Friday, March 18, 2011

The Name of the Wind

by Patrick Rothfuss
DAW Books (Penguin), 2008 (c2007).

Kote the innkeeper has remade himself with a small and struggling business in a small village. One day, scrael attack a man outside the town, and no one but Kote really seems to know what's going on. Meanwhile, Chronicler is coming to town looking for Kvothe, the man Kote used to be. Chronicler convinces Kvothe to tell him his story, but Kvothe agrees only to do so if he can do it properly, over three days.

This is day one of Kvothe's story, from his childhood as a traveling player of the Edema Ruh to his studies and developing abilities. If you enjoy long fantasy stories you can really sink your teeth into, this is the book for you. If you're irritated by cliffhanger endings, then this is not the book for you... at least until book 3 of the planned trilogy comes out. I reread The Name of the Wind in preparation for digging into Wise Man's Fear, since it had been nearly three years since I read the beginning of Kvothe's story. I remembered little about the story, other than becoming extremely interested as the story went on and being incredibly frustrated when the first day of storytelling was over, despite the fact that the book is over 700 pages long. Upon rereading, I was really surprised by how much I had forgotten, and am glad that I took the time to revisit The Name of the Wind. This time, I was really able to take in more details even while I fretted more over slower parts of the story. If you have the patience and inclination, this is a rewarding tale that touches on the importance of stories and storytelling. If the next two books continue in this vein, it will fast become one of my favorite fantasy series.

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