After having this book and it's gorgeous cover haunt my shelf and memory for years, I finally picked it up and read it all the way through. I won't lie: it was hard going for a while. Its beautiful and haunting but its also very difficult to understand without giving it your undivided attention. It forces you to spellbind yourself, because otherwise you can not appreciate it. There is much of it that is straightforward, but then the rest of it is layered in lyrical and abstract magic so that I often found myself wondering if I knew what I was reading/understanding, just like its hapless hero, Cyan Dag. I felt both helpless and awed at the language and even the power of the story. By the end of it, I felt like him, wanting to cry for no reason, so glad it was all over, but afraid of its ending.
I think the first time I tried to read this I was too young; the abstractions were too vague for me to harness, and there is a bitterness and maturity to this story that would be lost on youth. Not to say that a child can't read it, but I really think this story would have more power over people who have left magic behind.
In the end, that is what the story is about, returning magic to those who have forgotten it, relearning that there is a power in the world that is so much bigger than ourselves and that we may never fully comprehend. When you're a child you understand in your innocence that you are ignorant and its only when you grow older that you forget that awe and wonder and you believe that you know everything, that the world is as limited as your experience of it.
The Tower of Stony Wood reminds you different.