Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer Reading: Part 2

If you like coming of age stories in which people attend schools of magic (I do!), I recommend the high fantasy novel The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (the first book of the Kingkiller trilogy; there are two published right now and apparently the third one is already written, so we're not facing a Game of Thrones situation here). 

It starts off really slow, with this boring inn and these boring cardboard cut-out fantasy novel characters telling boring stories about the dark times while drinking their boring drinks, and I wasn't feeling into it at all.  But then the story-within-a-story got started, and it ramped up pretty quickly from blah to interesting (but beware, the pacing remains on the slow side). 

The main character can be a very annoying adolescent of the "I am superior to all of you!" variety, but the fact is that he, you know, really is smarter than basically everyone else on the planet.  His staggering genius combined with his arrogance keeps him from being a disgustingly wholesome Wesley Crusher type, but there were definitely times I was irritated not with the character (though many reviewers on Amazon are, it turns out) but with the writer.  Writing an all-encompassing genius is kind of a cop-out, you know? 

Nevertheless, I would say that if you like this genre of fantasy, it's definitely worth giving it a shot.  Even when certain aspects of his story are somewhat predictable, and there's no big central conflict to get resolved at the end, I still just like seeing the whole magic school thing play out.

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