This was a pain to read, to be honest. If not for some parts in the middle, and the last few chapters, I would’ve rated this 2 stars. The first chapters were very slow and dull. Nothing made me want to go on. If not for some people who asked me to continue on and finish this, I would’ve rated this 1 star and left it unfinished.
Kvothe, at first, was terribly boring. He tried to be the cool tough guy in front of Chronicle [Devan Lochees], but all I saw was a pretentious man. That being said, I was already annoyed at first, thus there was no motivation to continue on. Chronicle [Devan Lochees] was mildly interesting, yet knowing that he wasn’t the main character to begin with, it wasn’t enough to make me continue on [at first]. As the novel progressed though, I learned to like Kvothe. Once his quest to be accepted in the University started, my favorable opinion of this novel also started.
In one of the blurb, it said that this, in a way, is somewhat like Harry Potter. At first I was enraged with that blurb, as I did not see any connection to HP [not until half of the book, or maybe 3/4]. As I continued reading on though, I realized that Kvothe was a little bit similar to Harry. Being bullied by Ambrose [Harry by Malfoy], Professors not favoring Kvothe [Just like Harry and Dolores Umbridge]. There were a lot of similar things between TNOTW and HP, and that made me like this novel. It brought out a lot of memories, because the HP series was my childhood.
His life journey was mildly interesting at best. Nothing grand, and nothing to rave about. It was a simple adventure of a child who seeks a greater meaning in life, but told in fantasy form. I knew what was in stored for me, but what annoyed me was the ravishing hype this novel received. It wasn’t that good to be considered one of the best fantasy novels of this decade. Sure it was good, but it wasn’t amazing. It also received a very high rating here on goodreads, higher than some better fantasy novels I’ve read. Yes, this review is clearly opinionated, but seriously, what’s with all this hype? I believe the hype rocketed my expectations lightyears high, and in the end, I was left utterly disappointed. This will be the last time I will trust the high ratings of a book here on goodreads, or anywhere to be certain.
One more thing that I liked about this was the hardship he experienced in the University in particular. Like I said, HP was awesome for me, thus the bullying of professors and students brought out a lot of memories. No matter how hard Kvothe tried, his enemies still found ways to make his life miserable. But let’s give Kvothe a big round of applause, as his efforts to be successful were not wasted.
Also, real life struggles were evident in this novel. One prominent factor would be his financial hardship. One clearly knows how expense tuition is, especially of the University. This novel didn’t leave that part out, as we see Kvothe clearly crawling his way to paying tuition, rent, food, and other necessities. Another real life struggle would be bullying. Not only of the fellow students [Ambrose], but also of the Professors [Master Hemme]. Also his romantic struggles (view spoiler) It was nice seeing real life struggles being incorporated to a fantasy novel. For me, that’s a really good thing to add. Delivers excitement to the reader, yet it also serves as an eye opener to some.
I still rated this 3 stars though, but my real rating would be 2.5. The dull moments of the novel were unforgivable. They were dull to the point that they almost made me stop reading this in the first place, so how in the world does anyone expect me to forgive those and rate this 5 stars for instance? I’ve read other novels wherein there were a lot of dull moments, yet there were also very redemptive moments to actually boost up my rating and garner forgiveness. This on the other hand, was not one of those novels. A good novel at best, but I can recommend better novels for you to read [of the fantasy genre]. I think I’m being too generous giving this a 3-star rating, but I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I’ve read quite a few amazing Fantasy novels, that I didn’t like this as much as I should’ve had. If this will be your very first great, amazing, perfect, etc fantasy novel though, then I believe you’ll find this novel to be amazing. Disappointing how I’m not rating this 5 stars, and also not considering this to be one of my favorites, but at least it still made me want to read the sequel. I guess that’s still something worthy of a 3-star rating. Really hoping that things would improve in the sequel, because I will not be this generous anymore for that. A debut novel turning out just good is quite understandable, but if the sequel doesn’t improve, then get ready for a low rating, and a very rant filled review.