For those of you who think many of the characters seem to be predictable and standard archtypes of the fantasy genre, I'll give you this. Many do start out this way, thats the great thing about this story, as you get to know them more and more they become much less transparent, predictable and multi dimensional as the story and plot thickens. If you stick with it, you'll be surprised at what many of the characters evolve into and how they change through the course of this tale. I assure you this is one of the most popular modern works of fantasy for good reason. Have patience. It'll pay off in spades.