This is another book that gets its rating partly on the strength of nostalgia. As an adult, it doesn't quite work for me--despite lampshading, the authorial machinations required to put the fate of the kingdom in the hands of the kid protagonists, instead of the much better-armed, better-studied adults, are painfully blatant. The way the protagonists avoid killing or otherwise engaging in morally questionable behavior (except Idres, but then, she's an adult and can play by different rules) is likewise a little too neat.
But oh, the characters. I still adore the characters, and particularly the way they interact and communicate with one another. This is not the sort of book where painful misunderstandings drag on for chapters. When something needs to be said, it gets said, and quickly. When people do keep secrets, there are generally reasons why.
Rereading, I am struck by the fact that the adults are, in fact, mostly in their 20s. That is to say, my age. Huh. And they seemed so ancient and worldly wise before.