Very well done game - the only truly new thing was the fate system, but the mix-and-match of elements worked really well. Things don't always have to be ground-breaking to be fun. This is a good start to a potentially great franchise.
The story has some really neat myth tucked away behind the plot. The idea that magic is being dissolved as fate loses its power through the hero has a lot of interesting ramifications - Salvatore did a good job setting up this world, I think.
Limitations around leveling and skill/spell assignment really hold it back - by about level 25, my character was so overpowered that I didn't see much change through level 38.
Had I rated this around level 25, it would have easily been a 9 or 9+. Because the end was tedious, I give it an 8.
This game is phenomenal! I have played 20 hours in the past 3 days, I have never been so addicted to any game ever. It is like Fable but with a more complex/better combat system. There are a ridiculous amount of quests (so many I can't fathom anyone doing all of them) and the area is huge. KoA is on par with Skyrim and better in some aspects (combat, loot, etc.) One thing I really wish it had, and maybe I just haven't gotten there yet, is some sort of mount or pet system. I'm always a little weary about starting RPGs because each interface/combat/inventory system varies so much, but I really felt that KoA made everything easy to understand and did a good job of explaining things along the way. If you are on the fence about this game, I strongly recommend you give it a shot. RIYL: Fable, Warcraft, Skyrim, Zelda...