My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fucking great fantasy. Set after the facts (but with a hint of trouble on the horizon), Kvothe (pronounced “quoth”) tells his story in his own words. Which means we’re progressively introduced to his world both as he discovers it growing up and as a reader of a memoir who might not know what he’s talking about. So that’s one usual clumsiness in fantasy sorted.
There’s no denying some similarities to other stories, like
Harry Potter Ender’s Game – orphan goes to magic school, pisses off a teacher, makes an enemy of a rich classmate, makes some nice friends, turns out to be absurdly talented, becomes awesome.
But who cares. It’s a nice recognisable fun story framework for Rothfuss to develop all of the other cool shit: the confused history of the world, the mysterious circumstances of this and that, the hints at the future in the telling. And despite our hero suffering slightly from Jimmy the Hand Syndrome (is there nothing this kid isn’t brilliant at? WHO ROLLED THE STATS ON THIS GUY?!), he’s flawed enough to be a realistic character.
There’s much, much more to it than I’ve made it sound, but I’m not going to spoil this for you.
If you like good fantasy, read this book.