The Name of the Wind & The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1 & 2)

I bought The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and read them upon the recommendation of several fantasy fans.  They are long books (900+ pages) and the 900+ pages made the books difficult to read in bed (which is where I do most of my reading) so I ended up re-buying the e-book versions.  I don’t regret the double purchase – that’s how much I like these books.

While the books fall into the fantasy genre where magic and magical creatures abound, the books have qualities that take them beyond the usual fantasy stories.  Sure, you can read it and just see the surface adventure – an old, seemingly defeated man who tells the story of how he was once great.  Looking a bit deeper, we see universal themes such as poverty, class, family, etc.  I couldn’t help rooting for the protagonist despite his cocky attitude.  Who doesn’t like a smart, capable character who defies the odds and is a bit of a rebel?

The writing is engaging, depicting vivid scenes without being verbose.  The characters are interesting.  By this, I mean that they are flawed, and yet I liked them – or perhaps I liked them because they weren’t perfect.

The most disappointing part of this series is that Patrick Rothfuss hasn’t written the third book yet, nor is there a release date set for part 3 of the series.  I am not a very patient reader.

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Bourne Identity

I finished The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum in 1-2 days, despite starting it on a weekday.  It’s a fun spy suspense/thriller.  I enjoyed the writing, the characters, and the plot development.  The plot was outlandish, but the way it was written made it plausible.  There’s a certain suspension of belief that the reader must have with most fiction, but the way the book is written affects whether or not this is an arduous task.

The basic plot of the story is that a man has been found to have gunshot wounds and amnesia.  The only clues he has to go on are a bank account number that was embedded under his skin and survivor skills (martial arts, knowledge of guns, etc.).  He makes his way to Europe to slowly piece together his life, not sure if he is a “good” guy or a “bad” guy.

I had seen the movies starring Matt Damon prior to reading the book, but it didn’t matter (by the way, only the first movie resembles the book, the others are vastly different).  I still wanted to read the book because I enjoyed the journey with the characters.