I enjoyed this book immensely. The character Kvothe is the perfect character. He is the character I want every book to be about. The qualities embedded within his core make me want to know him, understand him, talk to him, bed him, marry him, anything to get nearer to him. He is a perfect storm of thoughtfulness, mystery, intelligence, sincerity, mischief,… he is just so very complicated. Having finished this book, I am left with a hole. I have only felt this way a handful of times after reading a book. I crave more.
Oddly, though, this book has left me timid. Book 3 has yet to be released. I am wondering what to do next. Do I read the others now? Or do I wait… Still, I crave more. Kvothe… I think I might love him.
I am having a difficult time organizing my thoughts on the reasons that this book (and not just its hero) is amazing.
Firstly, the story begins with Kote, the adult version of himself, already a known legend and in hiding. Such an amazing way to begin a story where we will learn of him from childhood. It gives you a peak into his future so when he does something clever, you just know that this is how he became the Kvothe they speak about in stories and in songs. Brilliantly, the fact that he is a man telling his story changes the way I thought of him throughout his storytelling. Instead of getting to know a young boy, and thinking of him as a young boy, I am getting to know a grown man. I had a difficult time stitching the two characters in my head as the same person for a lot of the story. But I never thought of Kvothe the boy. Only of Kvothe/Kote the man. Even when he was crying at the hands of bullies I couldn’t help but picture the vulnerability that a man of Kvothe’s stature would have to allow just to even share that part of his life.
He reminded me of Lestat of the Vampire Chronicles more than anything when I first began reading. The way he holds himself, the way he jokingly refers to himself as the most clever, and thoroughly means it while remaining just this side of conceded.
I love Bast. They have an interesting, playful relationship that I want to understand better. He is super interesting and complicated… And a Fae? I hope they delve into the Fae better in the next book or two. I also loved the Draccus and crave more fantastical beasts.
I hated Denna. I was really thrown by the sudden romance theme and stopped reading for a few days. She just didn’t interest me as a character. I understand the reason for her complicated nature. Being a woman in their world, struggling, and on her own puts her in a certain situation which she contends with. But I never felt that she actually had any sincerity toward Kvothe and that bothered me. He deserves much better, and his time is better spent not being shoved forcefully into the friend zone by some flirty flaky flibbertigibbet. Also, when she just kept assuming that Kvothe had touched a woman before and found it laughable that he still had his virtue intact, that was pretty rude even for her.
I love the way they explain magic in this book. There is science behind it and all things can be explained. I also hated that aspect in a way. Part of the reason to read a book with magic is to be taken outside of your own reality for something grander. But of course, we don’t have, and cannot control the names of things so explanation or not, it’s still magic to me.
When I think of Kvothe I get the same thoughtfulness that I used to get about Edward Cullen, about Harry Potter, and about Lestat De Lioncourt. I love him. Of course, there are varying degrees of love when we are talking about a character… but I know I will think of him for a while until this story clears from my thoughts a little better… and for now I just love him.
I totally recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It has a little of everything. Action, magic, intrigue, revenge, even a small amount of romance. I now fully understand why I have been recommended this book by many lists and other lovers of fantasy.