I liked this. It examined a lot of fantasy tropes and openly talked about them and brought them to life. We experience the story filtered through Quentin’s somewhat bleak POV, but this added a healthy dose of reality, cynicism, and skepticism to the fantasy genre. It also helps if you’re well-read in the genre and understand the nods, jabs, and references to other works.
Read this book for what it is – a critique of how awesome books make magic out to be. Spells are hard to learn, fantastical lands aren’t as nice as they seem, and being all powerful and omnipotent gets boring after a while. Yes, Quentin’s story can seem depressing, but I could withstand it for this short novel. Would I read an entire series? Probably not. But a very, very interesting book on its own.