When I was 13 and I read this, it blew me away. I loved every minute of it. Despite these fond memories, that does not prevent me from recognising that this was deeply formulaic fantasy trash that unashamedly revelled in rehashing all the well worn cliches of the genre. Hence my three star rating. My rating at the age of 13 would have been five stars. If I had read it for the first time now, I would probably have given it one star.