When I started off these two books, what got me into giving them a try was the fact they were taking place in an alternate universe version of Italy, and the story centered around a conflict between two different religious cults. After going through them, I can say that I'm disappointed because of how much I liked them. Let me explain.
The worldbuilding is really great, and it kept me glued to the books to the last page. Even now that I've finished both of them about ten days ago, I still go through both volumes and read snippets regarding it, wishing the was more of it.
And that's my main problem: the story tries to be epic, and given the world and lore it could very well be, but events, characters, relationships and details aren't given enough room to develop. Which is a real pity, and in the end makes all the element that give depth to the story feel almost like a tease. It sort of feels like this saga was supposed to have other books told from the point of view of other characters, but eventually the project fell through.
Again, a real pity. There are so many elements that could have made this a minor classic, but it needed more room to breathe. I hope that the author will pick up this series again and expand on it in the future, there's a lot that still needs to be told and it would be a very really interesting read.