It's April 2020: What fantasy book are you reading?

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#23
Finished up The Wise Man's Fears and the easy summation is more of what afa and I have already talked about. It really does ultimately feel like a 900 page book about nothing. That isn't to say it isn't still enjoyable but when you finally turn the last page and put it down it leaves you feeling unsatisifed. What am I waiting for in the next book? 200 pages more of his annoying relationship with Denna? God that seems like an awful prospect. I would guess the reason he hasn't finished the third book is because he can't fit a satisfying conlcusion into just 1 more book. Almost nothing has been done to lead to a final battle or anything with the Chandrian. He has the stone door to deal with. I assume there will be more Denna nonsense. Will Auri turn out to be more than meets the eye? Seems nearly impossible to cover all of this stuff in a satisfying manner.

The more pressing question is what do I read next. Not sure I want to take on another re-read and I have nothing on my to read list at this point.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#24
@Cyphon His talk about having all 3 books completed when he published The Name of the Wind must have been shittalk. I agree that there's so much that need to happen in the 3rd that he's just too scared to release it, because at this point Rothfuss feels it has to meet all the expectations. He's not satisfied so he's essentially been procrastinating for several years.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#25
Have just started "The Iron Dragon's Daughter" by Michael Swanwick.
About half through, enjoying it a lot so far.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#26
What am I waiting for in the next book? 200 pages more of his annoying relationship with Denna?
Oh, you just reminded me of another thing that soured me on the series. So a lot of us hate the whole Denna thing, right? I remember seeing (or perhaps reading) an interview with Rothfuss years ago, in which he was asked about Denna. And his opinion was that the reason she was being "hated" was because she wasn't a typical damsel-in-distress and she also wasn't there just to fall in love with Kvothe, and because most Fantasy readers are male they can't relate to a "strong" or "independent" female character like her. Something to that effect.

Come on, Patrick! Could you be any more up your own ass?

@Cyphon His talk about having all 3 books completed when he published The Name of the Wind must have been shittalk. I agree that there's so much that need to happen in the 3rd that he's just too scared to release it, because at this point Rothfuss feels it has to meet all the expectations. He's not satisfied so he's essentially been procrastinating for several years.
I'm skeptical of the "already completed" claims, too. Sure, I get that things change. His book undoubtedly went through various edits and revisions before publishing, and that would require him having to rewrite the third book from his original version. But how many changes could there be?? So many that he is unable to complete the last book for nearly a decade? Seems unlikely.

Ultimately, I agree with what you said. He thought he was kind of clever with the "million-word prologue" thing, but has slowly come to the realisation that there is a very low chance the third book could live up to expectations or actually resolve any plot in a satisfactory way.

*EDIT* So after writing the above, I googled about Rothfuss a little, and it looks like he has been battling depression for quite a while, and that is likely the reason for his inability to finish the book. Now I feel bad for saying what I did...
 
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rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#27
I'm in the "Annoyed with Denna" camp. After re-reading the two books last year I think I was less annoyed on the re-read but Rothfuss is wrong about the hate. Kvothe's constant pining for her and the repetitive nature of their interactions just gets tiresome. I think her character is actually interesting - just too repetitive. The way they constantly bump into each other at odd times seems unrealistic to me UNLESS she is connected to the Chandrian and is being used to spy on him. Not sure.

Overall I still loved the first two books. My re-read did not dampen my love for the series. I've always maintained it's the Seinfeld of Fantasy - a lot of nothing happening and still very engrossing at the same time. I do struggle to see how on earth he wraps up the final book in only one book unless it's 1500 pages. But for crying out loud the first book was written in 2007, second book 2011. There is no excuse for this delay. It's a shame he has enough money that he can sit on his ass forever because he doesn't have a real deadline. Only true deadlines spur actions and he doesn't have the inner willpower to get it done unlike Sanderson who believes artists should not be exempt from deadlines. I can understand delays over depression but it's been 9 years man. Let's go! (And I do think his charity work is cool).
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#29
@rudyjuly2 I haven't re-read them yet but my first time through I adored them. I haven't read a ton of fantasy yet but among the things I've read the writing in Kingkiller is probably the best I've come across so far. It remains to be seen if I change my view on them once I've read them again but I really don't think I will.

