I really enjoyed this book - sometimes it seems rare to get a very competent and strong protagonist, but I got one from Winds After Time. While he was basically a better fighter and survivor than most everyone around him, he still had challenges to overcome (just of a different type).
Another thing I liked is that the point of view did not jump around, despite the 3rd person writing. I was always following the main character, not bouncing around seeing what his friends were doing. I like observing the world just from one guy - it makes me connect and view the world the way he does. You don't get the frustrating "I saw this happen but the main character doesn't know about it" thing.
The writing was also pretty good - better than a lot of fantasy novels I've read recently.
(Note: there are a fair amount of fights, if you don't like that.)