I picked this book on the suggestion I saw on Twitter of @mikeyk (one of the co-founders of Instagram, and coincidentally an alum of Stanford HCI like me), and really liked it.
It’s pretty straight-up high fantasy, but much better written and way more inventive than most. It’s a thousand page book, the first in what’s intended to be a ten volume series, so it’s gonna take a while to get all the way to the end — the second book isn’t expected to be out until later in 2012.
Even so, I really recommend it. There’s something really disorienting, but awesome, about the opening book in a new universe — so much you don’t know yet, so many interactions that have nuance and backstory that you only really start to understand as you go through — lots of stuff just doesn’t make any sense except out of the corner of your eye on the first reading. It’s a confused feeling, but fun at the same time.
If you like this type of book (and if you don’t know exactly what I mean when I say that, trust me, you don’t like this type of book), I highly recommend it.