Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Very very good.

It didn't strike me til after I'd finished the book and I was reading one of the blurbs on the inside cover, that the rough-sketch plot to this story is almost the same as Harry Potter. Which I don't mean as criticism at all, because - aside from the fact that Rowling was by no means the first to use it - Rothfuss does it so very much better than she.

The only real problem I had with this book is that I read it before he was done with the series, which I've more-or-less sworn off doing; now I have to wait for the sequel!

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The Dark Glory War, by Michael Stackpole

The Dark Glory War (A Prelude to the DragonCrown War Cycle) The Dark Glory War by Michael A. Stackpole

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Pretty stock standard epic fantasy. Nothing terrible about most of it, and a couple of nice culture touches like the masks. But the ending _was_ terrible; our heroes inexplicably ditch their army and go trapsing into Moria on their own (ok, its not actually called Moria, but it might as well have been) where they get their butts kicked because the badguys did not inexplicably leave their army at home. Surprise! And then the book waffles on for another 50 pages or so before finally curling up to whimper in a corner.

There's a strange pacing problem here too, where the most verbiage gets spent on bits that don't appear to be particularly important to the story, and then some of the bits that _are_ important feel a bit rushed. For example, towards the end we get a paragraph or two that says something like "I trekked across the snow for a couple of weeks, hiding from pursuers and nearly empty-handed, before I was finally rescued." What a perfect opportunity to make us feel his desperation in this amazing battle against the elements and his hunters, but instead we get this kind of casual offhand mention of it from after the fact. And then we get details about his ride home that we couldn't possibly care about.

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