The first book was brutal, violent, dark. I needed a resolution for the characters, sure, but I understand how trilogies work. Things always get significantly worse before they get better, and the ending of part 1 is never, ever as straightforward as it appears.
My dad and I didn't generally overlap on our reading tastes very often. He was always disappointed I couldn't get through Lord of the Rings, while I was shocked at his distaste for "that Pratchett man". There were a handful that we shared. The Incredible Journey was one, and Lord of Light was another.