I read this novel because I was so impressed with the author after seeing him on a panel at Comicon. It was even better than I had hoped.
With so manyI read this novel because I was so impressed with the author after seeing him on a panel at Comicon. It was even better than I had hoped.
With so many positive reviews, I hardly need to add my thoughts. But I will say that I am enormously impressed with his prose, with the depth of thought and clarity of expression found in both the first person and third person sections.
Highly recommended for all fantasy lovers, even those (like me) who had once given up on Big Fat Fantasies for the bloated, wooden snoozefests that they have become. On the contrary, The Name of the Wind was a pleasure from beginning to end, exciting and entertaining, and a faster read for me than many novels half as long.
I may read a mystery or non-fiction book before I pick up book two in the series--but I'm definitely coming back to the story soon....more
This is a very accessible novel, with useful notes and preface by the translator. It's a pleasure to read on its own, as a mystery novel with intertwiThis is a very accessible novel, with useful notes and preface by the translator. It's a pleasure to read on its own, as a mystery novel with intertwined stories, but even more interesting when read with an eye toward Chinese manners and history....more
I knew I loved Guy Gavriel Kay, but lost my taste for long fantasies for a while. This sat on my shelf next to othThe best fantasy I've read in years.
I knew I loved Guy Gavriel Kay, but lost my taste for long fantasies for a while. This sat on my shelf next to other books by the author that I already enjoyed, waiting for me to look inside.
I'm glad I finally picked it up. Kay is the perfect Western writer to attempt a Tang Dynasty fantasy. His prose is among the most poetic, a must for this setting, and his characters are a wonderful mix of action hero and poet. As seems always to be the case with this author, the joys of his novel is alloyed with poignant loss, made more immediate by their being so finely drawn.
As always, Kay handles multiple characters and plot lines in a way that enhances the main story without bewildering the reader, moving the plot forward in numerous settings. There's a great deal of action halfway across the width of a continent, but the pieces cohere, each subplot interesting in its own right.
This is definitely a Big Fat Fantasy, but could easily have been much longer--or even one in a series. As a one-off, it's a perfect gem, standing brilliantly on its own....more
Though the novel is fun to read in parts, and has some pretty effective teen-style drama, it is ultimately disappointing. Even accepting the conventioThough the novel is fun to read in parts, and has some pretty effective teen-style drama, it is ultimately disappointing. Even accepting the conventions and tropes of fantasy, the plot has too many implausible events and logical inconsistencies to be satisfying. The author's attempts at political intrigue are rudimentary; the plotting of the battle scenes is off-puttingly amateurish, even childish; and the setting is poorly realized, with kingdoms that seem to be vast one moment and tiny another.
These flaws could have been solved with simple editing, but they almost forced me to stop reading.
I'll take this to my class library, and I'm sure some of my students will enjoy the star-crossed lover elements, but I doubt I'll buy the rest of the series. They'll have to go to the library if they want to find out how it all ends....more
Meticulously researched and beautifully written, this is a must read for anyone interested in the historical Jesus, the early Christian church, the hiMeticulously researched and beautifully written, this is a must read for anyone interested in the historical Jesus, the early Christian church, the history of Judaism and Jerusalem, or the Bible. Although Aslan writes from a scholarly, evidence-based perspective, he is careful not to be overly offensive to those who read the Bible only with a devotional perspective. He is direct and clear in presenting the evidence and what the evidence demonstrates, but he isn't kicking sand in anyone's face. He walks that line extremely well.
No other book I have ever read has been so clear, so comprehensive, and so useful in trying to understand First Century Palestine. The author's voice is evident in every line, with a tone so responsible and reasonable that it is hard not to be persuaded, and his style is very readable as well as enjoyable. Still, he presents other opinions and ways to read the evidence, especially in a long notes section at the end, and makes it clear again and again that he is giving the most likely of many possible scenarios, remaining open to new evidence. Such reasonableness makes his arguments that much sounder, since it is clear he is playing fair.
This is how historical research should be written for the lay reader. Well done....more
I picked this up on a whim while waiting in line in the library--I liked the title and the cover. In the end, I also loved the novel.
The story is straI picked this up on a whim while waiting in line in the library--I liked the title and the cover. In the end, I also loved the novel.
The story is straightforward, but the world building is intentionally dense and involved. It takes more concentration than is typical to learn and recall characters, and also to learn the invented words and difficult place names. But this all adds to the spice that makes the world real and rewarding.
Victories for the MC are small and slow in coming, but they are worth it, and satisfying, and the plot is slow, but not tedious. There is a lot of room for sequels, and I hope they are on the horizon....more