Every once in a while a writer comes along and speaks directly to you through his words. You feel him sitting on the other end of the couch. As you listen you're gently wrapped in another world like an old soft blanket. Mr. Rothfuss has this gift.
His writing style is crisp and modern, with great twists of phrase punctuated tastefully throughout. His main characters are dimensional and layered; his world unique and entertaining; his storytelling enchanting. The dialogue is screen-play solid.
This praise is well-deserved, but even the best book has flaws, and this one is no exception. It starts rather slowly and has a few pacing issues in the middle where the story undulates between galloping and flagging. In the end, it builds a nice crescendo and lands neatly on a good ending.
Nick Podehl was a fantastic choice for this book series, and he brings significant depth to the characters and setting. The tone, pacing and overall exuberance in his performance are the mark of a talented professional. I can think of no one who could have done it better.
This is certainly one of my must-read/listen series. It's so rare to find a great writer and even rarer to pair his work with the perfect performer. Don't think Tolkein or Martin; it's not that heavy or verbose. Instead, think of a great movie; jaunty dialogue, colorful scenes, and gifted actors under a talented director. Think of that and push play.
This amazing book combined with Roy Dotrice's gifted narration left me simply enthralled. It simply blew both my husband and myself away. In two words: buy it. My advice: back it up frequently, hide it under the bed, guard your copy jealously and well.
Martin's characters are endearing, without any forced sympathy on the writer's part. The plot is lithe and strong, driving forward and branching neatly into subplots. Martin takes many points of view, sowing empathy in the reader in the most unlikely places, something not often seen any more in fantasy writers. I scoffed when I read a reviewer comparing him to Tolkein. I openly admit I was wrong. He's that good.
As for Roy Dotrice, what can I say? A master of voices and accents, inflections and clarity. He reads very complex subject matter with true feeling. He sings, smiles, scoffs and growls right along with the dialogue. What a brilliant choice for this book.
In short, I'm a picky reader and listener. If you like the genre, if you mourn the loss of Tolkein and his ilk, jump on this.
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