This is quite simply one of the best books I have read. The story is the classic young innocent against evil older power; the main character initially learns from the evil elder, and is forced to confront him in the end. All of the character's stories are explored both in the present and the past through brilliant use of storytelling and description, it is a true classic. Gripping, and powerful. Even the incidental characters are rounded and interesting - it is quite simply flawless.