This summer I decided to start reading The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss after serendipitously coming across a five dollar copy of The Name of the Wind in a used book store.
This, my friends, was a mistake.
Not to say the book wasn’t good! It was fantastic! I blazed through it in a couple of days fueled only by sunshine and cider, and I then immediately grabbed the second one. It is also, however, one of those currently unfinished fantasy series that makes you reflect on your life choices, and wonder why you didn’t just wait for the last in the series to be released before starting. Therefore, as a good friend, I then made sure to pass it along to as many of my friends as possible so that we could all wait in agony together. During the course of recommending this series (and ruining several people’s lives when they found out about the as of yet unreleased third book), I then made my second discovery; every single person I’ve talked to loves this series but they also all HATE the protagonist, Kvothe.
That may sound like an exaggeration but I will assure you that it’s true. Based on all of my conversations, my own personal emotions, and this Goodreads review from the Incredible Hulk, I feel that I can safely say that Kvothe is the worst. Kvothe, as a character, is one of those fantasy protagonists who is simply the best at everything. He is the most clever, the most musical, the most powerful and crafty. He is just the most….everything, at all times. I have to assume that this is in at least in part due Kvothe’s potentially unreliable narration, but it nonetheless all adds up to give Kvothe a very bad case of Backpfeifengesicht.
That being said, I’d like to reiterate that I do actually greatly enjoy this series. I know it seems a bit counterintuitive after all of my criticisms but there is just something weirdly addictive about this series. As a fantasy series some might even say it’s….magical. It features one of the more interesting, well thought-out and executed systems of magic that I’ve read in a good while, and the world building is next level. The characters are engaging, the plot is sharp and interesting, and the writing is just really, really well-done. It’s a book that I would recommend any day of the week, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that a release date for The Doors of Stone drops soon.