Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

4 stars.

I've mentioned this book before. From the time I didn't want to buy it at first, to my purchasing it, to my actual reading of it.



Product Description (From Amazon)
The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)NOT TO BE MISSED:


THE POWERFUL DEBUT NOVEL FROM FANTASY'S NEXT SUPERSTAR


Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.  The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic [....] form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

From the Inside Flap

My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as "quothe." Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I've had more names than anyone has a right to.  The Adem call me Maedre.  Which, depending on how it's spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree.


"The Flame" is obvious if you've ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it's unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire.


"The Thunder" I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age.
I've never thought of "The Broken Tree" as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic.


My first mentor called me E'lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them.


But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know."
I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned.


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 the tale of Kvothe-from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more-for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe's legend.


 What I didn't like:  (a) The length.  722 pages. 


(b) It did seem to lack a bit of direction at times.  Which is bad for a book that length.


It's the fantasy equivalent of an autobiography, in effect.  It's different, for fantasy, but I don't know if I agree with all of the rave reviews.  It's not the best I've read, but one of the best.


I really liked it overall, though.  The writing is very clever.  It's funny at times.  Deadly serious at others.  The characters are very likable, even if not completely sympathetic.


It's interesting, you know.  If you've got the time for it, read it.


And I am going to get book 2 at my earliest convenience.

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