I have loved this book since I first read it almost ten years ago. It has all the elements of magic and history that you would expect from an epic fantasy like this but above all else this is a book about people: their joys, their pain and their passions. Read it and weep (and laugh and fear and fall in love with it). For my money, Dianora is one of the most richly written female characters I have ever had the pleasure to encounter. If you are coming to Guy Gavriel Kay for the first time, don't start with this one as he has yet to match it. Start with the Lions of Al-Rassan or A Song for Arbonne and work up this this one. All are wonderful books but this one will always stay with you and you'll find yourself going back to it again and again.