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Author Topic: Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles  (Read 1014 times)
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ATB
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« on: October 03, 2014, 02:48:13 PM »

In the spirit of Crux's Abercrombie Thread...

I was reading the First Law Trilogy on a plane when a guy glanced over, saw it, struck up a conversation and recommended Rothfuss.  

I read the first book earlier this year and came away incredibly impressed by Rothfuss' writing and very much enjoyed the book. I'm 3/4 through book 2 which is, in mind, significantly better...and I thought I'd strike up a conversation about it. I've seen people mention him in passing, but I think the series so far warrants its own thread.

I care a great deal for the main character, but I'm not entirely sure why.  I think the adventures he's having are 'cant put the book down' good but also not really much is happening.  The events that are occurring are unique and captivating and I have laughed, felt stress and concern, but somehow it's all quite sterile.

I've no idea how to explain this dichotomy but Rothfuss is a magnificent writer (better than Abercrombie, IMO, but Abercrombie's characters were far more layered and complex), and the series is well worth your time.

Name of the Wind (book 1): 4/5
Wise Man's Fear (book 2): so far 5/5
3rd book is supposed to be out in 2016.
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TiLT
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2014, 02:53:48 PM »

There was a big list of the best sci-fi and fantasy books of all time that was published not long ago, and the fantasy list had The Lord of the Rings in first place, A Song of Ice and Fire in second, and The Kingkiller Chronicles in third. I absolutely agree with that ranking.

There's a TV show coming for these books too, btw.
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Crawley
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 09:12:08 PM »

Yeah I love these two books and agree the second book is better than the first - even though the first is pretty great. My only complaint about the books is Denna. I don't fathom why Kvothe is in love with her. She is not that likable a woman. So for me when she shows up its like "ugh not again...just give up on her!"

Didn't hear about the TV series being a thing. That's good to hear. Fox has the license so hopefully it'll appear on FX rather than Fox, so they don't dumb it too down.
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TiLT
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 09:19:36 PM »

By the way, does anyone else immediately think of Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter movies whenever Auri appears in the books? I can't help it, but she keeps popping back in my head every single time. I told a friend of mine about this, and he said that it was the same for him too. There's just something about how that character is written.
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2014, 09:21:38 PM »

I really loved the first book but unlike you guys I found the second one mildly disappointing.  I really enjoy the way Rothfuss writes in general, though.

I have a hard time believing that the third one will live up to them after so long when they were supposedly all written once before he did these versions.  Probably over thinking and over complicating everything.  Or maybe I'm just projecting too much GRRMartin disappointment on this.

Not sure I like hearing about the TV series.  Fox in general doesn't do much quality drama/action/scifi/fantasy stuff these days.  My guess is it's going to be cheesy and barely follow the books at all.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 09:23:41 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on October 03, 2014, 09:21:38 PM

I really loved the first book but unlike you guys I found the second one mildly disappointing.

Same here.  The first one blew me away but the second didn't have the same magic and even got tedious at times.  I'll still buy book 3 the instant comes out, though.
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TiLT
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 09:25:37 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on October 03, 2014, 09:21:38 PM

Probably over thinking and over complicating everything.  Or maybe I'm just projecting too much GRRMartin disappointment on this.

GRRM and Rothfuss seem to approach their writing in somewhat different ways though, from what I can tell. Where GRRM is the type who'll juggle the plot around until he gets it perfect, Rothfuss juggles his sentences, perfecting them until they are shining diamonds. He apparently does dozens of passes with his books, tweaking and fixing things all the time, but I don't think he makes many significant plot changes.
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JCC
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2014, 12:39:04 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on October 03, 2014, 09:23:41 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on October 03, 2014, 09:21:38 PM

I really loved the first book but unlike you guys I found the second one mildly disappointing.

Same here.  The first one blew me away but the second didn't have the same magic and even got tedious at times.  I'll still buy book 3 the instant comes out, though.

