I can see why some people might not like this book - it's huge, and drags in some places. However, it's a gripping read and I was hooked from start to finish.
It's not a typical fantasy novel, I feel - or perhaps just not the sort that I tend to read. I found it a lot more serious than books I usually read, though not in a negative way. The depth of the narration makes it easy to empathise with the characters, although I must admit that the way some of them behave (including the main character, in fact) occasionally had me wondering if they were the sort of people I would like to know.
As someone mentioned, it has a slight dry part, around two-thirds/three quarters of the way in (about half-way through 'The Wizard'), but I still enjoyed reading it. As for the comment about magic being used to finish the story in a satisfactory way (a happy ending), the theme of the entire story is honour, and Sir Able has promised not to use his gifts, and only uses them when forced to.
The book reads as though it could continue at the end, which I hope very much it will - it's always sad to reach the end of a good story, especially one as long and involving as this - if I get the chance to follow Sir Able again, I certainly will. This book will definitely be re-read.