This is the best of all the books, which to me is really saying something because they are all brilliant. Lots of background story, action, emotions, puppy love, and dark moments. I hate to think that I've only got one more book to read and then the adventure is over. But this series will be one of the few things that I ever read more than once. I will be reading it several more times over the stretch of my life, I'm sure of that. I'd recommend it to anyone that likes a story that lets you get to know and feel strongly about the characters, and wants a good, interesting plot. I'm not a fantasy fan, and still found this to be the best thing since sliced bread. Read it!