I got this as a gift from my husband for my birthday last year. He was so proud that he actually went to the bookstore and got a recommendation for me based on books he knows I like. Problem was, I started reading it and my attention wandered so I put it down. I came back to it a month later and read the first chapter and found it mildly interesting, but got distracted by another book and put it down again. After listening to my husband tease me for 6 months about how I must hate it because he gave it to me, I finally picked it back up again last month and I am so freaking glad that I did.
A brief synopsis:
The book is an epic fantasy that follows Kvothe as he recounts the story of his early life and the tragic events that led up to (and including) his years at the prestigous magical school.
That synopsis is short as hell for a book as big as this one.
So I think what initially caused me to put the book down was the fact that in the very beginning we meet three very unexciting characters who don’t really pull you in. But once you discover that none of them is the main character and they are merely sitting in the same room as him, the pages fly.
It is difficult to describe what I feel about Kvothe. Over the course of 600+ pages we get to know him very well and he really is very kind and very loyal, but it can get a bit tedious reading how he is basically the best there is at anything. Oh? You have a Masters Degree in underwater basket weaving? Give Kvothe 5 minutes to read a chapter or two about the subject and he will be ready for his Doctorate in underwater basket weaving.
That being said, once I got into the actual narrative I constantly wanted to know what happened next. There are some nicely fleshed out characters and a nice balance between world building and plot. I think it’s hard to find the right balance in a book as large as this one and the fact that it was so well done in this book makes me think it would appeal to any fan of fantasy whether you prefer plot driven or character driven stories. As far as the world building is concerned, I don’t think I have been as enthralled by a fictional world since I read The Lord of the Rings. (And no I am in no way comparing this to the LOTR, I just really fell in love with Tolkien’s world)
My biggest gripe with this book is that after getting sucked in and purchasing the next one, I realized that it’s the first in a trilogy and the final book has yet to be published and there is no (to my knowledge) publish date as of yet. I despise starting series when there is no conclusion so this was rather annoying for me. All the same I loved this book and I’m holding off reading the next (or trying to at least) until I have an idea when to expect the last one.
So in short, I’d say that this is the most quality fantasy that I’ve read in years. And while LOTR will probably forever remain on top for me, I’d say this book earned a place on the same shelf.