This is the first book of the Kingkiller Chronicle and is so well written that readers will undoubtedly wish to read the next. Questions remain unanswered. In fact, in spite of the great length of the book, it’s clear the story has only just begun. It is a feature of the genre that stories can be very long, complex and wonderfully wandering. That is, in essence, what many readers find enticing and attractive about it: we don’t want the story to end, especially when it’s as entertaining as this one.
Rothfuss has invented a world in which the reader can not only believe but can easily become absorbed. In many fantasy novels, the magic can overwhelm the plot and characters; not in this one. The characters make the story, and the magic, as it should, merely augments their actions. Well drawn, varied and credible, the characters respond to the challenges set them by the author in ways that fit their personalities, but that doesn’t mean there are no surprises. It’s good when a writer finds ways to allow his players to become unpredictable, without forcing them outside their natural spheres of behaviour.
I enjoyed this lengthy and absorbing tale of perseverance, intelligence, courage and talent. I found the villains unpleasant but believable. I loved the underlying romance and its demonstration of the awkwardness of youth. All in all an engaging tale. I recommend the book to all who enjoy imaginative works and look forward to reading the next in the series.