After reading some other reviewers' comments, I had to stop and think about their criticisms of the book. While I agree with their comments concerning character development, I found this book to be one of the more enjoyable fantasies I've read in a good while, and I've read quite a few including Jordan's Wheel of Time, Edding's Belgariad/Mallorean, Feist's Magician: series, Goodkind's Sword of Truth, Hambly's Darwath Trilogy, Reichert's Last of the Renshai and J V Jone's Book of Words series, all of which I recommend. Lord of the Isles is a quick read with relatively short chapters, each with a nice little punch at the end. When the characters split up and have separate adventures, the chapters rotate to follow each story simultaneously. I had no trouble following the story or keeping track of who's who. The chapters are often left as cliffhangers, but all the plots are excellent and the shorter chapters don't leave you hanging a long time to find out "what happened to..?". There is very little fat or excess commentary in this book. The magic is pretty mundane in theory and practice, but the narration of effects usually make up for it. If you are looking for a deep, thought provoking book you might want to skip this one, but if you are looking for a page turner with some neat variations to the usual encounters in fantasy, I highly recommend it.