A pretty good end to the series (and what a wait it has been!). Just about every loose thread has been tied off and Mat's POV was entertaining (as usual). However, Sanderson's dialogue was clunky at times and some of the sub-plots a little too contrived. I make special note of the Faile and the Horn of Valere episode through most of which I was grinding my teeth rather loudly. The last battle with the Dark One was also more disappointing than not. That said, I am reasonably satisfied.
A sequel to The Curse of Chalion, PoS (bad initialism?) is almost as enjoyable. However, it is a little too sappy and too, dare I say it, feminine in its atmosphere. The universe is nevertheless nicely developed.
If you enjoyed its prequel, you will enjoy this one as well.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman is an award winner and a heavily hyped book. While there were riveting passages and some nice character build-up, I thought that the plot itself was rather weak.
Recommended if you are into mythology and particularly Norse mythology.
The Hobbit is the prequel to LotR and reads like a special episode as it has a lot of the same atmosphere, but is relatively scant on details. Recommended reading if you liked Tolkien's opus magnum.
An offering by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion is undoubtedly a page-turner which is primarily, and oddly, based on the concocted theology of the Quintarian/Quadrene faith. While the authoress does not provide enough background for the mysticism to bear close scrutiny, there is enough of a structure for it to be fascinating (which is more or less all that you want in fantasy).
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is the first book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series for "young adults". Even though I do not fall in the aforementioned demographic, I decided to give it a whirl as I've heard mention of this novel on the Interwebz. Well, after a breezy read, my recommendation is to not bother. While it might make for good reading for young adults, I expect that it will fare pretty poorly in the hands of anybody above the age of say, eighteen.
While it is the fifth book of the Earthsea cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Other Wind" is more like a direct sequel to "Tehanu", the previous book in the series. Compared to the other books, this one has many more characters and attempts to create "grand" fantasy. IMHO, it fails in this respect. It also loses the key element that underpins this series, its serene atmosphere.
While I found its denouement interesting and fulfilling, I was on the whole quite disappointed with its flow and characters.
Tehanu is the fourth book in the Earthsea cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin. Written almost a couple of decades later when the author was nearing 60, it has a more mature, feminine feel to it. The central character is Tenar (from book 2) who has now grown old, and her relationship with everyone and everything around her. It's a slow-paced but measured read which is for a good portion of the first half, almost like a side-story. Things pick up once Ged makes his entry.
A good read if you like the Earthsea universe. However, it is not standard fantasy fare.
As book three of the Earthsea cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin, this one had some living up to do and it does. The story takes place a few decades after its prequel and involves another quest by Ged along with a passenger, a young prince, as they investigate the reason why magic is being drained from Earthsea. The atmosphere is just as harmonious as the other books in the series and the imagination, magnificent. There are a few areas that do not flow very smoothly. But, by and large, this is an excellent read.
This is the sequel to The Wizard of Earthsea and while a little underwhelming, is a nice read. The protagonist from the first book does play an important part in this book. However, he does not appear until half-way through and primarily plays the role of a mentor-like supporting figure to the central character, a young girl brainwashed by religion.
I wish the Miyazakis had made this book into a movie rather than some shambolic hodge-podge combination of the lot.