Setting: The four corners of civilisation
Rated : 9 Stars
Bast slouched against the long stretch of mahogany bar, bored.
The second book in the Kingkiller Chronicle takes off when book one ended, it is the second day of Kvothe’s tale. Today we learn more about his time in the university, as well as his gap year, for lack of a better word. He heads off to travel and expand his mind.
I did love the first book. And I did love this too. I just adore Kvothe and his story. The world that Rothfuss has built is wonderful. There are many parallels and hints of cultures here, but always altered and never just a pointless copy. I love the way that Rothfuss highlights the fact that no one culture is *right*. All have their particular pros and cons, but there is always something to point out that people are people, and they all get things wrong.
It is long book, like the first, but it never feels long. Every word and line in it serves a purpose, I may not know what they all are yet, but I know there is a reason behind them.
And such a feeling of sadness.
I swear I come away from reading these books hoping and praying that things work out for Kvothe by the end, because you just feel so much for the guy. All these things he went through, and yes, on occasion he could be seen as a bit of a Mary-Sue with his being good at so much, so young, so quickly, and being a hit with the ladies. But he isn’t, because he has character. And flaws that make you want to slap him across the back of the head and tell him to cop on. But you can’t, because he has to figure that out himself. Also, he is a character in a book, makes it hard to slap properly :).
The one issue I had with the book are the women. Hmmm, what to say about the women characters… Well they aren’t particularly characters. But then again, none of the male supporting characters are much more, so I’m not going to moan about that. After all, this is Kvothe telling the story, his supporting characters are seen through his eyes, and he sure doesn’t see everything. But at the same time, do they all have to be so beautiful? Or is it just that Kvothe thinks all women are beautiful. And the Felurian story-line struck me as a little too much wish-fulfilment. But at the same time I do get the impression that all of this is leading somewhere, so I’m perfectly content to wait and find out where we all end up.
Now, those of you looking for an action-packed sword wielding hero may not find exactly what you are looking for. Stuff happens, plenty of stuff, but at the same time a lot of it is just Kvothe living his life. Possibly a more eventful life than is usual :) but that’s what it is. And yet, it is so very readable and entertaining.
I always remember a comment I read about Firefly, that you’d be happy watching this crew just hang around and chatting, or peeling potatoes, even if there was a lack of action. Joss & his team had such great characters and writing. I agreed with that, and I feel the same way about this book. It’s just a great book to enjoy.