I dutifully read the introduction which was supposed to be a helpful aid, but was instead a mind-numbing litany of linages and alliances, none of which stuck in my head. With relief I finally started Chapter One and was bored to death for the first 50-60 pages, reading on only because I had spent my husband's hard-earned money on the book.
Then the story started, and it was a right good one. I fell asleep with visions of dragons and orcs and ill-fated maidens and valiant-but-flawed heroes. It was a grand adventure and I do indeed recommend it. Just skip the intro, slog through the first bit, and brace yourself for the Shakespearian ending.