The Kingkiller Chronicle Series

The Name of the Wind book coverThis 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.

4 thoughts on “The Kingkiller Chronicle Series

  1. So funny you say this because my brother recently recommended these books to me like “it’s really, really good fantasy. I mean, I hate the main character and you will too, but the rest of it is good”. So I guess that’s a universal hatred! It seems like author wish fulfillment? But everyone does seem to praise the books highly, otherwise. I haven’t read them yet (I lean more towards fantasy written by women) but I might still.

    1. Please read this series and commiserate with me. I feel like you’d have some amazing commentary on the way the women around Kvothe tend to be written, and I’d love to hear it. There’s also a part in the second book where Kvothe meets Felurian and somehow also becomes the best at sex – because WHY NOT. Well, I made the mistake of taking this book on a ski trip with me and I got to this part when I was hanging out with some friends in a hotel room, and, as such, I started making audible noises of disbelief. Then the book got snatched out of my hands and parts of this scene were read out loud – much to the amusement of everyone else, while I started to cringe so hard my body tried to physically leave this plane of existence. All in all, please read this book because I need to someone to yell at and/or with!!!

  2. I also found myself surprisingly addicted to this series! I listened to the audiobooks. The narrator is fantastic, by the way, and I think that’s part of what got me so hooked.
    I also found Kvothe unlikeable as a character, but as the scenes between Kvothe, Chronicler, and Bast started to raise more and more questions and I caught onto the unreliable narration, I started giving a bit more credit to the author–Rothfuss seems to be intentionally setting Kvothe up as this self-aggrandizing folk hero.
    I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

    1. I love a good audiobook so I’ll have to check that out!

      And yeah, I know it has to be a severe case of unreliable narrator but he’s just…so annoying sometimes. I mean it works with the genre because it very much does come across sometimes as a parody of all the fantasy protagonist ‘chosen one’ tropes but sometimes I just want to throttle him. I also really, really want book 3.

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