This series has gone in the toilet since book, oh, six or so. It really moved along then was put on hold the last couple books. Also his writing has become VERY self-indulgent; "trademark" aphorisms way overused. The best fantasy series out there is, IMHO, is George R.R.Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series. The first book, A Game of Thrones, is sorta hard to start, but absolutely awesome. And no I'm not affiliated witht the publisher or author :).
"Cigarettes, souvenirs, party tricks...."