Me 3. I am still very engaged and really want to see where the story goes next, but I enjoyed book one much more than the second.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2014, 02:19:08 AM »

Totally didn't intend the pun above about the magic.
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Razgon
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2014, 10:52:19 AM »

Quote from: TiLT on October 03, 2014, 09:19:36 PM

By the way, does anyone else immediately think of Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter movies whenever Auri appears in the books? I can't help it, but she keeps popping back in my head every single time. I told a friend of mine about this, and he said that it was the same for him too. There's just something about how that character is written.

Hah, I just started a re-read of the second book and totally think of Luna Lovegood as Auri - rather funny.

Love the books, but the first one is heads above the second in story and quality in my opinion.

There is another book in the same excellent storytelling style you guys need to read then - Peter V. Brett "The Painted man" - I actually think the US title was something different. The first book is VERY good, and has worldbuilding unlike anything I've seen in recent years. Unfortunately, his second book is....not very good and changes perspective which annoys most people I talk with about it. Anyways - its very much worth a read, and I'd say the first book is just as good as Name of the Wind.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 10:54:24 AM by Razgon » Logged

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EngineNo9
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2014, 02:28:04 AM »

Quote from: Razgon on October 05, 2014, 10:52:19 AM

There is another book in the same excellent storytelling style you guys need to read then - Peter V. Brett "The Painted man" - I actually think the US title was something different. The first book is VERY good, and has worldbuilding unlike anything I've seen in recent years. Unfortunately, his second book is....not very good and changes perspective which annoys most people I talk with about it. Anyways - its very much worth a read, and I'd say the first book is just as good as Name of the Wind.

I looked it up, it's called "The Warded Man" in the US.  I'll have to check it out when I get time.
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TiLT
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2014, 06:53:58 AM »

Anyone interested in the Kingkiller Chronicles might want to catch the two spinoff stories too. One of them, called "The Lightning Tree", was released in the Rogues anthology (bonus: A short A Song of Ice and Fire story by George R R Martin is in there too) and is about Bast. The other one, "The Slow Regard of Silent Things", is about Auri, is a little longer, and is being released this month.
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ATB
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2014, 01:04:25 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on October 06, 2014, 06:53:58 AM

Anyone interested in the Kingkiller Chronicles might want to catch the two spinoff stories too. One of them, called "The Lightning Tree", was released in the Rogues anthology (bonus: A short A Song of Ice and Fire story by George R R Martin is in there too) and is about Bast. The other one, "The Slow Regard of Silent Things", is about Auri, is a little longer, and is being released this month.

I'd like to read lightning tree, but I'm not really interested in buying an anthology by others...any way to get it standalone?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 01:14:35 PM by ATB » Logged
Beer Goggles
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2014, 01:05:51 PM »

I read both books this year and really liked them.  My main nitpick is that I have grown weary of the teenage wunderkind and wish that Kvothe was older during the University period.
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2014, 06:01:55 PM »

I loved both books, some of my favorite fantasy books.  Can't wait for the 3rd and am happy to hear about the TV series.
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TiLT
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« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2014, 08:16:46 PM »

Quote from: ATB on October 06, 2014, 01:04:25 PM

Quote from: TiLT on October 06, 2014, 06:53:58 AM

Anyone interested in the Kingkiller Chronicles might want to catch the two spinoff stories too. One of them, called "The Lightning Tree", was released in the Rogues anthology (bonus: A short A Song of Ice and Fire story by George R R Martin is in there too) and is about Bast. The other one, "The Slow Regard of Silent Things", is about Auri, is a little longer, and is being released this month.

I'd like to read lightning tree, but I'm not really interested in buying an anthology by others...any way to get it standalone?

I don't think so. On the other hand, you might want to pick up Rogues anyway, as it might surprise you, and it's not like it's expensive. George R R Martin's foreword talks about how part of him misses the days of the collections of short stories he used to buy when he was a kid. His arguments are that it makes you discover stories, genres and authors you might never have heard of and certainly not considered, and you don't lock yourself into a genre before you even pick up the book. You're just carried along on a ride into a bunch of worlds that you know nothing about (with the exception of the authors using the opportunity to expand their established settings) and get to experience the joy of discovery, exploration and surprise. There's everything from historical fiction through fantasy to science fiction here.

