I jumped into this book with little knowledge of other major fantasy authors and novels. Keep in mind that this book is over two decades old. I don't particularly think that makes the writing lacking,. Though I think it's important to mention to someone who's comparing this story with the action packed neo-literary styles of 2016 fantasy epics.
I liked the romance story in the book. You almost find you're more worried about the main characters falling out of love than getting tortured to near death. With the main hero being as stupidly clumsey as possible, it's a suprise that he made it out of The Shire...I mean Westland. Though in some ways it's more relatable characterization to give characters flaws. I actually liked a lot of the flaws, like Zedd with his eating. There was some really well written comic relief. Which is in no way of saying there wasn't some HARDCORE serious times during the story as well.
There was a character in the story that was basically Smeagle (golem) (from the Lord of the Rings saga). I found that character, and some similar aspects kind of a rip off.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story. I liked how epic the ending was and can't imagine there was enough left over to make a sequil out of. It really really annoys me when I think an author takes from a novel in order to give to it's sequel and I'm very happy that it seems nothing of the sort was done to this story.