Ah, Patrick Rothfuss, a master and connoisseur of fine writing, or so I’ve thought for most of the years I’ve read his work. I fell in love with his writing style when I first encountered it. Who couldn’t? Readers can find more lore, detail, and character building in his worlds than most others have accomplished throughout their career, and he hasn’t finished his first trilogy. (What’s taking so long, Pat? We want it!)
I’ve read the Name of the Wind and the Wise Man’s Fear twice, just finishing both for the second time this year. Being rather young on the first go-round (I was barely into my third cell phone in 2011), I was in complete awe of the worlds he built. After the first time finishing, I closed the cover, tears rolling from my eyes, and consequently didn’t read anything else for a week. It was a book hangover of the worst kind. The second time I finished, I found myself closing the cover, tears rolling from my eyes, again wishing for more. Fan boys the world over eagerly await the third installment and the film production(s). (Praise Tehlu it’s in Miranda’s hands.) I ended the second reading, however, with more awareness than I did the first, and with less stars in my eyes.
Yes, Rothfuss is a master at writing. I just can’t give the second reading as much praise as I did the first. His word usage, espeically toward the end of WMF, gets incredibly repetitive and his grammar becomes lackluster at best. Especially in the (SPOILERS) Interlude sections of the book, the writing seems lazy, even in supposed page-turning, action-heavy areas. I suppose this will be imitated in parts of the Doors of Stone, the trilogy’s next installment, as the style felt somewhat related to the plot and certain foreshadowing.
The biggest snag for me in the books was the utter convenience. I could be wrong here–I don’t have nearly as much experience as Rothfuss–but whenever he had certain convenience to wrap us parts of the plot, he did. The lead up to things that haven’t been mentioned in several hundred pages is missing, and sometimes, these events, items, or whatever they tend to be, are referenced in passing. It’s almost like Rothfuss remembers that his story asks unanswered questions, so he throws the audience a piece of stale bread for its patience.
There’s also the “Ahem,” (SPOILERS AGAIN), Deus Ex Machina of the Draccus in the end of NotW.
I understand he’s dealing with deadlines, and editing something as large as his second installment in the Kingkiller Trilogy is a nightmare in itself. He’s also very active in the community and his career doesn’t revolve around writing. So we can’t spend all our time picking through the story. If he’s doing more, we should be too, right?
I can’t willingly give The Name of the Wind or The Wise Man’s Fear anything less than Five Stars. I’m a little biased, and I’m not the only one. His fan base is growing. I stand at the forefront, clutching my signed copies of his books, impatiently waiting for Doors of Stone. I highly recommend checking out the series if you haven’t. And if you have, there are countless discussions over at Rothfussians on Goodreads regarding his books. There are some pretty good theories about his worlds too, and some of them are eerily accurate. Check them out if you have time.