It mostly works. There are some stellar stories in the collection, from authors I've never heard of before. There are a few stinkers too, but the nice things about finding those in a collection is that you can just skip them for the next story in line. I've done that with two of the stories in Rogues. One was a high-fantasy story that was so unbelievable and ridiculous (in the wrong way) that I couldn't even begin to take it seriously or enjoy its jokes. The other was written so poorly that I found myself unable to tell what was going on in even the simplest of situations. But it's all made better by the stories that ended well and had me begging for more.
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2014, 11:25:00 PM »

I loved and raved about the first book.  The second one was a major disappointment for me, half the time I felt like I was reading some cheesy romance novel.  I get the sense that Rothfuss is moving into that "too pretentious for his own good" space that George RR Martin went to a while back.  Hopefully both authors will come back down to earth to conclude their respective series.
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ATB
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« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2014, 02:34:10 PM »

I'm about 80% into the 2nd book and I don't understand the dislike of it.  There's less Denna, more character growth for Kvothe and more things actually happening.  At this pace though the third book better be like 3,000 pages because I'm not sure how he's spending 2 books on the early teens and one book on the rest of the guy's life. slywink

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« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2014, 07:40:50 PM »

The first one was ok... the second one was painfully awful for large stretches, and ok in others.  The whole fairyland sex party was painfully stupid.  The whole series should be called 'Luckily, thanks to my...'

My dislike of the second one was no doubt exacerbated by listening to it in audio book form and the reader being pretty awful as well.

I find praise of the actual writing fairly baffling, as to my eyes/ears it is pretty amateurish and simple.  There is no elegance or love of language in there - he's just telling the story... plainly.  Maybe the praise is just praising it in contrast to the majority of writers in the genre?  Most of them are so awful I can't hack it, so maybe the fact that I was actually able to read these is evidence that he's a cut above his competition?  Dunno.

At this point I figure I'll tune in for the final book, but... hopes are not high.  Sorry to be a little black rain cloud. smile
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« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2014, 08:13:26 PM »

Quote from: kratz on October 07, 2014, 07:40:50 PM

I find praise of the actual writing fairly baffling, as to my eyes/ears it is pretty amateurish and simple.  There is no elegance or love of language in there - he's just telling the story... plainly. 

That is skillful writing. A good writer doesn't try to impress with his writing skillz. He lets the writing stay in the background, allowing the reader to focus unhindered on the story. This is one of the first lessons I learned when I got into writing. A writer isn't a showman trying to impress his readers with flair and clever sentences. He's a craftsman carefully laying down a story in a way that allows the readers to forget the writer was even there in the first place.
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« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2014, 08:43:01 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on October 07, 2014, 08:13:26 PM

Quote from: kratz on October 07, 2014, 07:40:50 PM

I find praise of the actual writing fairly baffling, as to my eyes/ears it is pretty amateurish and simple.  There is no elegance or love of language in there - he's just telling the story... plainly. 

That is skillful writing. A good writer doesn't try to impress with his writing skillz. He lets the writing stay in the background, allowing the reader to focus unhindered on the story. This is one of the first lessons I learned when I got into writing. A writer isn't a showman trying to impress his readers with flair and clever sentences. He's a craftsman carefully laying down a story in a way that allows the readers to forget the writer was even there in the first place.

Some good writers focus on a plain telling of the story, some good writers focus on crafting amazing poetic sentences. 

I almost always prefer the former, but sometimes the latter just blows me away.  Mervyn Peake's writing in the Gormenghast series is incredible.  It may take him 3 paragraphs to describe someone's face, but at the end I can picture the face almost as clearly as my own.  Jhumpa Lahiri's gorgeous writing in Interpreter of Maladies also comes to mind.
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« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2014, 08:51:57 PM »

Rothfuss is a good, natural storyteller.  I found it very easy to get completely absorbed into both books.  Yes, the second is a little slower paced in spots, but it's still good.  There's something about his writing style that's both intelligent, but also like talking with a buddy.  His ability to describe music is really good too.     
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TiLT
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« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2014, 09:20:49 PM »

Btw, for those who don't know: Rothfuss is writing one of the companions in the upcoming Torment: Tides of Numenera (the spiritual Planescape: Torment sequel). I don't think anything has been revealed about the companion yet, but I believe he/she/it was 100% invented by Rothfuss himself for the game.

