It was a bit hard for me to get into Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1), an epic fantasy complete with map in the front (although the mountains aren't marked with triangles). I checked it out the library, but never started. I checked it out again, renewed it twice, and finally finished it days before it was due for a final time. It wasn't a hard read; the pages turn quickly and the plot moved along; there were interesting ideas and a nice use of magic. It's a fun fantasy read, and I'll probably end up reading the next one, which I gather is due out fairly soon.
The book is written in a giant flashback. We meet our hero and his mysterious companion at the end of his life, when he has retired to run a quiet inn. There are hints that all is not over -- there is the mysterious companion, and he does sneak out to deal with various evils. Our hero is apparently not yet thirty, so there may still be a few drops of life in his worn out body yet. Hmm, perhaps that was one problem -- the book made me feel OLD. Most of the book is our hero telling his story to a traveling secretary, who collects stories. It covers his youth up to almost sixteen, as he loses his family, learns of the existence of ancient evil, and enters the magic university, which has more in common with the Unseen University than Hogwarts, despite the protagonist's youth. I didn't like the love interest, but I think that also came with being old and cynical -- I didn't believe in the girl at all, since the prism of a fifteen year old boy looking at True Love is so wildly distorting. I'd see if my kid wanted to try it, except it is due today so he'll have to struggle on with age appropriate stuff instead. B-.
Since I'm linking to Amazon anyway, I signed up for their associates program. When I remember, I do the link through them, so if anyone buys the book I may get something. I'm not sure what; probably a pony.