Title: The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles #1)
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Summary: [from GoodReads] 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, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.
My Review: I can never seem to find the right things to say about the books I love most. I mean, I could tell you that the writing style was so good that it sucks you in and won’t let you go, but that doesn’t give you any idea of the shaking nerve-wracking feeling I got when Kvothe was getting ready to audition for his Talent pipes that so closely matched what I’ve felt when I’ve gotten ready for auditions. I could tell you that I loved the characters, but that doesn’t let you know the pain I felt when one of them was hurting. So, I will try to give you an idea of how much I loved this book, but I can guarantee you I will fall short.
The first thing I loved about this book is the story-within-a-story set up. The first 50 pages or so introduce us to a quiet old soul with a young face named Kote and his protegé Bast. Everything seems to be going fine and we begin to wonder how on earth we could have an interesting story about such a boring innkeeper as protagonist – and then everything gets turned on its head. But before we can get our answers, the Chronicler shows up and then we get into the real, or rather back, story. I’m still not sure what everything means in the “present day” part of the book, but I sincerely hope that sometime in the third book we get to see Kote turn back into Kvothe and save the day. Every time he took a short pause to tell us about the present I was desperate for more, and hated continuing back into the past without answers.
But then the past would take over and I would forget about everything “present day.” I feel like I lived through Kvothe’s story instead of reading it. As I mentioned before, the scene that stuck with me the best is while Kvothe is waiting to perform for his talent pipes. My mom kept interrupting me just as I was getting to where he was going to perform, and that kicked me out of the story enough to realize that I was having the exact same symptoms of nerves that *I* get before I perform. It was so well written that it felt real – I put myself in Kvothe place and had a physical reaction to what he was experiencing.
My biggest caveat for anyone considering picking this book up is a need for patience. I love high fantasy and I even have trouble sometimes with them if I’m not in the right mood. This book, like most in the genre, is not meant to be easy to read. We’re not supposed to be able to figure it out quickly, and we’re not meant to race through these tales in a day. To someone who is not used to that kind of book, it can be hard to continue when the story gets a little slow. But, as some wise man once said, “Patience, grasshopper. Good things come to those who can wait.” Or something like that.