I just wanted to give it 5 stars to support its rating and offset some of the bad reviews (hee hee). Well, ok, I'll try to help out those wondering if they should buy this book.
The plot: the farmer Prince of Hed with a birth mark of three stars on his forehead leaves his country to marry his betrothed, Raederle (which I think is the name of an Irish princess, so my Irish friend Caerhball told me). Anyway, our hero's journey is cut short by an ambush, and he is forced to "answer the unanswered riddles": who or what are the cold and cruel shape changers chasing him? Who really is the harpist that travels with him? What are the stars on his head? To answer these questions, the Prince of Hed goes on a journey to ask the High One, the ruler of all of the lands.
And it goes on from there.
It's a trilogy full of raw emotions, darkness, silence, and dreamlike poetry.
This story is not new to me. I'm 23 years old now, and it was 11 years ago when I first picked up the Heir of Sea and Fire (the second part of this trilogy), which pulled me into the fantasy genre. It's a part of who I am--it's like wherever I go, I take all of the seriousness, maturity, and innocence embodied in this trilogy with me, because it has helped shaped who I am today. Thus, it's neither a typical story nor story-telling.
It attracts only certain types of people--people lusting after color and richness and people appreciating not just the end of a story, but the process of getting there as well. If you're up for the challenge, read it.