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Review: Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss 
31st-Dec-2013 05:57 pm
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn't even really sure whether I should review this book, because I figure everyone has either already read it or made up their mind whether they're going to read it. But, here we go.

First off, there's no getting around the fact that the pacing is extremely leisurely. At times, this can be pleasant in a "relax and let the author spin you a yarn" kind of way; at other times, you are just waiting for something to happen. It does pick up a bit in the last third of the book.

Otherwise, this is a book whose virtues are very much bound up with its flaws, and whether you like it or not probably depends on how much particular flaws grate on you. For example, the world building is not terribly original, but by the standards of other books in the big fat fantasy genre, it at least feels reasonably solid and convincing. And Kvothe is just the sort of omnicompetent precocious protagonist with a prodigious ability to get himself both into and out of trouble that is going to strike some readers as a perfect wish-fulfillment character, and some readers as an egregious Gary Stu.

In the end, I found it reasonably entertaining, although I'm a bit frightened of the sequel, because statistically, multi-volume big fat fantasy series do not get more briskly paced as the series moves on.

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1st-Jan-2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who found it tedious. I'm supposed to be reading it for a book group on the 4th of this month, but my will to read it is so low right now. I keep thinking, "Dude, just get to the point already!" I also keep wondering where the women are. :p
1st-Jan-2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
The women do show up eventually - about the time that Kvothe finally heads off to university, Bast says something to him in the frame story like, "Hey, Kvothe, where are the women? You can't have a good story without women!" And then women start to crop up. But yes, they are notable for their near total absence as meaningful characters in the first few hundred pages.

1st-Jan-2014 08:19 pm (UTC)
...because I figure everyone has either already read it or made up their mind whether they're going to read it.

I had heard of neither the book nor the author before this.
1st-Jan-2014 09:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that was somewhat over exaggerating the prominence of the book. When it came out a few years back, it was rather hailed as the successor to the Robert Jordan/Terry Goodkind/George R.R. Martin crown of Big Fat Fantasy novels, and since a large part of my social circle is interested in such things, it seemed inescapable.
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