This really wasn’t the best book to read before, during, and after finals. The first couple hundred or so pages of the book were fine, they were engrossing and heart-wrenching. I really got a feel for the world and how Kvothe lived during those days and how it may have helped shaped him. The rest was when he was in University, and I’ll say it: reading this while being a college student myself dealing with finals wasn’t the best idea.
Kvothe is an unreliable narrator, probably. He definitely exaggerated at some parts, but the way he portrays himself is like this: he learns fast and almost perfectly. He’s good at everything, fine I get it. It wasn’t bad to read, even as a student who does struggle. He reminds me of some close friends. Sometimes, some of the things he does can induce some eye-rolling because smart as he is, he at times lacked common sense. One of the most annoying parts were the ones where Denna was present. I cringed a lot, remember that this was a 15 or 16-year-old kid, infatuated for the first time. I’m 18 at the moment and I still cringed because I remember myself two to four years ago at times.
The story itself was structured as a bit like vignettes of the interesting parts of his life. They were more like little stories with some story arcs that stretched chapters. It definitely gave a nice glimpse of his life and his stay in University. It was a very interesting way of telling a story that I liked. The interludes between several chapters were also a welcome diversion from the story Kvothe was telling.
The story itself was very well-written. I liked the prose and the dialogue felt like something actual people would say, and yes, even the cringy parts. Unfortunately, I had to dock a star because I felt like some parts, especially towards the middle and near the end dragged. It was enough to hamper my enjoyment of the story and even consider DNF-ing it. That may also partly be because I felt like I was taking too long to finish the thing and might slide into a slump again. I am glad I stuck on and I will read the sequel at some point, considering that I already have it.
Anyway, I really do appreciate what this book does and its unique premise. An innkeeper who is secretly a famous hero in retirement, telling his life story. Not quite the typical epic fantasy, and that’s something I will credit this one for.
Do I recommend it? Yes. But do not read it during finals season.