This is a prime example of "if you spend enough time with someone, they will kind of grow onto you." I didn't really care for the characters after the first book, but I kept reading and now that I'm done with the series, I must say that I will actually miss them.
I wasn't really satisfied with the end. The "final battle" was kind of anticlimactic and I definitely didn't like some things that happened, but oh well. And I hate this kind of endings that are happy but not really happy happy endings... I'm gonna read some simple, nice HAPPY happy ending book now.