So this year when I add books to my list I want to do a little mini-review, instead of just categorizing them at the end of the year. So here goes.
1. The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles) by Patrick Rothfuss [x] [N]
Key: x = first time read | L = library book | A = audio book | N = nook
Synopsis: Kvothe ("pronounced nearly the same as 'Quothe' "), the hero and villain of a thousand tales who's presumed dead, lives as the simple proprietor of the Waystone Inn under an assumed name. Prompted by a biographer called Chronicler who realizes his true identity, Kvothe starts to tell his life story. From his upbringing as an actor in his family's traveling troupe of magicians, jugglers and jesters, the Edema Ruh, to feral child on the streets of the vast port city of Tarbean, then his education at "the University," Kvothe is driven by twin imperatives—his desire to learn the higher magic of naming and his need to discover as much as possible about the Chandrian, the demons of legend who murdered his family.
Excellent book, and I can't wait for the sequel. Can I give it a better review than that? Well, let me get the negatives out of the way first: I found the romantic interest unappealing, and the plot stalled out in a couple places. Other than that, it was pretty fantastic. It's a coming of age story and a hero's journey story and a revenge story and a lot more. It shifts back in forth between the past and the present and manages to not make those shifts annoying or intrusive, which is pretty impressive. It also manages to set up what feels like momentous events in the remaining books of a trilogy without that 'treading water' feel that some first-books have; even though they're not exactly epic in scope, Kvothe's (relatively) small tragedies and triumphs as a child and teen seem huge because they're huge to him, and also because they seem to foreshadow what's coming down the road.
If none of that makes any sense, I blame the NyQuil.
In less happy reading news, the new book I picked up at the library - The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - is kind of a dud so far. Which I'm kind of shocked by, because the reviews on amazon were all fairly good. It makes me happy I didn't splurge based on those and buy it on the Nook, since I think I may just return it. It's just... flat. Like the story is there but it's just a sketch, not a painting, and the characters are just puppets, not real people. Again, I blame the drugs if that makes no sense.
So... what to read now...