Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Serious fantasy.  I can’t even pretend that it just had fantasy elements.  Shit’s fantasy.

Review: First of all, the cover of this book looks like a Fabio romance novel.  Look at that hair, his shirtless muscular chest, and the weird pose.  It all screams romance, and yes, I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I judged.  I judged hard.  I would not have even picked this book up had it not been on the recommendation of a friend.

But I’m glad I did.  You have to push through the first 50 pages or so because the main character, Kvothe (pronounced Quoth), is kind of full of himself and annoying.  The way he speaks kind of makes me want to throw the book across the room.  He is brilliant and he knows it.  The writing comes off as pretentious.

However, once I got through that, I got completely wrapped up in the story.  It has all the good fantasy trappings: magic, evil, dragons, and love.  The relationship between Kvothe and Denna, while frustrating, added good elements and humanized the character of Kvothe for me.  His adventures, misadventures, and struggles made it a little easier for me to get behind him as a protagonist.

The basic set-up of the story is this:  Kvothe is famous.  There are songs about him doing epic deeds.  However, he is rumored dead and no one really knows where he is.  A story-teller discovers that a local inn keeper, Kote, is really the Kvothe of storybooks and sets out to write Kvothe’s story.  We get tantalizing details as Kvothe regales the Chronicler with his tale – but the book ends abruptly.  It ends like a chapter instead of a 600 page tome.  It’s like, oh, Kvothe did all of this great things, I can’t wait to tell you about them.  END.  Fuck you, Patrick Rothfuss.  Now I have to read the second book.

Bottom Line: If you like fantasy (along the lines of Mercedes Lackey and such) you’ll probably like this book.  It isn’t a Lord of the Rings or some new ground breaking fantasy work, but it’s entertaining and some how addicting.  I will be reading the rest of The Kingkiller Chronicles.  Well played, Rothfuss.  Well played.