Hello, my name is Hans and I am a critic. I know I know, I need help, it's just that when I read really crappy literature I just can't help but be appalled. This is some of the worst writing I have read since I threw down (figuratively, I threw it down in my mind) Way of Shadows after 30 minutes of torture. This book was recommended to me by someone who claimed to be my friend, but now I see that he was never what he claimed, just an enemy in disguise looking for a way to bring me to my knees. He was successful. I finished the book. Somehow I finished the book. Don't ask me how, I don't know, I don't think I could do it again either, but I did it. I did it so that YOU DON'T HAVE TO! Don't listen to all of these idiots saying how amazing the book is; it's NOT! It is some of the worst written literature of all time! Let me give you a quick overview now that I've used up half of my space on the intro.
The story is boring, at times predictable, at others not, but always told in a depressingly dull way. Rothfuss writes in the first person for most of the book, and pulls it off terribly. There are oh so many points in the book that are simply stupid and I'm not talking about characters acting stupid (although that does happen, and their stupidity is often smiled upon), but stupidity in plot, in story telling, in circumstance, in wording, in EVERYTHING! I will say one good thing for the book, the dialog is generally tolerable, but that's only when compared with the narration, which is beyond awful. I'm not talking about the reading, but the written narration. The reader does a fine job in my opinion, but he can't make something good out of this garbage. Seriously, don't listen to the good reviews that try to drag you down into the dirt, down to the lowest level that the fantasy genre has ever descended to, down even as far as Brent Weeks and that AWFUL Way of Shadows crap. Please, please, PLEASE do NOT purchase this book! Let my mistake be your good fortune.
I don't even want to know what books you've read if you place this freak show among the best; WHO is responsible for that rating!? Let me show just a few ways, in which, this book made me die inside just a little.
1. Utter lack of any sort of writing skill, awful plot, and terrible descriptions, as well as painful lines, such as "about as smart as a box of air." You majored in English, you can do better..can't you?
2. The names! Oh the NAMES! Each one is worse than the last. Azoth isn't terrible, though I would be embarrassed to have come up with it, but Durzo Blint? Ja'laliel? Rat? Doll Girl?! Even with a good plot and writing style, the names would severely hinder my enjoyment of the book. However, as we've discussed, the style is something no sane person would aspire to, and after reading the plot outline, I almost cried; it was that bad. What's worse, I found a list of names at the end of the Wikipedia article for this book, and I have to say that the worst is 'King Aleine "Niner" Gunder IX'. There's nothing I can say about that, if you don't find something wrong with a name that bad, you should spare the world and not write reviews.
3. It's hard to get over the fact that the "wetboys" are assassins. Really, if you're going to pick a different name for your assassins, don't call them something that sounds like you're talking about a male prostitute.
4. End of minute 25. "..it was Spartan, like all Ceoran (sp?) houses." Do you see nothing wrong with that? Come on! You can't use a real world civilization to describe something in a fantasy realm; unless you're Terry Pratchett. How would Durzo Blint know what "Spartan" meant?!
As you may have realized, I only listened to the first half hour, but I was so utterly repulsed in that time, that I will not, cannot, continue. As terrible books go, this ranks with Hickman's Bronze Canticles.
I am begging you, do NOT buy this book.
Well, it's like the title of my review says. I loved the beginning, with everything going back to basics, but then it just got too ugly. Don't get me wrong, I think it would have been great to follow nearly exactly the same path with the story, but just don't be so descriptive of all the horrors that are committed. I finally stopped 5 hours at the scene in the rangers' cabin when Eric and Havel returned. It was just too much to have the thirteen year old girl standing there with bite marks and everything...it was awful.
Didn't care for the pagan aspects, but I didn't mind them much either. I really would like to see where it goes, but I'm sorry, it's just entirely too much.
I do have to say, though, that I loved the Interlude, the whole gang scene with the guards with halberds and everything. I gave it two stars because of that and because I liked the premise..otherwise, awful.
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