Book – The Wise Man’s Fear: A-

thewisemansfearA-
The first half of Rothfuss’ second book felt long and full of Denna, the love interest character I’ve come to loathe beyond reasonable explanation. It was more of the same until the protagonist finally changed settings. Then it was great. Magical assassination plots. Brutal bandit battles. Fey world shenanigans. Martial arts training with linguistically awesome ninjas. But throughout it has the same problems from The Name of the Wind, namely it lingers when it should move on and rushes when I want more detail. Though again, as it’s studying the idea of how stories work, these faults get a sort of get-out-of-jail-free-card stylistically. But that doesn’t help make them not annoying.

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Book – The Name of the Wind: B+

name of the windB+
I started off The Name of Wind loving it. By the end I merely had a somewhat grudging friendship with it. It has some things that make for good fantasy, especially strong worldbuilding, but it never quite gave me what I was looking for. It never really finishes anything, building up goals or moments of suspense, then undoing the resolutions so that the events hardly mattered. It also features one the worst manic-pixie-dream-girl characters I’ve ever encountered. That said, it weaves its central theme of storytelling admirably. The numerous stories within stories within stories were some of my favorite segments. The narrator often remarks that “If this were a story,” something else would happen, or comments on how a character doesn’t fit a cliche. Like many other things I didn’t quite enjoy, I’m still pursuing more, assuming it will get better now that things are established.