Patrick Rothfuss

Brian G Turner

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The Name of the Wind seems to have gone down pretty well by all accounts, not least this thread:
Patrick Rothfuss-The Name Of The Wind-Book one of The King Killer Chronicles

However, reviews of The Wise Man's Fear seem to suggest that potential early promise has fallen into turning Kvothe into a poor wish-fulfillment.

Firstly, this review seems quite well-balanced, though it's in a minority:
Overrated

This review is far more "out there" and perhaps overly cynical:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/38361485

but this bit really catches my attention:

THE GODDAMN FELURIAN BIT.

So this is what happens: Between pages 500 and 628, Kvothe and a band of mercenaries wander around a forest looking for bandits. After they kill the bandits, in an awesome-but-not-worth-the-preceding-hundred-pages kind of way, they run into Felurian, a legendary nymphomaniacal sex fairy whose sex is so sexy, every man who sexes her gets sexed to death. Or insanity. Kvothe dives right in, but instead of being sexed to death and/or insanity, he survives. Moreso, he out-sexes Felurian. You read that right: Kvothe, a young teenaged kid, completely inexperienced in the art sex of sex, manages to impress an immortal sex-fairy with the power of his sex. Because the sex he does is soooo good. He is amazing. Spectacular. Perfect.

He is sixteen.

But Kvothe isn't just perfect at sex: he also manages to fight off Felurian's sex-power and break free from her sex-spell. Then he has sex with her again, gets her to teach him more about sex, composes a song about how great sex with Felurian is (but refuses to finish it unless she lets him leaves fairysexland so he can have sex with other women for comparison), has sex with her again, and gets her to make him a magical cloak (made of shadows and starlight!) in between having sex with her and having more sex with her. He also talks to a tree that can tell the future. Then he returns to the mortal world and impresses all the mortal women with the power of his sex.

It's not as bad as it sounds, really--it’s much, much worse.

So any comments on Patrick Rothfuss from the chrons readers?
 
The first book was competent enough, but needed serious editing. What I heard of the second - which included the above - didn't convince me to even bother....
 
I liked the first book, though it didn't hold up to a second read that well, I am now rather dubious about the second. One to get from the library rather than buy, from the sound of it.
 
I enjoy Rothfuss' books, but I wouldn't say I'm a superfan. His writing is sometimes brilliant, but in NotW, I found some of the University stuff a bit too 'Hogwarts' for my taste and for me the whole Draccus side-quest didn't really jibe with the rest of the novel. Saying all that, I did enjoy the book (though skimmed the side-quest in rereads).

I also enjoyed tWMF, and I don't think the section of review you quoted is really fair. It's a few months since I read it, but IMO:

Does Kvothe encounter a sex fairy? Yes.

Does he avoid being driven insane/killed by fairy sex? Yes, but through the strength of mind/character that is a core part of his character throughout the novels. Not by out-sexing her.

Does he escape the sexy sex fairy? Yes, but by charming and tricking her, as is core to Kvothe's character throughout the novels.

I think the entire concept of Kvothe has a high degree of wish fulfillment bordering on the 'Gary stu'. If it didn't bother you enough to make you dislike him in the first book, I don't think it's that much worse here.

</ my 2p >
 
I quite like Patrick Rothfuss...:eek:;) I'd agree with JDP, and although the seduction and sex bit is somewhat overlong, the emphasis on his escaping her clutches is his mind's ability - something that is touched on by one of his professors afterwards, and it's laying down something that is going to be important in the next book. The mystery of why Kvothe had become Kote, and lost his abilities, will be key, and there's a lot of speculation about the fact that his mind is locked... She likes him enough to give him a magical cloak, and that would take time, wouldn't it?

I really enjoyed the wandering in the woods bit - it set up two separate story threads - meeting the

I must admit that the unreality of the Felurian bit was that it became common knowledge, but Kvothe wasn't hounded by his world's equivalent of our press! Nobody came to see him to ask about it, to make up songs about it, to see what incredible talent he had that he could escape from her, and so on.

