About a month ago my husband asked what I like about fantasy books and, in all seriousness, I told him: “I just love magic.” He laughed. Loudly.
If you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning of the year, you’ll know that I am new to the genre and am now on the hunt for well-written epic/high historical fantasy books with plenty of, yep, magic… preferably with a great cover treatment, which is surprisingly hard to find in that section of the bookstore.
So after reading about Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, praised by beloved fantasy writers like Ursula Le Guin and Terry Brooks, as well as genre aficionados, I was excited because MAGIC.
The coming-of-age story is a familiar one. A brilliant young boy named Kvothe, raised amid a band of traveling players, escapes death, endures loss, poverty and hunger, attends wizard university, gains some enemies, falls in love. There is conflict, longing, heartbreak, adventure, and some wizardly magic.
It’s a huge 700+ page book that took me 200 hundred pages to get into and a long week to get through. With a heavy edit and a greater focus on world-building it could have been fast-paced and intensely readable. As it was, my interest flagged towards boredom at various points, and I could never fully picture the characters or the world they inhabited.