Okey dokey, so I’ve not read a book worthy of reviewing in a while, so I thought I’d talk (*ahem, rant*) about a book I read way back in the summer that gave me *plenty* of things to say. And as you might be able to tell from the title- not much of it will be good.
Let me start out by saying that I *loved* The Name of the Wind. It was one of my favourite books of 2014 and I rated it 5*. So after picking up the sequel, I couldn’t have been more disappointed by how this one turned out.
Seriously, this book read like a geeky teenage boy’s wet dream. After the adventures of the first book, Kvothe has matured into the perfect adolescent. He’s just perfect: he’s intelligent, talented, desirable, powerful and, by the end of the book, a brilliant swordsman too. Seriously- it begs the question: is there anything he can’t do? Honestly, given that I liked him so much in the first book for his imperfections, I felt like the author was missing a trick by ironing out all his faults and leaving him as this bland, generic hero.
On top of that, whereas I found the first one long and lyrical, this one just dragged. There’s this weird part in the middle where he literally goes off with this random sex-goddess (I’m not going to pretend like she’s in any way magical- she’s really just there for Kvothe to screw- which would be fine, if it wasn’t so boring and didn’t feel like the whole section was just designed to prove his sexual prowess). The “oh I’m so good at everything” shtick gets old really fast. And if that wasn’t enough there’s the cliché fantasy sword-fight-training montage- which totally drags- regardless of what excuse Rothfuss gives for it being slow. And when the plot finally picks up, the action is over *really* quickly and that’s that. Which felt *phenomenally* anti-climactic.
Another problem in terms of plotting is that this whole book felt completely unnecessary. Firstly, after the first book, I felt like the story with the Chandrian was building nicely- so while I wouldn’t have expected answers in book 2, I did expect *something*. But aside from the odd throwaway mention, Rothfuss gave away nothing, which was very frustrating. Also, the whole book felt like it covered too much old ground aka Kvothe is poor, Kvothe does things to make some money, Kvothe is able to pay for University. Given that this was a lot of the plot in the first one, it felt like it didn’t need to be the story here too. It really felt like this book suffered from “middle book” syndrome (the phenomenon where the second book in a trilogy is just filler). After the first one, I’m still invested in the series to carry on and see what happens- but god help me if Rothfuss disappoints me again- I don’t think I can take another book like this. With any luck, this was just be a minor hiccup in the trilogy, and the third one will return to form.
Rating: 2 bananas
So has anyone else read the Wise Man’s Fear? Agree or disagree with anything I’ve said? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, just as an aside, I was just refreshing my memory on goodreads and this review came up and I *had to* share it: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/298657913?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1