Very rarely do I allow myself to read reviews before reading a book myself. Part of that is because I have been burned too many times by those who refuse to mark and hide their spoilers. But also I don't want to let the opinions of others have undue influence on how a book affects me.Instead I use the time between finishing a book and composing my own review to read the thoughts and opinions of others. I knew this book had a ridiculously high overall rating, so the many 5 star reviews were no surprise. But I was surprised by the many 1 star votes and by the very virulence that some of them seem to contain.I have disliked many books in my life, but never have I held a personal hatred towards them or the person who penned them. (The closest would be Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, and that was mostly because I forced myself painfully to finish it even though I found it not at all enjoyable.)The main character has by turns been called unlikeable and "Gary-Stu"-esque. I can't really argue his likeability factor as that is a highly subjective characteristic. However the other matter could not be further from the truth. Yes, as legend tells he is perfect and strong and amazingly smart and powerful. But throughout the whole story you are constantly reminded how many of the amazing descriptors given him, and the fanciful stories in which he stars have an entirely different explanation. and come on, how many times does his enemy get the better of him, does he get caught and whipped/punished, does he NOT get the girl, does he not get want he wants at the University...ie. to study with the Master of Names or access to the Archives....and on and on and on For those who argue that the book is long, yet incomplete...I guess It was expected. He's telling a 3 day story, and this book is referred to as "Day 1".Anyway, I wavered between 4.5 and 5 stars, but the life circumstances that prevented me from devouring this book as I wanted to worked well to draw out the anticipation and left me always wanting to return to this world, and my fierce desire to defend it left me feeling a bit passionately about it.Additional pros: The author is from my Home state of Wisconsin, and I confess that always excites me. I mean we need something beyond Beer, Cheese and the Packers. I found the description of Magic Sympathy to be quite fascinating.I kind of liked that it was light on the Romance. Maybe I just read too much Chick Fantasy (Or as Felicia Day refers to it "Vaginal-Fantasy") where the romantic aspect can sometimes be overwhelming. All in all, I'm irritated that I let this sit on my too read pile so long!