, more history, more intrigue, but the author's seemingly destructive bent sees these jewels wiped from the story before such development can happen.
By all means, if you can't get enough fantasy in your life, read The Dwarves. It won't kill you...but if it does, unlike some of the characters in this story, I wouldn't bother coming back.