I've been hooked on reading since before I was six, and over the past twelve-or-so years, I think I may well have read more than 500 books (not including repeats), and this, as one of very few, trapped me completely, as I practically witnessed the events going on like I was stuck in some holodeck adventure. (Trekkies know what I mean). The author has a way of actually transferring the emotions of the characters into the readers. Either that, or I'm way overdue for my psych evaluation.
Putting it shortly: provided the reader has even a grain of imagination he/she will Feel. Feel, as in share the pain, the loss, the laughs and the joys of Arien, Cat or any of the cast.
And while waiting for the sequel, you can ask yourself whether or not also you know an Alphonse, or a Greyquin, or even a Cat. For such is the cast, that should you manage to ignore the matter of species, elven or orc etc. you may find friends of yours riding through the forest, on occasion even family.
Life is simple. Death is simple. Living is the hard part. (I won't get in trouble for quoting, will I?)