The story dragged in places, due to the problem of "I want this character's stuckness to make the reader uncomfortable" lasting long enough to make this reader not just uncomfortable but kind of bored.... but I still tore through it, and once said characters got UNSTUCK: Woot! High gritty adventure galore. This is one of my all-time favorite fantasy series; try it if you are intrigued by multiple viewpoints, dire happenings, and a slow build of magic rather than a lot of flash up front. Also if you can deal with the fact that it will be YEARS until book six comes out.
Shadowborn, by Alison Sinclair
I'm pretty sure that my diminished experience of this book falls squarely into the "it's not you, it's me" category. It brought all the same nifty world-building, thoughtful characterization, and sharp dialogue to the yard that the previous two (excellent) books in the series did; but I brought a level of distraction, poor memory, and inattentiveness to reading it that didn't match how I read the first two.
The Cult of Information, by Theodore Roszak
O, curmudgeonly jeremiads seasoned with trenchant insights, how I do love ye. This one is from 1986, railing against the dangers of the "Age of Information" in both reasonable and ridiculous ways. Lots of salient history mixed in with the railing, too.