I’ve tried three times, and I can’t get through this book. It’s the sequel to The Name of the Wind, which I liked quite a bit, but this time around I’m not feeling the love. There’s just too much business and too many words for too little pay off. Hundreds—and I mean hundreds—of pages in and the story is more-or-less exactly where it was a few hundred pages before the end of the first book.
Actually I’m not sure at this point what the story is supposed to be about: I thought it had to do with some murderous beasts of legend, maybe a king that had to be killed, but there’s none of that in sight right now. Instead, it’s endless open mic nights and homework assignments and not very much else. (Think Harry Potter at uni playing a lute.)
My thought: the book seems to be working toward an odd kind of anti-heroic realism despite casting itself in the framing narrative (and through its choice of genre) as a heroic fantasy. It seems to me that this kind of conflict between story and genre could be exciting, interesting. But here it’s not, or at least not right now: it’s just cancelling out all the momentum and dragging the story to a halt.
Maybe someday, I’ll give it another try, but for now I’m done.