This book starts a series so good that I needed to make a whole new category of rating books to contain it. I have read several people say that it starts to slow, but I would argue that it instead doesn't rush. This book's pacing is slow, but that just gives us time to endear ourselves to the characters and to understand the epic world he has created. The world is so complex and beautiful that David Eddings needs time to develop it to make the story work. The epic lore and old english are my favorite parts of the book because it adds so much character to the world. More than any other series I have ever read I felt like I was part of the book. Embarrassingly I once or twice found myself acting out parts of the book without my knowledge of doing so because I was so engrossed in the book. I could very well have been standing next to Garion for the whole adventure. While it might be a bit formulaic it works better than any other book of that formula even Lord of the Rings and it doesn't feel formulaic. None of the plot points feel like they were introduced to follow the formula, instead they feel natural extensions of what is happening. On top of that the prophesy in done in such an original way that it is not at all cliche. Never have I gotten more attached to a set of better set of really likable characters. Everything in this book is high quality and every time I reread it I'm reminded how all other books are inadequate in comparison.