This book begins the quartet of "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn," and is one of the better fantasy series currently available for reading. Well written, with a developed mythos, good characterization, and solid plotting, this series must stand as one of the better, if not among the best, of the fantasy series availble for reading. Much of the story and world are freshly rendered, and rarely does the reader encounter the overly familiar or implausible contrivances that plague so much of contemporary fantasy fiction. Nor are the characterizations idealized or juvenile. While this series does not rise, for me, to the imaginary involvement of works such as "Lord of the Rings," the first three "Chronicles of Thomas Covenant," Bradley's "Mists of Avalon," Kay's work since "Fianovar," and Martin's or Jordan's (despite its flaws) ongoing series, nonetheless, I cannot recommend this quartet highly enough.
One note of caution: Action addicts may have difficulty with the "Stone of Farewell" as the first 150 pages are devoted to establishing background and character development of the main protagonist, but I believe if they perservere, only the true adrenelin junkie will feel short-changed. And for you, there is always Eddings or Brooks or comics.