Top positive review
It's a middle book but doesn't really suffer from it
Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2018
This massive tome is the sequel to the only-slightly-less-massive _The Name of the Wind_, which introduced us to the world of Kvothe, a young man who loses everything and then gains admission to the University, where students learn about "arcane" things. He proves to be a brilliant but troublesome student with an arch-enemy from the privileged class...
...which sounds a *lot* like Harry Potter, only it isn't. Really. For one thing, it isn't a wish-fulfillment fantasy for children; Kvothe's life is nothing any normal child would aspire to. For another, Kvothe doesn't have a fortune left him by his parents; he's dirt-poor and has to struggle to come up with tuition.
What it _does_ resemble in many more ways, is the Thousand Nights and a Night: it is a tale told by, well, a tale-teller, with interruptions, and stories within the story (and occasionally stories within those, though it doesn't go as many layers deep as Scheherazade's tales). The flavor is very different from those stories, though, with more detail and less of the "ooo, wow" factor.
Let's take a step back.
In the first volume, Kote, an innkeeper in a small village, is trapped by Chronicler, a scribe, into admitting that he is in fact the famous Kvothe, and inveigles him into telling him (Chronicler) his (Kvothe's) life story, though Kote insists that he will give no more than three days to the telling. This thousand-page tome is Day Two; Kote must talk, and Chronicler write, mighty quickly. The interruptions to the story come Kote doing his business as an inn-keeper, and other such. (At one point, Bast, Kote's assistant and Kvothe's student, interrupts to protest that something just narrated cannot possibly be true, because its consequences are too horrible for Bast to contemplate.)
The story is told freshly and smoothly at all its levels. It does not have the linguistic gymnastics of a Wolfe, or, I suspect, the depth of a Le Guin, but it is engrossing and puts me alongside the many who are waiting for Rothfuss to complete Day Three, which will apparently be called _The Doors of Stone_.