While I hate Fates, I’m not very fond of Three Houses either. It just doesn’t feel like Fire Emblem to me. It seems so... soulless.
that's funny to say, because to me it feels like the most soul fire emblem has had in a while. the writing is really well done- all of the characters have fully developed backstories and personalities. none of them feel like cardboard cutouts the way that the characters in fates (and some in awakening) felt. the story also feels like what they wanted to do with fates, but much better developed... you actually care about the characters you wind up fighting, haha. i'm emotionally invested in the story and have been having a great time, so much so that after i finished my blue lions playthrough i immediately started a golden deer playthrough. it feels to me like the fire emblem i fell in love with as a kid and i'm glad it's directing the series image away from "this is the game that horny anime nerds play" that fates and especially heroes gave it.
Also, who’s your absolute favorite character or lord? I bet you can guess mine...
eliwood, i presume based on your avatar? or ike, based on your like of path of radiance? both good choices.
i have a lot of favorite characters... the first to spring to mind are all from blazing blade, though, so it's clear which game is my favorite (or one of them). canas, florina, and nino are all characters i adore and use every time i play that game. even though nino is a pain to raise up, her storyline is so good and she becomes soooo strong if you put in the effort!
favorite lord... might be celica from gaiden and shadows of valentia is so cool. she's the first female lord, and the first sword-using spellcaster! i've also got a soft spot for lucina, but i think everyone does at this point.