Without the added press of the author being 17, I cannot see how this book was ever published. The writing is childish (as in, elementary school), the characters generally unlikeable, and the story unoriginal in every respect. That said, I did finish the book and read the next one to find out what happened.
Not a bad read, if you don't mind going over VERY familiar territory AND if you weren't raised on Star Wars [the originals mind you] and Lord of the Rings.
Well written, good pace, just not original. And that isn't necessarily a mark against this book for the group it was aimed at, the YA. Get them hooked and then on to bigger and better things :-)
I enjoyed this book. I found it easy to see what the characters were doing and I even cried when a character died in the book. I am looking forward to read the next book. I would recommend this book to anyone who looking for a good fantasy book.