Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
I found this to be an excellent and engaging novel.
Based on the reviews of others, I first thought I would thoroughly enjoy this, and later began to worry that it was not as good as I had first heard. That skewed perspective made the first few chapters hard to get through. Once I realized that my own opinion sided more with my original perception, things went more smoothly - so much so that, by the time I hit some of the sticking points of the book's detractors, I laughed them off or had otherwise forgot they existed.
I was far more interested in what was going on in this magical past than what anyone was saying about the book in the present time, which is as it should be.
Like most books, it has words in it. To some tastes, perhaps it uses too many words. However, I found that the language used helped to reinforce the time period and setting of the book. I absolutely abhor advice to authors to simplify, to write sparingly: to present only modern prose, like that used in an action movie script. I'm all for that if you want to write an action movie.
It's always best to write for yourself - if you try to meet someone else's expectations you may fail and be unhappy or succeed and be unhappy. Could be you want to churn out factory-inspected insta-novels, could be they make series of movies based on them, could be you could become a multi-millionaire, or, you could do it the old fashioned way and win the lottery. There's only room for so many chief workers in that factory - could be you, but could be that annoying guy who's always goofing off, walking from one station on the assembly line to another, joking loudly and in bad taste. He stays later than the rest, and digs scrap words out of the trash can, so it's inevitable he'll be the one to deliver the bestsellers.
However, I much prefer to read - and write - a more beautiful, flowing language, and this book satisfies the one and helps fuel the inspiration for the other.