By: Patrick Rothfuss
722 pages (paperback)
I knew I’d like Patrick Rothfuss!
I first came to know of him from the two wonderful book endorsements he did for Libriomancer and Stormdancer. I figured anyone who loved those two books would certainly write something I’d love, and I was right.
There is something so completely absorbing about this story and my interest was driven by curiosity more than excitement. Most of the books I’ve loved in the past have been full of action, with that action moving the story along, so I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed this much more evenly paced story. Action-driven stories are great, but stories driven by curiosity are even better. They pull you in on a deeper level than guns and swords and magical explosions. It’s easy for a long book like this to get boring, but bits of information and action are fed slowly to the reader, always giving you enough to want more, without feeling like you’ve had enough. The last book I read that was this long and held my attention this well was Harry Potter, and that was quite some time ago.
What made the story so absorbing was Kvothe, the main character, who’s story this is after all. He fails and succeeds in equal measure which is important. A character who always wins is predictable and boring, and a character who always fails is depressing. The balance here was perfect. His bad decisions create the necessary catalyst, while his triumphs are uplifting.
This book is really stories within stories, which could easily have been overly complicated or tiring, but it wasn’t. In the present, we have Kvothe telling his life story to a chronicler. Then we have his story. Within his story, are the stories he hears along the way, which are largely myths and legends. Once again the story is wonderfully balanced here. There is never too much time spent on a particular story or legend. You never feel like you’re being info dumped upon, which is really remarkable.
I loved this book. I’ve started off reviews saying how I didn’t expect much from a book and how it was so surprisingly amazing. Here, I expected a lot from this book, and while it wasn’t the story I expected from the cover art and the blurb on the back (to be honest I always expect something totally different), I wasn’t disappointed in the least. I highly recommend this one. Until next time…