**spoiler alert** The Way of Shadows is so laughably bad, I thought it was satire. Let me give you an example. So, near the end of the book, the prota**spoiler alert** The Way of Shadows is so laughably bad, I thought it was satire. Let me give you an example. So, near the end of the book, the protagonist is about to express his love to this girl after like 20 years of pining, and at this point in the story, there's been very little cursing, the violence is PG-13 and badly written, all very YA. So, our protagonist approaches his lady and says to her (this is a direct quote):
"I think you're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. And the purest. I'm not asking you to fuck. But maybe some day I'll earn the right to ask you for something more permanent." He turned and facing her was harder than facing thirty Highlanders.
Ahh, Brent Weeks. I think he has a little Vogon in him....more
**spoiler alert** I'm going to have to be the sole voice of dissent.
I found Kvothe profoundly annoying. Here's an excerpt of his typical storytelling,**spoiler alert** I'm going to have to be the sole voice of dissent.
I found Kvothe profoundly annoying. Here's an excerpt of his typical storytelling, word for word:
"I managed very little sleep that night, and Losi came closer to killing me than Felurian ever had."
(Post-coital thoughts on the second girl in 20 pages. He's 16.)
"She was a delightful partner, every bit as wonderful as Felurian had been. But how could that be? I hear you ask. How could any mortal woman compare with Felurian?"
Felurian is a ghost/fairy from the "Fey" where we wasted a hundred pages of Kvothe having sex with her over and over to no discernible end. He escapes finally by singing with his beautiful singsong voice that he brags about constantly.
"It is easier to understand if you think of it in terms of music. Sometimes a man enjoys a symphony." [Talking about sex.] "Elsetimes he finds a jig more suited to his taste. The same holds true of lovemaking."
Haha, right, so by now it's getting hilarious, because this little twirp who, at age 16, manages to find two women willing to sleep with him (one of whom is imaginary), decides that he's become The God of Sex, and must now spend the rest of the book acting like an effeminate man-whore.
Kvothe speaking again:
"One type [of sex] is suited to the deep cushions of a twilight forest glade. Another comes quite naturally tangled in the sheets of narrow beds upstairs in inns."
"in inns" - distinctive Rothfuss diction.
Kvothe's insights on women:
"Each woman is like an instrument, waiting to be learned, and finely played [fucked], to have at least her own true music made."
That's right guys, women are like instruments, and they exist for your use and pleasure.
Realizing that what he just said is sophomoric, sexist, and a little insane, Kvothe clarifies:
"Some might take offense at this way of seeing things. They might think I degrade women."
Well, in defense of anyone thinking that, you do degrade women. Before the book ends, your skinny little ass has sex with half the village by the university. I don't feel like transcribing any more of it.
Kvothe prances around with the approximate wisdom and subtlety of a slightly below average modern-day teenager. A musician with a delicate disposition more at home at a pedicurist than a fantasy novel, he's best described as a weakling, a coward, and a fool.
At one point he actually loses a fight to a 10 year old girl.
Someone responded to this earlier by saying: "But she was a really badass little girl." Haha. Ok.
"His primary personalty traits are wit, charm and intelligence."
Mark Twain is witty. Locke Lamora is charming. Kvothe is a self-absorbed brat with the emotional depth of a teaspoon. The narrator insists on his intelligence and success at the university, but every time Kvothe speaks, it's an eyeroll-fest.
"Kvothe is the furthest thing from a coward."
A girl he's been pining over since almost the beginning of the last book admits that she is being abused. What does Kvothe do? He says some dumb things and abandons her to go on a pointless expedition into the woods; stumbles over the Fey, where he loses his virginity; screws 5 more women that we're told about - this in the space of a couple of months; and finally returns to the university by the end of the book, only to reveal that he is not in love with the original girl anymore.
Stay classy, Kvothe, buddy.
Here's what he has to say about love:
Kvothe: "Love is a subtle concept. But it can be defined." Vashet: "Do so then. Tell me of love." Kvothe: "Love is the willingness to do anything for someone." Vashet: "Then how is love different from duty or loyalty?" Kvothe: "It is also combined with physical attraction." [Well, you're an expert on that, you little man-whore, you.] Vashet: "Even a mother's love?" Kvothe: "Combined with extreme fondness then." Vashet: "And what exactly do you mean by fondness?" Kvothe: "It is..." [He] trailed off, racking [his] brain...
At least that shouldn't take long.
Listen, Kvothe, love is the condition wherein the happiness of another person is essential to your own. It's not rocket science. And it does not require physical attraction.
"Combined with extreme fondness"? Wtf are you, 16? Oh yeah, that's right, you are. Seriously, half the time Kvothe opens his mouth, I want to punch him in the face. 1000 pages of him speaking... come on. Don't do this to me.
And look, I completely understand that the author had a purpose in making a typical teenager his main character. I get it. But reading the result is not something I'd wish upon anyone....more