So I was pretty pissed off when Hendel gets ripped to shreds by gnomes but had a feeling that he was still alive and the one coming up the path a little later in the book
Also, Allanon tumbling into the fire while fighting the skull-bearer is totally a rip off of Gandalf fighting the balrog. Also, I'm pretty sure he, like Gandalf, isn't gone for good
The first is beautifully written, but a LoTR ripoff in entirety. The 2nd is far more original, but the descriptions of the scenery and action in the 1st are amazing. They are toying with a movie of the 2nd book, it stands alone beautifully.