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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.
107 of 125 people found this review helpful
Those in fear of a "sophomore slump" should look elsewhere. This is the stunningly excellent follow-up and second part of a proposed trilogy to "The Name of the Wind". I devoured this book. I am going to listen to it again with my wife, and that is a rare thing. After finishing this wonderful tale of old evil, love, loss, mischief, grief, song, cleverness, jocularity, beauty, and fantasy. I turned to my wife and said "you have to read these, they are wonderful". Our literary tastes never cross paths, but this is a tale I don't think anyone should miss. To not pass these along to others is neglect.
There are passages in this book that are achingly beautiful and so well written that I dispare for all others who attempt to write epic fantasy. There is a good deal of action too and it's never far from the main narrative of this installment. It's just that Rotfuss crossed the line with this book. There is passable fantasy, good, and even excellent fantasy. This, this is pantheon fantasy, this is why I read the genre, dare I say "tolkienesque". It really is that good. What a great time to be a fantasy fan.
The narration continues flawlessly from the first book and Mr. Podehl gives an outstanding performance. I am rapidly becoming a fan of his work, I certainly will look for him in future listens.
89 of 106 people found this review helpful