And I'd disagree with the review in that he wasn't a sex god when he met her, there's a whole section devoted to how she teaches him to become that... And saying dismissively
He also talks to a tree that can tell the future.
is like saying 'Merry and Pippin are helped by some walking trees'. Bast's reaction to Kvothe telling us this is so extreme, we know there's more to it than meets the eye.

Rothfuss is a master at hiding things in plain sight, and bearing in mind that he wrote the Kingkiller Chronicles as one book, perhaps we shouldn't judge too harshly, while we're waiting for book three.


ps: Brian, isn't it about time Patrick has an author entry of his own? I'm pretty sure he's fulfilled the criteria by now.
 
Book 2 was a bit of a dissappointment to me, and the whole Kvothe is brilliant at EVERYTHING got to be really jarring! I mean, this 16 year old who is useless with women (the whole Dianna thing... wow he's pathetic) suddenly convinces some women to marry a lord - how exactly?

Just doesn't make sense, the sex fairy description at the top is quite accurate, the Draccus thing was daft, the whole premise of the aforementioned lord (i'm sorry I cant remember his name) sending him off in charge of a few people to wander round the woods and kill the bandits is plain daft.

Its a shame, I like his writing but the plots let him down, I feel the book would benefit a lot with a bit more thought on how to progress the story, rather than shoe-horning Kvothe into ridiculous situations.
 
Dammit, where'd the rest of my post go?? This is the missing bit...

I really enjoyed the wandering in the woods bit - it set up two separate story threads - meeting the Adem, (where he learns to fight properly, which you know is going to be important) and also meeting Cinder, finding absolute proof of the chandrian's existence after all that time.
 
I also agree with JDP about the Felurian episode. The reviewer I, Brian quotes I think is trying to be more funny than critical, and misses the mark a bit.

But let's face it, Kvothe is a Gary Stu type of guy. He is brilliant at everything to which he puts his hand. Except Denna. Except, he really doesn't ever put his hand to her, does he? Or does he?

Still liked the books, and I liked the present-tense, 3rd person narrative of the Waystone Inn much better than the 1st person reminiscing of Kvothe. Still, a very readable story. I like how Rothfuss refers to certain events in passing, as opposed to lengthening the story to include them (the terrible sea voyage, and his trial, etc.).

Rothfuss has talent, but it needs refining. He is not as good as his sales indicate.
 
I absolutely love his books they are one of the few books I can read more than once ( The Name of the Wind I read 3 or 4 times) and still enjoy the wait for the next book I think draws to some of the disappointment in some of the readers. I will admit that the second book seemed a little slow with the progression but then again I was waiting for about 2 or 3 years. Still I will say he's on my personal top 5 writers, I know that's big and will have some disagreement but I absolutely love his writing style just wish it didn't take as long. On a side note does anyone know when his next book is due?
 
However, reviews of The Wise Man's Fear seem to suggest that potential early promise has fallen into turning Kvothe into a poor wish-fulfillment.

It occurs to me that the strength of The Name of the Wind propelled Patrick into the number one spot of the bestsellers for hardback books for Wise Man's fears, (New York Times) so it will be interesting to see whether it happens again with book three - the inference being that most people wouldn't give a damn about the reviews if it did, and made their own minds up (as most posters here did). If it fails to make it to number one, then it would suggest less people enjoyed book two.
 
I still really enjoyed the books, though the first was the better of the two. There's enough mystery set up that I will still read the third (hiding things that have not been mentioned yet or are not obvious) - what King did he kill, how, and why, to earn the King killer title? He has promised to go back to Fellurian, how will that work out? Who is Denna's mysterious patron, who seems to want her to write good things about the Chandrian? How did he find Bast? How will the fact that he was talked to by that tree work out, after Bast fills us in on just what the tree was? What will happen with Denna? How will he beat the chandrian, since they are even more all-powerful than he is, and revenge on them is ultimately his one overiding aim in life?

