[Summary: Dan Kenny noted 'the two brothers' (Josua and Elias, sons of Lord Willum of Renly's court) was an obvious nod to Tad Williams. At first he was concerned that it wasa rip-off, but then thought it was more likely a friendly nod.]
Definitely. I was a huge fan of Tad's MEMORY, SORROW, AND THORN -- in fact, I doubt I would ever have written my own series without the inspiration his provided.
There are a number of other "nods" to my favorite fantasy authors buried in the books as well.
As for answering too much questions... ... well, I know what you mean. I'm about to leave on my book tour for CLASH OF KINGS, however, so I'll be pretty much gone from here for the next month.