The first time I read book #1 in the series, I was confused and had a hard time keeping track of all the characters. I found it to be a difficult read. I remember then going through book #2 and it felt like a new book with tons of new characters added in. I stopped reading the series after that.

Finally, last spring, I reread book #1. I remembered most of the book, but now I finally got to learn the characters and I had a better understanding of what was going. I now realize, there are just some books you have to read twice. There is a touch of comedy in the book that made me look forward to reading more about certain characters.

I read book #2 over the summer and everything made a lot more sense to me and I was able to easily follow along with the characters and the rich story. Again, the bit of comedy added in always gets a good laugh.

Book #3, I read this one in September/October. It reads as a story that is happening during the same time frame as book #2. Wonderfully done with the way Erikson is able to overlap things to give you an idea of where the story is at from the earlier book.

Book #4. I'm not even halfway through this book yet. I started off being introduced to yet another set of new characters. I wasn't too impressed with them to begin with, but I found myself drawn into their struggle the more I read. By the end of Part 1, I liked the main character and was rooting for him. The story then gets itself caught up to timeline for the end of books #2 and #3. And, the story is finally continuing, but it's more like a continuation of book #2 at this point. There was only a brief chapter about some of the characters from book #3, but that was early in the book and it's been a long time since they've come back in.

So, there is a lot of jumping around between many different characters. The hard part was learning the characters but I finally got past that by reading the first book a second time. After that, the story is epic and fun to read. Occasionally, I get bored with certain characters, but it's maybe 2% of the story. The Harry Potter books was closer to 10% if you need a reference.