This series is a great alternative universe. The writing is superb, full of delicate, refreshing, and even startling imagery. The characters are so well written by Rothfuss and so well read by Podehl that I very often found myself laughing along with the humorous dialogue in spots like I was actually present and these were my friends having a conversation. It is engrossing. The characters' frustrations and obstacles weigh on me, and their successes and victories exhilarate me. The cast of characters is excellent too. I've had to stop playback to get my laughing under control at some of the things intended to be ridiculous. It's just a great story, so well written. After this, I would not hesitate to read anything Patrick publishes, and Nick Podehl's reading skill would cause me to consider listening to books I was unfamiliar with.
For the sake of this being a helpful review, and not just a declaration of newfound fandom loyalty, I am a reader who likes high fantasy, i.e. Tolkien and CS Lewis, and greatly enjoys stories. I like good stories about magic and monsters and heroes, but I don't spend any time with the trappings of those settings apart from great story. In other words, I am not put off at all by fantasy, when it's a great story. But I do not read it for its own sake. If you do not mind magic and monsters, then you will it be able to help falling love with these books.
I thought it was a rough start. I almost gave up it. I am so glad I did not. The reading was really good.
I love that the author doesn't give up the details right away, there are subtleties and hints to the things you should know. There are questions I, as the reader, had to keep in the back of my mind. When they were answered subtly and satisfyingly. I enjoyed the fact that I didn't love the main character the whole time, there were times I felt he deserved a good slap across the face, and that made the story filling and complete.
Bast! I can't tell you why, I have my suspicions of things!
Can't say one or another. My favorites were the smaller characters, and the odd townsfolk or pig herder. He portrayed a rainbow of accents and difficult languages as if he were a native speaker.
It is a big story, with even bigger secrets. It was a story inside a story (and sometimes a third or fourth level). It was enveloping.
The story is so rich, deep, an intriguing. Deep rich back story and world, and so many details layered upon itself that I finished listen to the two books, realized the third was not out yet, and then went back and immediately re-listened to the books again and loved them just as much the second time around. The world Ruthfuss creates is incredibly deep only comparable to JRR Tolkien and RR Martin. I'd HUGE fantasy fan, and this has blown my mind. Action, love, mystery, magic that feels more like science. Simply superb.
Podehl is the most talented voice actor I have ever experienced. One would think this book would be impossible for one person to voice, there are countless characters, but he has so many different (and well done) accents for each person, and even his manner of speaking and cadence are so nuanced you can tell young Kvothe from current day Kvothe (the main character) if you skipped anywhere in the book.
It was at times disconcerting to have Patrick read both in Kvothe's voice and Denna's. A whimsical criticism but I would have loved a female voice to do her lines to do the budding relationship justice. Fantastic stuff all the same!
This is simply one of the best books I've read in years. Rothfuss has created something great. I haven't read a book from a single point of view in quite awhile and it was very refreshing. Kvothe's story draws you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat nearly the entire time. I've made it through book 2 as well and am anxiously awaiting the next one. The structure of the books is interesting in that, in my opinion, it feels like the three books are going to feel like one massive book instead of three distinct ones. The ending just kinda comes. It feels like you are supposed to keep reading.
If you have any interest in fantasy novels, you are sure to like this one.