My rating: 4/5
I often have trouble doing a description for fantasy novels, especially one of this magnitude. I don't feel like I ever do them justice. I'll give this one a try though. This is the first in a planned trilogy. This is where we are first introduced to Kvothe. When the story opens he is an innkeeper and goes by a different name. Flying under the radar if you will. Until a scribe comes in and recognizes him for who he is. He makes a deal with this scribe, if he stays he will give him his story. The true story, not he rumors going around this world.
So begins the tale of young Kvothe. He grew up as a trouper, traveling around with his family and others in the group performing in towns. He was always smart and picked up on things easily but it wasn't until an arcanist joined their group that his learning really began. He started to learn about magic and sympathy and the way things work.
Then his entire troupe is killed, he's the only survivor. He makes his way to a city and lives homeless for several years before finally making his way to University and being allowed to attend. There he starts to learn more of what the arcanist originally started to teach him. However he runs into enemy's. Not only other students but the masters as well.
oh heck..I know I'm not doing this book justice. Here's a review I pulled from Amazon:
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The originality of Rothfuss's outstanding debut fantasy, the first of a trilogy, lies less in its unnamed imaginary world than in its precise execution. Kvothe ("pronounced nearly the same as 'Quothe' "), the hero and villain of a thousand tales who's presumed dead, lives as the simple proprietor of the Waystone Inn under an assumed name. Prompted by a biographer called Chronicler who realizes his true identity, Kvothe starts to tell his life story. From his upbringing as an actor in his family's traveling troupe of magicians, jugglers and jesters, the Edema Ruh, to feral child on the streets of the vast port city of Tarbean, then his education at "the University," Kvothe is driven by twin imperatives—his desire to learn the higher magic of naming and his need to discover as much as possible about the Chandrian, the demons of legend who murdered his family. As absorbing on a second reading as it is on the first, this is the type of assured, rich first novel most writers can only dream of producing. The fantasy world has a new star. (Apr.)
So here's the deal with this book. I like fantasy but don't read a lot of it other than urban fantasy for one main reason, the books are so freaking huge!!!! By now you all know I have an issue with chunksters. I tend to like them when I finally read them but I'm always put off by their size at first. This book came highly recommended to me by a friend, about 4 years ago. I've had a copy ever since. I made my husband read it. I kept putting it off. I'm happy that I FINALLY gave it a chance.
First off let me tell you what Husband thinks of the book. He didn't like it at all. He felt it was boring, like nothing ever happened, the main character was boring, who cares, blah blah blah. What a waste of his time.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, so I had the opposite reaction. While reading this one every once in awhile Husband would ask what I thought and I would say I was enjoying it and he would ask how far along I was. He would either respond with "just wait..it gets worse" or "You're lying, you're just saying you like it but you really don't." haha! That tells you how much he didn't like it.
I have to agree with him that at times it did seem like nothing was really happening. We weren't turning page after page of battle and fighting. We did spend awhile learning about how Kvothe dealt with being homeless and poor. Sure there were things mixed in that were exciting but for the most part it wasn't jammed pack with action. However that is ok. The story itself is very good and kept my interest. I wanted to read about young Kvothe. I wanted to know what was happening. I didn't care that he wasn't flying off into danger all the time. Just think, my reading has been really slow lately and a book of this size (720 pages) would have easily taken me 3 weeks, if not 4 due to the holidays. However I finished it within 2. That tells you how much I enjoyed it. Shoot..there's a giant lizard/dragon that gets stoned on some gooey substance. Hello..what's not to love?
The second book in the series, The Wise Man's Fear, is out now. My friend who originally recommended this book lent me the 2nd in December. Due to it being another chunkster I'm sure I'll put it off for some time but let me tell you that I'm really looking forward to it. I just need to get some other books read first for buddy reads and review books. I discussed this one with my friend several times while reading it and he said that the 2nd book is really good and addresses some of the things brought up in the first that we don't get a conclusion on. He also said that if I read the first one this fast, chances are I'll read the 2nd one even faster because that's how it was with him. He was even more drawn into the 2nd one and wanted to spend every free minute reading it until it was finished. Oh boy! I cannot wait!
I have to say that if you enjoy fantasy novels I think you'll really enjoy this one and highly recommend it. If you aren't a fan of fantasy, you might want to skip this one. Husband has enjoyed one fantasy series that I know of in the past but otherwise I don't think he really likes the genre. So he's probably a good indication of how others who aren't a fan of the genre would feel about this. As for me, a lover of fantasy, I say get a copy of don't be put off by the size as it's well worth the 720 pages.