Another book, the eight, in The Culture series by Iain M. Banks. When I started the book I thought this might be one of those science fiction books that takes place on a distant planet but is basically a medieval story (kings, servants, war). But luckily, pretty soon higher evolved species and The Culture were introduced in the book.
The book switches from character it is following between chapters, enabling you to see the story from different points of view. What I really liked about the book is how it seemed to have one main event at the heart of the story, and the climax turned to be about something else entirely.