As many of you have a tons of questions before starting to read such books, I can assure you that you gonna have a millions more of them once you start. I have to admit that in 20 years I haven't read a single book above 150 pages which means this - as a first one was a huge step over the ocean. I'm far from being native english speaker and I'd rate my english skills with a score of 6.5/10, so if you're anywhere near close to those statistics you can view the following paragraphs from my point of view.
For who is the book: The book is for anyone who loves epic fantasy, sorcery, assassinations, wars, magic encounters, mysteries, twisting stories and for the one's that would like to take their english skills to the next level.
For who is not:: /
What to expect: First - confusion. I'm gonna put it this way: first 200 pages are confusing as hell. You won't be sure what you're reading, you won't be sure who is who or what they're doing and why. Don't give up! After this, comes the best part, 450 pages of awesomeness. The story is great and it's pretty clearly written. You'll start getting it and it's meaning, you get to know who the main characters are and what they want to achieve, but still, be sure that a little confusion with the mysteries is gonna be present throughout the entire book. Keep on reading, cause as you do it, the things start falling together into a one big masterpiece and everything gets clearer at the end. Now the last part, last 50 pages are like semi-hard to understand. So many things going on, that you have to read it really slowly to fully understand it, so pay attention! Expect yourself scrolling to the first pages, throughout the book loads of times as that's where the map and characters are. EXPECT YOURSELF GETTING HOOKED!
What not to expect: You should NOT expect an easy read at all cause information you gonna need are far from being given on a plate. Oh, and don't expect forum members to spoil you stuff cause all you gonna get is "RAFO "
Tips'n tricks: I'd advise you not to read the book if you're asleep, cause all you gonna achieve is scrolling through the pages with not a single clue what you're reading. Steven Erikson made it that way, that you actually gotta put some effort into it. Wiki! Wiki is your best friend and all you need to know is there, BUT I warn you...it contains spoilers! Make sure to have open google translate while reading, or to have a dictionary nearby. The words that are not familiar, search them up and write them down, as it turns out that Steven used most of the "complex" words again and again. For better or even complete understanding, an immediate re-read is worth doing for anyone trapped in a state of total confusion!
Good luck, hope you found this helpfull.
Edit: For the ones that have already read the book, if you have any tips what to add/change, let me know, I'll try to keep the post updated.
Edit 2: Updated Egwene's tips!
This post has been edited by Aftertime: 08 August 2014 - 03:42 PM