Another great book scarred by an awful cover. Maybe he's born with it...maybe it's Maybelline!
However, it's what's inside that counts, and this book has an awful lot going for it: a hero who serves as a great character and a powerful narrative voice, conflicting familial relationships, dangerous magicians, scary demons, a brotherly bond that never breaks no matter how hard it's bent, a driving plot, mysteries, romance, great one-liners, and constant excitement. I wanted to hurry and finish it while simultaneously reading it forever.
The hero is particularly fascinating, and the author did a good job of making him human, making him seem unfeeling and caring at the same time, and hiding the answer to the mystery surrounding him until the end. You'll think you know the answer...but you don't.
My only complaint was that the secondary characters the two heroes pick up needed some fleshing out, but they weren't cardboard by any stretch of the imagination.
Recommend to: Age 14+, fantasy fans, boys (hooray, a book boys might like, too!)
Don't recommend to: Anyone who only accepts a true, good, honorable, upstanding hero.