I added this book to my rather unreliable mental grab-a-copy-if-you-see-it when cadhla kindly recommended it in answer to my question in a discussion in her journal of what would be a good book to try to see if I like Stephen King. Fortuitously, my mom's house guest had a very battered but still readable copy of the book, which I borrowed.
I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting, since the point of the exercise was to read an author I had not read before but that a lot of people seem to like a lot. But I was still somewhat surprised (not unpleasantly) to find that this book was written in a very down-home, chatty, easy-to-read style. It was pleasant and quick to read (though it still took a while for me to finish the book, because it was mostly read in "a few minutes before I go to sleep" chunks, and as I have frequently mentioned, I'm a slow reader.
It was a solid fantasy story; not earthshakingly original, but not so cliche as to be unpleasant for me to read. The characters were not astonishingly well done, but they were presented believably and interested me enough to pull me into the story. The plot was simple and short on surprises, but not so completely obvious that I felt that I didn't need to read the book.
On the whole, a solidly enjoyable book. No significant flaws limited my enjoyment, but it wasn't truly exceptional. I give it an 8 out of 10.