Tough book to get into. At first I was tempted to just give up and put it down. There were a lot of characters and references to ancient races, gods, people and things I didn't understand. Although he provides a guide, who wants to read 5+ pages of a list of people, titles and places and a quick description?
Then suddenly I found I couldn't put it down! Erikson has a beautiful writing style. Its the type of style that is beautifully descriptive and if you skim, you may miss an important detail. Even the blurbs at the beginning of each chapter is relevant. Stick with it. It will be worth it. I truly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next one!