And of course if he is so all-powerful, why does he no longer have any power left?

It is a little irritating that the character is in general a wunderkind, but hey, stories are rarely about ordinary folks. All the same, a bit more flaws would be nice, instead of being quite so amazing at magic, fighting, singing, playing music etc. But I can live with that :)
 
I still really enjoyed the books, though the first was the better of the two. There's enough mystery set up that I will still read the third (hiding things that have not been mentioned yet or are not obvious) - what King did he kill, how, and why, to earn the King killer title? He has promised to go back to Fellurian, how will that work out? Who is Denna's mysterious patron, who seems to want her to write good things about the Chandrian? How did he find Bast? How will the fact that he was talked to by that tree work out, after Bast fills us in on just what the tree was? What will happen with Denna? How will he beat the chandrian, since they are even more all-powerful than he is, and revenge on them is ultimately his one overiding aim in life?

And of course if he is so all-powerful, why does he no longer have any power left?

It is a little irritating that the character is in general a wunderkind, but hey, stories are rarely about ordinary folks. All the same, a bit more flaws would be nice, instead of being quite so amazing at magic, fighting, singing, playing music etc. But I can live with that :)


I'd have to agree with you on most of what you wrote but the fact is he was a wunderkind of sorts, but he is flawed a flawed character now. I have a feeling that when and if he gains his abilities back it will be more powerful than what hes said thus far, but at what cost?
 
I'm just going to go with the character being crap at Sudoku, that no matter how hard he tries, he can't solve even the simplest ones. Now I feel better about him.
 
i have to say i didn't love The Name of the Wind. i think Rothfuss is a very talented writer, and the prose was better than most epic fantasy. i also like that he took a different, more intimate single-perspective approach than other titans of the genre.

that said, i found Kvothe kind of irritating, and that's a bit of a problem when you're reading an intimate single-perspective novel.
 
Ah, so that's the review you were referring to. I can only repeat what I said in the other thread; presuming their review is actually serious, they've totally missed the point. The Felurian sequence had nothing to do with sex. At all.

That review reads like a "surface impression". You sometimes get (usually stupid) people who negatively review a complex book, because they've missed the complexities of the book and are reacting only to the superficial window dressing that occupies the book's upper layer.
 
Is The Name of the Wind a book about a kid that is always learning something to accomplish things in the future to become this awesome dude, I am getting bogged down by Kvothe's learning from Ben. Does he just run around doing random things, I don't see much of a story/plot evolving in this book. Am I missing something?
 
I'd still recommend people to read TNotW, and I DO like the intimate POV and writing, but I did have issues with the middle. I haven't yet finished book one, cos The Awesome Wheel of Time seems to be taking up all my reading time :)D), but, if I can give a spoiler, I found Patrick's use of violence wearing.

At first, all the events that happened to the protag were heart-wrenching and evoked a great sense of pathos, then as more and more kept happening it slowly, for me, turned into disbelief - "Sigh. What else is gonna happen to him? What haven't we had yet? Muggings? Stabbings? Beatings? Rape? etc." - as if all these bad events were forced upon him so readers will care. I didn't feel they fit in and had any real purpose, other than as filler, after the initial few bad things that were very well handled. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind violence in stories, but not when it seems to serve no purpose other than playing with my empathy.

However, once I get to the end of the book I may be proved wrong. There *may* be a reason why bad things happened so regularly in the middle (though I fear they may just be incidental).
I hope so. I desperately want to love the book so I have another series to look forward to.



But... I always find threads like this strange. No matter what I hear about books, I read them and make up my own mind rather than make up my mind based on others' opinions. After all, I could look at a book in an entirely different way to others and love something people hate. I think when you open a book's first page, the journey ahead should be exciting and full of promise, not already tainted by negativity. Then it's the author's job to keep my enthusiasm hooked... :)
 

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