This was my first TP and was leant to me by a friend that live in my building in my first year at uni. I was a long way from home, stressed out, confused and lonely and needed a magical place to escape to... and this was it.
Alanna is a fierce heroine, unlike any other I had read up until then. I found myself wishing I had her courage and endurance and strait forward thinking.
The things I love about TP:
1) Her characters are rarely cliched... they have depth and are vastly different from each other.
2) Her books often include a little romance... but they don't revolve around it. It is a part of life but not the central focus of it. And the person you think they'll end up with at the begining is often not the one left standing at the end.
3) The way she writes animals... particularly horses and cats. What is fantasy with out a horse or a cat? And they always have such animal like personalities.
4) The adventure. I read books for adventure and TP gives it to me in spades and I relish in it.
If you're going to read this one, I recommend grabbing all 4 at once as it won't take long to power through them and the wait in between books will be torturous if you don't.