This is the first book in an incredibly long series. The promise is that if you read this book you will probably love it and have no choice but to get and read the next one. The warning is that the story just goes on and on and on. I gave up about half way through book 9 - bored rigid. I can't praise the start of the series highly enough but just bear in mind that (unless you have a preternaturally long attention span), it will keep going long after you've lost the will to continue reading it. And the beginning of the series is the best of the series. Just my opinion mind you, but I think 3 books - a trilogy - is long enough for a story. Four or five is stretching it and after that there's repetition, padding and boredom. So my recommendation is, read this book and carry on reading the series until you've had enough. Don't buy the whole series at once. Buy one or two books at a time. Recognise your own boredom threshold when you reach it. I borrowed book one and liked it so much that I bought the next eight books straight after finishing it and then began to regret the impulsive outlay somewhere around book six. Having abandoned book nine about 3 years ago I haven't been tempted to pick it up again. Shame not to finish a story but it doesn't look as though it's ever going to end in any case.