It's a shame that he doesn't work on the final book and I understand his trepidation somewhat, but the incredible delay is turning entire fanbase against him. People are getting so pissed that he doesn't seem to give 2 shits. He actually get pissed of because fans that love his book keep asking him about book 3. But it's been a decade so what the hell is he expecting. And he's never been truthful either, obviously. Since a book that was finished hasn't been published 10 years later.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#30
The Name of the Wind was one of the first fantasy books I read when I got into reading awhile ago. I was worried it wouldn’t hold up but it did. Still think it’s one of the best ever but also very different and unique.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#31
Oh, you just reminded me of another thing that soured me on the series. So a lot of us hate the whole Denna thing, right? I remember seeing (or perhaps reading) an interview with Rothfuss years ago, in which he was asked about Denna. And his opinion was that the reason she was being "hated" was because she wasn't a typical damsel-in-distress and she also wasn't there just to fall in love with Kvothe, and because most Fantasy readers are male they can't relate to a "strong" or "independent" female character like her. Something to that effect.
Yeah that is utter nonsense. In fact if you are a big fantasy reader I would assume most people (men or women) get tired of the tried and true damsel in distress trope anyway. The issue for me is that the relationship doesn't feel organic at all because there never seems to be any growth and it is basically a Ground Hogs Day plot between them.

After the Felurian stuff it is especially bothersome the relationship doesn't change because Kvothe essentially becomes Bruce Wayne after that point and is a playboy. You are going to tell me he can master sex with a fairy goddess and then gets tongue tied around Denna? I'm not buying it.

I'm in the "Annoyed with Denna" camp. After re-reading the two books last year I think I was less annoyed on the re-read but Rothfuss is wrong about the hate. Kvothe's constant pining for her and the repetitive nature of their interactions just gets tiresome. I think her character is actually interesting - just too repetitive. The way they constantly bump into each other at odd times seems unrealistic to me UNLESS she is connected to the Chandrian and is being used to spy on him. Not sure.
You touched on something I started thinking on the re-read. The only way their relationship is salvaged is if she turns out to be one of the Chandrian or at least working for them in some way.

Overall I still loved the first two books. My re-read did not dampen my love for the series. I've always maintained it's the Seinfeld of Fantasy - a lot of nothing happening and still very engrossing at the same time. I do struggle to see how on earth he wraps up the final book in only one book unless it's 1500 pages. But for crying out loud the first book was written in 2007, second book 2011. There is no excuse for this delay. It's a shame he has enough money that he can sit on his ass forever because he doesn't have a real deadline. Only true deadlines spur actions and he doesn't have the inner willpower to get it done unlike Sanderson who believes artists should not be exempt from deadlines. I can understand delays over depression but it's been 9 years man. Let's go! (And I do think his charity work is cool).
Basically what my reviews were saying but you found a very apt comparison that explains my thoughts better than I did lol. Seinfeld seems exactly right. That actually makes it even more frustrating when you recognize nothing is happening and that you are "wasting your time" but you still want to keep reading. I am not sure how to even define the skillset but he is a master at whatever he is doing to keep us interested.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#32
when you recognize nothing is happening and that you are "wasting your time" but you still want to keep reading. I am not sure how to even define the skillset but he is a master at whatever he is doing to keep us interested.
I have no problem with this at all, or at least not usually. I loved the two books because they had such a slow masterful build up, BUT, since it is a trilogy that same slow build is also the biggest problem it's facing now. If he planned 4-5 books? Not a problem at all. But now he did too little in the first two books and left way too much to resolve in the final one.

Got my hands on Robert Jackson Bennett's new book yesterday so I started that (Shorefall, Founders #2).
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#33
I think the other spin Rothfuss can save himself with is that Kvothe is narrating the story and may be lying or exagerating things. And even though the books can be slow there are still a lot of major events in them.
I loved the Ambrose stuff. You have the University, the nutty professor, the battles with the jerk teacher, the Adare fighters, battle with one of the Chandrian, the Baron plot, Felurian (overdone), draccus, Ben and his parents, plus the current characters and Chronicler.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#34
I think the other spin Rothfuss can save himself with is that Kvothe is narrating the story and may be lying or exagerating things. And even though the books can be slow there are still a lot of major events in them.
I loved the Ambrose stuff. You have the University, the nutty professor, the battles with the jerk teacher, the Adare fighters, battle with one of the Chandrian, the Baron plot, Felurian (overdone), draccus, Ben and his parents, plus the current characters and Chronicler.
I think it would be highly disappointing if it turned out to be lies and exaggeration and as for the major events I don't really view most of your examples as major events which again, is why it feels like nothing is really happening in these books. They all feel like stuff to build his character and tell his story which is all fine and good, but none of them feel connected to anything because the major plot points have made very little progress. There are supposed to be what, 7 Chandrian? He has seen 1 throughout the entirety of the 2 books and didn't even know what he was seeing until after. So he hasn't systematically taken out a Chandrian or 2 along the way or even found much evidence to confirm them besides a few scattered pickups. That is why the intrigue has kind of fallen off for me because it so hard to sink your teeth into anything real coming up in the next book if it ever releases. I can't think of any way he can make everything work and answer every question.