He's a big gamer, and a huge fan of Planescape: Torment.
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« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2014, 09:36:15 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on October 07, 2014, 08:13:26 PM

Quote from: kratz on October 07, 2014, 07:40:50 PM

I find praise of the actual writing fairly baffling, as to my eyes/ears it is pretty amateurish and simple.  There is no elegance or love of language in there - he's just telling the story... plainly. 

That is skillful writing. A good writer doesn't try to impress with his writing skillz. He lets the writing stay in the background, allowing the reader to focus unhindered on the story. This is one of the first lessons I learned when I got into writing. A writer isn't a showman trying to impress his readers with flair and clever sentences. He's a craftsman carefully laying down a story in a way that allows the readers to forget the writer was even there in the first place.

Wow great post Tilt, I agree completely.
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« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2014, 10:02:37 PM »

I do think that simple writing can be beautiful and well crafted, and that his is not particularly that type of writing.  His dialogue doesn't sound natural to me...

That is not to say that he is a bad writer, or that he is bad at telling a story - I just don't get people praising the writing itself when I don't find it to be anything to write home about.  The story is pretty fun, but it's all popcorn, and his reliance on the whole 'Luckily, thanks to my...' thing gets eye rolly.
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« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2014, 04:33:55 AM »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't you the one who couldn't get through A Song of Ice and Fire because you thought it was shitty writing?

I rest my case. slywink
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« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2014, 10:38:26 PM »

Haha, touche.

1. I have read all of ASOIAF, and I think the writing is good.
2. The first time I tried to read it I felt the initial scene between Danaerys and Viserys was ridiculously over the top.  I think I had also just finished one of many re-reads of LOTR immediately prior to reading it, and the juxtaposition was too jarring.

Anyway, I got over it.  I still think that scene, as well as some other scenes through the book, are pretty silly and over the top, but I love those books.
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« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2014, 04:18:30 PM »

Have started slow regard of silent things.

The writing is an excellent departure from his other works, but I'm wondering if even 170 pages is going to be too much of Auri rearranging things and putting them in their right places...

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« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2014, 08:55:08 PM »

Thanks for the recommendation. I have been enjoying "The Name of the Wind" so far.
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« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2014, 01:56:35 PM »

Finished Slow Regard. 2/5.  When is 176 pages too many? When it's 170 of them about an OCD girl rearranging junk in a basement.

I think I like Joe Abercrombie's work better.
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« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2014, 12:11:35 AM »

Quote from: ATB on November 21, 2014, 01:56:35 PM

Finished Slow Regard. 2/5.  When is 176 pages too many? When it's 170 of them about an OCD girl rearranging junk in a basement.

To be fair, he did tell you in the foreword that you wouldn't like this book. It's more of an internalized character study than a traditional story. I found it quite fascinating, though not in the normal way I tend to associate with my books. As a companion story, it is interesting in how it gives us some insight into one of the stranger, most mysterious characters in the books.
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ATB
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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2014, 03:11:52 PM »

I thought he did a brilliant job of differentiating the different objects and capturing Auri's thought processes and writing in a new style, but like he says in the end, nothing actually happens.

There's something about his writing even in the kingkiller chronicles that I just absorb and enjoy, but there's something...off about it and I still can't figure out what it is.
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« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2014, 11:54:23 PM »

Awesome to see a thread about these books here, you'd never guess these are some of my all time favorite books right?

Big big fan and I anxiously await anything else Rothfuss writes...
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ATB
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« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2014, 04:54:30 PM »

Quote from: Kvothe on November 23, 2014, 11:54:23 PM

Awesome to see a thread about these books here, you'd never guess these are some of my all time favorite books right?

Big big fan and I anxiously await anything else Rothfuss writes...

Did you read slow regard?
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