Updated: Jun 12
Many years ago, a friend of mine passed me a list of names of authors I should try out, and Patrick Rothfuss was among them. I got to him last. Why on earth didn't she put him at the top of the list! If I had known the sheer quality I would get when I opened the book, I would have picked it up immediately.
The story itself revolves around a mysterious innkeeper (Kvothe) who has a series of legendary names and fables attributed to him, yet seems a beaten man. As we discover there is more to him than meets the eye he begins to set his story down. The first book is about his early life, his early love, his early exploits. With one exception late on, the story unfolds at a pleasing pace, imprisons the attention, and even in parts causes physical reactions in the reader; including laughter and anxiety. This is truly great writing, with emotion, depth and passion. The characters engage us, entice us with their mystery, even irritate us. Kvothe himself suffers from pride, rashness, and even at times foolishness, yet this only serves to make him more complete.
Really the only minor negative is that about three quarters of the way through the book it just feels a bit like Rothfuss has his feet in thick treacle. The story, the writing, the characters; they all continue to be good, but it just reaches a point that each story second takes a minute to read. Or so it seems.
This critiscism aside, the book remains an absolute triumph, even more so for being a debut. The second book was almost as good - indeed in many ways the writing itself was even better, though the story itself was a bit less tight. You can read my review of that one on GoodReads or Amazon.