Friday, February 08, 2008

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss--book review

The Name of the Wind is a tale that answers the question "How would a legend tell his story?" Kvothe is a man with a past. He's known by many names--Kingkiller and Kvothe the Bloodless among them--but now he has fashioned himself as a innkeeper named Kote. He's in hiding from his enemies--we don't know who they are--but a man that calls himself Chronicler has found him and wants to transcribe Kvothe's stories. It turns out that even the most unbelieveable tales have a kernel of truth in them, if you dig hard enough. In this first volume, we learn about the events that shape our hero and drive him to the man he will become. While its structure is framed--our movements back and forth in time are marked by shifts between first and third person--it's essentially a first-person epic fantasy told after the epic events have happened. It's the first volume of a trilogy, and so while we learn a lot about the world and its inhabitants, many events and relationships are only foreshadowed. The prose is wonderful, as is Rothfuss's world-building. Fans of sciences such as chemistry and biology will find lots to like here. It's hard to find an author that, after reading 250,000+ words, you're dissappointed to finish the last page. Not because the story was bad, but because the story has to end at all. I can't wait until the next volume hits the shelves so I can live in Kvothe's world again.

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