For me the biggest and most interesting mystery would be Auri and I am not even sure she is going to turn out to be anything but a minor character.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#35
I've finished Right to the Kill (Harmony Black#5). It was more episodic than plot driven. I guess coming of Wisdom Grave's trilogy and having it explain Daniel Faust and Harmony Black universe it was nice to get back to more of a smaller story.
Now reading Daniel Faust #9, The Locust Job. It's happening right events of Wisdom's Grave. I just love the continuity of the plot in these 3 series. Must have taken some careful planning on the author's part.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#36
Re-read Thief of Time. Halfway through a bunch of other stuff that's not really grabbing me.

Re Best Served Cold - Its my favourite Abercrombie. I kinda have a weird relationship with The First Law - some parts of it are great, but a lot of it feels cliche or dull or devoted to bleh characters. BSC feels like all the good parts in an amped up plot with a sharp cast. It's the fantasy book Hollywood should look at next.
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#37
Re-read Thief of Time. Halfway through a bunch of other stuff that's not really grabbing me.

Re Best Served Cold - Its my favourite Abercrombie. I kinda have a weird relationship with The First Law - some parts of it are great, but a lot of it feels cliche or dull or devoted to bleh characters. BSC feels like all the good parts in an amped up plot with a sharp cast. It's the fantasy book Hollywood should look at next.
I have the same feeling about First Law, even so much that I wasn't inclined to try Abercrombie again.
Maybe I should give him another try with BSC
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#38
I think it would be highly disappointing if it turned out to be lies and exaggeration and as for the major events I don't really view most of your examples as major events which again, is why it feels like nothing is really happening in these books. They all feel like stuff to build his character and tell his story which is all fine and good, but none of them feel connected to anything because the major plot points have made very little progress. There are supposed to be what, 7 Chandrian? He has seen 1 throughout the entirety of the 2 books and didn't even know what he was seeing until after. So he hasn't systematically taken out a Chandrian or 2 along the way or even found much evidence to confirm them besides a few scattered pickups. That is why the intrigue has kind of fallen off for me because it so hard to sink your teeth into anything real coming up in the next book if it ever releases. I can't think of any way he can make everything work and answer every question.

For me the biggest and most interesting mystery would be Auri and I am not even sure she is going to turn out to be anything but a minor character.
And I wasn't a fan of Auri lol. Never read that stand alone book.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#39
I think the other spin Rothfuss can save himself with is that Kvothe is narrating the story and may be lying or exagerating things.
I think it would be highly disappointing if it turned out to be lies and exaggeration
I think that is actually somewhat confirmed. I'm pretty sure Rothfuss has said (or at least hinted) that "Kote" is an unreliable narrator. Doesn't mean that everything he said is BS, just that he might not be completely honest and forthright.

I'm actually okay with that. Since the only version of events we have of Kvothe's story is Kvothe's own version, it's understandable that there would be a biased 'slant' to the retelling. Kote is obviously not going to present the story in a light that makes Kvothe look like a dumbass, and he could very well over-estimate his own accomplishments, not only due to actual lies but simply because his personal opinions would color his perspective. Like the Felurian thing;
was Kvothe really such a sex-god that he managed to satisfy a fae known for being a seductress? Or is that just what Kvothe says (or even believes), while in reality Felurian is probably at a pub telling her friends about this idiotic University student who suffers from pre-mature ejaculation?

My problem is that even if Kote is an unreliable narrator and is telling a slanted version of the story, that doesn't change the fact that the story he's telling doesn't have a lot going for it.

And I wasn't a fan of Auri lol. Never read that stand alone book.
I was mildly interested in Auri, but not enough to bother reading the novella.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#40
And since this is a "What are you reading?" thread, I might as well mention that I am reading Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan, the first in his The Powder Mage trilogy. I'm about halfway through, and like it. Unfortunately, I don't get a lot of time to read so no idea when I'll finish.

I was also listening to Deadhouse Gates (Malazan #2) on audiobook, but haven't listened in a while and keep giving up after a couple of chapters.