I know it's been said many times before but allow me to reiterate -- this book is sure similar to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books. I won't get into any of the detailed comparisons as there are whole websites dedicated to this accusation. Suffice it to say that there are some pretty striking similarities between both of the series.
As for the writing I found it to be very middle-of-the-road. Not bad necessarily but extremely bland. I also expected the pace to pick up but was never rewarded. I stuck with the series for the first three books before abandoning them altogether. Too much repetition and not much in the way of story development.