I'm conflicted. Part of me is glad I'm done reading because it's so long, but on the other hand, I feel like the characters have become a part of me and I'm sad to see them go. Really sad. There were so many vivid scenes that are memorable in my mind. It's hard to explain, but when you are reading and you can picture a scene that's happening down to the most extreme detail in your own mind, then I believe you have an excellent piece of fiction in your hands(or on your computer).The battle scenes are extremely well-written. Appropriate amount of action, gore, and detail. Somehow the book manages to cover every aspect of fantasy without being cheesy in any way. The climactic battle scene is just wow. It captures all the tension and I almost feel as if I'm standing there right next to the fighters. This is a artfully done character driven novel with extremely deep and dimensional characters either likable or unlikable, but really detailed either way. A lot of the characters I like have died already. This makes me sad.I read an interview the author did where he said Pael was evil. but likable. I didn't find him to be likable at all. He is grotesquely creepy. Just my observation. This is not a bad thing.At this point I favor Vaegon, Hyden and Mikhail the most, and Loudin....but well. And now Vaegon is gone also. Sigh..my heart aches.And I am in love with Claret. I want a dragon of my very own. And the sword Ironspike feels like it has its very own personality. Strange(I wrote this paragraph while I was still reading).Also, I would like to add a personal thought to this review. I read something the author posted somewhere about the fact that a publisher turned him down because they didn't believe him to be stable enough to make an investment in. I thing this is a shame, because his writing is amazing and I believe it would sell like crazy. It appears as though he's making more money publishing on his own though so good for him. And it's definitely their loss. They missed out.Such a great epic fantasy, I mean it was magical, emotional, and really drew me in, but when you decide to read it you are making a Stephen King type commitment. This is a long book. But it is so worth the read. There are self-published gems out there.