When going through books on GR, and you find a book with just 20+ reviews and an average rating of 4.47, you just have to give it a try. Because there's books with 10,000+ reviews and an average rating of less than 3.9. Some books, while extremely popular, are totally shit, Twilight for example. While some virtually unknown books deserve to be at the top of book lists. Wytchfire belongs to the latter category.
There's lots of really good authors out there. While some authors shoot to fame on the back of top publishers like Tor and Gollancz, others have to face a tougher and more difficult climb to the top. Michael Meyerhofer belongs to the latter category.
Wytchfire is one of the best books I've read this year, and I've read some spanking good books this year. The writing is better than good. I think comparisons are due here, to give a better picture of just how good. Its better than Mark Lawrence. It's better than Joe Abercrombie. Mind you, this is my opinion so if you think otherwise, no qualms. I just advise you read this book first, before coming to any conclusion.
The plot is brilliant. Doesn't take long to ignite. It's fast paced. Very little by way of the idle chitchat that makes the books in the Lightbringer series so long. It's action packed: from start to finish. So much action, you're swept away. So much action you lose track of time while reading. Everything is so vivid.
Employing a lot of magic in fantasy writing can backfire, as it can deviate too much from the plot. This book is an exception to the rule. While magic heavy, it doesn't distract from the storyline. And the book is really magic heavy. As magic heavy as the Sword of Truth and LoTR series. The book combines a magic-heavy plot with a fast paced storyline, all penned in beautiful, flowing writing.
Then there's the characters. While other readers may see it differently, the characters are kind of gray. There's two sides. Each fighting for what they feel is the right thing. One side is wreaking revenge on the other due to the amount of evils it has suffered at the hands of the other over a long period of time. It's not its fault, imo. I'd do the same. The other side is on the defensive, with plenty of conflicts on their own part... Unlike most other books, the conflict is not fixed, but rather flexible. It contracts and retracts with the movement of the plot. It gives the entire thing the picture of something that changes its shape with the influence of external factors. I don't know how best to explain it. Just read it for yourselves if you want to know. Infact, that's my recommendation to everyone who reads this review.
I immediately proceed to book 2.