Patrick Rothfuss and the sex fairy

Brian G Turner

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Name of the Wind keeps coming up on my radar as a big recent fantasy debut, and one I should read as part of my exploration of the epic fantasy genre.

However ... something that puts me off is a piece I read before slamming his "sex fairy" section. Where the hero, Kothe, outsexes a sex fairy.

It's not that I'm averse to reading about sex, as much as that it sounds like completely ridiculous, easily on a par with Terry Goodkind's "evil chicken". The thing is, at least there's room to claim the evil chicken represented something philosophical. What's the claim with the sex fairy?

I mentioned it to a couple of friends who'd read it, and they did have a laugh about that bit, though they otherwise enjoyed it.

Think is, it is kind of putting me off reading Rothfuss. :)

Am I really missing out that much?
 

Boneman

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Yes.

I would leave it there, but I'll add more: the Felurian bit is in book two -The Wise Man's Fear - and the claim is for the ability Kvothe has to section part of his mind so that he never fully succumbs. Since he's the only human ever to do this, this ability is going to become relevant in book 3. Indeed, he not only escapes from her clutches, but goes with her blessing. She is the ultimate Siren, in a long tradition of Sirens going back to Greek Mythology, and when you read it, Kvothe's reflection on her role in life is quite poignant. And what she makes for him is going to play a part in the future.

By the time you've read The Name of The Wind, you will understand that it's going to be important... very important...

Go to the Library and borrow a copy of NOTW - that way you've hedged your bets! And I'd say make up your own mind, rather than being influenced by another's writing.
 
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AnyaKimlin

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I am curious as to what is putting you off? I have never read Rothfuss but the whole sex-fairy title drew me in. I wrote a story about a Gnome pornstar once.
 

Boneman

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I am curious as to what is putting you off? I have never read Rothfuss but the whole sex-fairy title drew me in. I wrote a story about a Gnome pornstar once.
A friend put him up to it??

Anyway... NOTW and TWMF have won these awards:

  1. #1 The New York Times Best Seller
  2. Writers of the Future (2002 Second Quarter)
  3. Quill Award (2007)"Best Books of the Year" (2007) – Publishers Weekly – Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror"
  4. David Gemmell Legend Award"
  5. 2012 Ranked 3rd in "Best 21st Century Fantasy Fiction Novels" by Locus (2012)
So isn't it worth making up your own mind? Somewhere in one of his blogs he talks of winning an award from some Romantic Books voting/personage/thingy as well... Even he didn't take it too seriously...
 

Brian G Turner

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I am curious as to what is putting you off?
Reading a book that is seen as serious fiction, but then includes something that might be considered outright ridiculous. :)

Then again, I did order a Terry Goodkind after Christmas - Wizards First Rule - which unfortunately I suspect does not contain the "evil chicken" bit.

Cheers, Boneman - I'll put it on my reading list. May as well, I guess. And "siren" sounds much better than "sex fairy". :)
 

AnyaKimlin

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He's on my list after Torchwood: Exodus Code, Call the Midwife, Alchemist of Souls, Murder Most Fab, a Dresden File and a Toni Morrison book. NOTW is on my Kindle waiting patiently.

But the sex-fairy bit may just have bumped him up the list ;)

I don't mind a bit of silly in an otherwise serious book.
 

Boneman

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Then again, I did order a Terry Goodkind after Christmas - Wizards First Rule - which unfortunately I suspect does not contain the "evil chicken" bit.

Nah, that was book 2: Stone of Tears. In defence of TGoodkind, I thought the first two (evil chicken notwithstanding) were damn good romps, but subsequent books subsequently went downhill after that. At least Rothfuss's is only a trilogy...

PS: Just saw Anya's posting: if you read the others on your list first, the whole trilogy might be out by the time you're ready... the suspense is killing if you've already read 1 and 2...
 

Grunkins

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As with anything in literature, it's all about the execution. Despite some totally outlandish deeds by Kvothe (and all at a young age), the series still has a high degree of verisimilitude because it's executed well and is internally consistent. Rothfuss makes it all pretty easy to swallow. And as Boneman says, it's in book two. Chances are pretty high that if you get to that point you are invested enough so that it will be either swallowable or easily forgiven.
 

Culhwch

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I read the first book and never really had a desire to read the second - and especially not after I heard about the sex fairy part. I find Rothfuss an overindulgent writer - there was a good book to be had in NotW (good, not great) but it needed either a lot more self-editing, or a much more serious edit once it arrived at the punblishers.
 

Lord Soth

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I liked the 2 books, enough for a second read - but Kvothe was getting bloody annoying second time round.
He's pretty much perfect at everything

• amazing wizard - check
• amaziing fighter - check
• amazing singer - check
• sex fairy conqueror - check

Really got on my nerves, but they are still very well written and I will get the third book...
 

AnyaKimlin

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My favourite novel has what would these days be called a Mary Sue as the main character. Her only real flaw is that she does not get on with her puritan family. I don't care I still love her.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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I read the first book and never really had a desire to read the second ... there was a good book to be had in NotW (good, not great) but it needed either a lot more self-editing, or a much more serious edit once it arrived at the punblishers.
Pretty much my own opinion.

_______

Punblishers ... does Ursa know about these people? Clearly a market for his work.
 

AndrewT

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After reading the "Felurian Bit" review I decided not to read either of the books. I know I should not be prejudiced by someone else's review even if it was a darn well-written one. It's just that the fantasy genre has more power without that kind of thing. Even Codex Alera was slightly tainted by it although not nearly to that degree. You can hint at those things but to get explicit does not fit well and ruins the escape, at least for me. I get the impression that authors do it solely to avoid being classified as a children's book writer. I have to say that you don't need to do that to appeal to adults! Tolkien still rules with transcendental power.
 

Lord Soth

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Heh, sometimes I feel like the only person do doesn't mind a bit of explicitness in books - its certainly nothing that would prevent me buying a book (wouldn't convince me to buy it on that alone either - i'm not a Shades reader!)
 

Ursa major

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'Evil sex chicken' sounds like a game where the authors dare each other to write ever more evilly (and, possibly, ever more foully) about sex...








...presumably ending up with a real turkey.
 

Montero

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Speaking as someone with a small flock of chickens including two cockerels.

An evil sex chicken = cockerel.

Some days a cockerel's idea of "would you like a cup of coffee" is a running jump onto the hen. Sometimes the hens run faster.
The nearest they get to "would you like a coffee" is to make lots of noises about "food here" - specific chicken call by the way, also used by mother hens to their chicks. When the hen gets close enough .... well I'm sure you've got the picture by now.

Jokes about taking a flying f*** are entirely appropriate at this point. :D

Some cockerels do genuinely find food for the hens AND let them eat it. Our current boss cockerel is actually quite popular with the hens - they will sit round him in a cluster when they are all out for a sun bathe.

(For completeness, hens indicate willingness to the cockerel by doing a sort of squatting position. They also don't move aside at the last moment.)
 
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