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By Joanna on 05-10-11
This isn't the kind of book I would normally pickup or download but a co-worker recommended it to me. Wow! Where to begin? The story itself is beautifully written. The author weaves stories within stories to create a fabric of fiction as warm and familiar as a favorite blanket. I was immediately reminded of Neil Gaiman's writing. I always joke that if I were diagnosed with a terminal illness that I would want Neil Gaiman to come to my house and read to me from one of his books as I cuddled up with my pound puppy in bed. (A little dark but you get my point!) I've added Patrick Rothfuss to the list as well. It's one thing to have a mind that can image, in great detail, an entire world and culture but it is a true treat to find an author that can both create and pull you into that world and make you feel like you are a part of it. I was afraid it would be too "fictiony", too many fairies and dragons. I'm not sure how but Rothfuss manages to incorporate them both without the story becoming too "fake". There is a certain harsh reality within the story that sharpens the sometimes softened edges of fiction. Excellent writting! Nick Podehl's reading is spot on! The character voices are wonderful. Not over the top but obviously performed. It's like having a great actor perform a great play. It's the perfect pairing. I can't wait to start on the second book. Enjoy!
194 of 231 people found this review helpful
By Aaron Altman on 06-28-09
Not sure why the reviews are so polar opposite.
So it looks like people either love or hate this book. I loved it and actually got the audio book just so I could write a review and listen to it before the next one comes out. Maybe it is because I read the actual book, but this is the first book I have read in a long time that I just could not put down. I read the whole thing in 2 days. It is true that this first of the trilogy is really just character development and setting the stage, there is not a whole lot of action yet, but I swear while reading it I felt like I was sitting there at the table with them and that is due to the incredible writing style. The way this book sucked me into it's world is amazing. I have read all the other greats of this genre and while many of them are wonderful, I never felt as attached to them.
214 of 255 people found this review helpful
By Jim "The Impatient" on 08-11-12
Great Debut or Average experienced writer
If you look at this as a debut writer who is going to grow in his talent and if this is his first novel then it is great. If this is an experienced writer or someone who just changed his pen name then it is average to good. If you read some early Koontz and Gerrtisen then you will find they did not start the great writers that they are today.
What is Great? PR can paint a picture in your mind better then most writers I have read. I am literal minded and often have problems with flowery language and picturing in my head what the writer is explaining, but with this book, I always had a very vivid picture of the characters and the scenery. PR himself got into my head. Over half way into the book, when things were going well for the main character, I remember thinking, nothing ever goes this well for Kyothe for this long without something going wrong, so when is the other shoe going to drop? That was the exact words that ran through my head. Not a minute later, Kyothe thinks to himself, things are going to well, when will the other shoe drop? Some of his writings stirred my emotions, made me tense, made me hear the music, made me want to shake Kyothe and tell him to snap out of it, like Kyothe was a real friend of mine, who I wanted to help.
Good: At times there is great insight. For example, at one point he explains that if you can make a women feel beautiful, not just say it, but make her actually feel she is beautiful and then she sees in her own mind that she is beautiful, she will act beautiful and other people will see her as beautiful. I am a strong believer in this and I have seen it happen in the lives of some close to me and I have seen the opposite. The mind is a powerful thing. The book has dragons, magic, wizards, underground tunnels, buildings with hidden rooms,etc.
Average to bad: Often the story does not seem to be going anywhere. It is not clear what the goal is. There are no character goals, no quest, no reason to keep listening. One reviewer wrote that you get this happened then this happened then this happened, I agree. At almost 28 hours it took me a week to get through it. I found that each day I did not dread having to listen or get impatient, but I also found I had no great desire or want to hear the story. The story seems rather disjointed at times, one minute we are facing this problem and then it is totally forgot and we are off to some other problem. Many problems do not get handled. I did not care for the story in a story or even the story in a story in a story. The beginning, interludes and ending are distractions. Sometimes the writing is a little sophmoric. As the writer matures I believe these mistakes will be taken care of in future writings and I believe PR has the potential to be a great writer.
Some did not like the narrator, I thought he was great and added to the story
127 of 159 people found this review helpful
By Robert on 09-08-11
Well worth your time
This review covers the first books of the series Kingkiller Chronicles. Some fantasy can be exhausting: Dan Simmons, Brandon Sanderson, George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, even sometimes Neil Gaiman. Their stories can take your breath away but sometimes, also, knock the wind out of you with a force. Patrick Rothfuss is not about that. He is more about an easy-going kind of entertainment. These books do not knock you over with amazement, epic wars or adventure. They are more subtle and a great richness comes through in that subtlety. While usually light, do not be fooled; they contain a depth and richness that is just easy to read and easier to appreciate. This is nothing short of outstanding fantasy prose and character development.
These stories are long but not too long. Rothfuss does not ramble. The continuity of the protagonist Kvothe’s stories is there but not so complex or convoluted that one can get lost over the span. While there are many characters there is a core of them that are easy to know and become invested in. The stories are more about people and their relationships than about what the wizard-in-training is actually learning and practicing.
At least the first two books do not contain that much magic but they do not leave you wanting either. They only leave you in great anticipation of the next book to come in the series.
Nick Podehl’s reading is impeccable. I am loathe to say this is a great book for YA’s for fear it might deter older readers from venturing here. That would be a mistake. These are great books for readers of all age or gender.
101 of 128 people found this review helpful
By Leif Olav on 09-22-09
Finally! A fantasy author who can write!
So many fantasy novels, though their concepts are interesting, are ultimately mediocre at best, largely because they are written as clumsily as might be expected from an eighth grader with a C in English class.
Rothfuss has joined the very, very small group of fantasy authors (think Tolkien, Martin, Gaiman) who can not only build an intriguing world and spin an interesting story, but who can also use the English language with elegance and verve. His dialogue, expression of ideas (yes, there are IDEAS here, not just plot and character and setting), and description are written at a level that is appropriate for a well-educated adult.
Rothfuss uses a frame narrative, which is somewhat unusual for a fantasy novel, and which he handles with such skill that it greatly adds to the suspense of the story. His system of magic is well-conceived and not oversimplified, and his characters, though sometimes of mythic proportions, are never cliche. He builds a nuanced and believable world without the cardinal sin of "infodumping." In short, he has provided everything for which a serious lover of fantasy literature (as opposed to fantasy genre fiction) can ask.
141 of 180 people found this review helpful
By Joshua on 03-29-10
Best Fantasy Read Since Mistborn
Though I mention this is the best fantasy book since Mistborn, it is nothing like mistborn and that's what makes it so great. The book revolves around an inn keeper (living in hiding) having the memoirs of his life taken down by a scribe. It follows the first 15 years of his life. From tragedy that sends him to living on the streets to his attending university. This is the first book in the series and at the end you are left with more questions than answers but somehow you are still left satisfied while eagrly awaiting book 2 due out in December. The author creates these amazing adventures for the young protagonist whilst slipping in litle details that slowly forms a picture of much larger forces at work in the background. The book also focuses alot on descriptions of music, arts, and magic. I must truly say that this author decsriptions are like painting pictures of these things in your mind. For comparison, if you've read "Eragon" the descriptions of magic are very logical and explanatory, while in the book, the description magic are like poetry. This made the book new and refreshing. What can I say about the narration but "Bravo!". If u like Eragon, Harry Potter, Mistborn give this book a try. If you don't like the afore mentioned books, I'd still recommend that you give this book a try.
109 of 139 people found this review helpful