The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Beautifully written, this book made me laugh, and cry, out loud.
DAY ONE: THE NAME OF THE WIND
My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.
So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.
This book plays the emotional strings like a finely tuned instrument. Seriously, one of the best books I’ve ever read, maybe the best. Even Brandon Sanderson said:
Masterful…. There is a beauty to Pat’s writing that defies description.
Rothfuss is brilliant. Somehow, by giving away the ending up front, he makes getting there even more exciting. Following Kvothe’s tale, a history he relays to a traveling chronicler, our emotional tie to him is somehow greater. His personal tragedy is more visceral. His moments of achievement more cherished. It was almost stressful, so emotionally entangled I was in the telling, to read through events wondering if this was the thing that made that happen.
I didn’t want this book to end. And, technically, it didn’t. Book one covers the first day of Kvothe’s telling and book 2 picks up right where the first leaves off. There was no waiting for me. As soon as book 1 ended, I was diving into the second.
Where magic is science and fabled creatures have a foothold in reality, Rothfuss’ world is perfectly built. Maybe thanks to Tolkien, just calling a place an Inn has a certain feel. Just explaining vague nuances of a town, or city, conjure iconic scenes, and Kvothe’s world does all of that. I found it almost cozy to read in this regard. Talk of stew and bread and ale made my mouth water, just as antagonists to our hero brought out wishes for violence I might not normally have. Like I said, I was played like an instrument throughout, and that’s exactly what the greatest of books should do.
By no means is the protagonist a perfect icon. There were numerous times when I was screaming at the book for him to keep his mouth shut. This only makes the story better. This only shows better character building, as far as I’m concerned. It’s annoying when things constantly work out for the hero as if the gods of the story are mocking our intelligence. In The Name of the Wind, there are no such gods looking over Kvothe, so much so that sometimes I wished there were.
I can’t think of one negative thing to say about this book.
Enjoy fantasy? This one’s for you. Enjoy fantastic character building? Read this. Appreciate a fluid, beautifully written style? Check this out.
Happy Reading 🙂
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