I kept hearing about Peter S Beagle, so I kept trying his books. I read about half of "The Last Unicorn", and couldn't be bothered to finish it. I read "A Fine and Private Place", and it was OK - well written and unusual, but that's as far as I would go. Then I read "The Folk of the Air" and I thought: what is a writer this good, doing writing a book like that? Is it a famous author, writing a "genre" book under a pseudonym, or what?
And then I read "The Inkeeper's Song" and I fell hopelessly, shamelessly in love with it. Never mind the obligatory supernatural climax, which thankfully does not end the book. Never mind some quibbles about plot mechanics. The book is populated by compellingly vivid characters, who by the end become utterly real people, living in a real world. This is writing of a quality verging on magical, which leaves one with the lasting impression of knowing the book's characters in all their quirky, individual humanity - and caring for them!
So, ignore those who say that "The Inkeeper's Song" is not up to Beagle's best standard. It IS Beagle's best standard! Just don't read it in the "quick - what happens next?" frame of mind. Read it, and get to know Rosseth, Neyteneri, Lal (Swordcane Lal, Saylor Lal, Lal Alone, Lal After Dark) and all the others. It is worth it. Believe me it is worth it! And I don't rave easily.