Tuesday, January 21, 2014
the name of the wind
the name of the wind
kingkiller chronicles #1
The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players to years spent as near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic.
The Name of the Wind is one of those books that can be described as epic because that's really what it is, an epic. Kvothe is an unassuming innkeeper at the Waystone Inn serving the very few patrons of farmers and the very infrequent traveler. In the past few months the roads have become increasingly unsafe so Waystone Inn has not seen a new face in quite some time. And that's mostly okay with Kvothe who just wants to polish his bottles and listen to stories that the villagers tell.
Until a battered and terrified regular comes in carrying a bundle of nightmares. Now Kvothe knows that the quiet in his life might be coming to and end. When he comes across a Chronicler he decides that now is the perfect time to tell the story of his life.
This book is what one might also describe as a brick. The paperback that was lent to me is a cool 722. It's no The Game of Thrones, but it's pretty long nonetheless. It was recommended to me by a friend and has been sitting on my shelf for many, many months. It took me awhile to get into the book at all. I'm not a big fantasy reader, especially not these sort of epic high fantasy books (I just learned what the term high fantasy means!) so I was a little lost until I found the rhythm. Then the pages seemed to fly by until I got to the last 20-30 pages. Then it sort of slowed down.
Also called The Name of the Wind: Day One, the book is Kvothe's telling of the story of his life to the Chronicler while they are sitting in his deserted inn. He takes us from his childhood days all the way through his teens. I think by the time he takes a break for the day he is about 17 or 18 years old.
Kvothe is one of the luckiest and yet, unluckiest people ever. He's arrogant, having discovered at a young age that he was scarily intelligent and apt at sympathy, a sort of alchemist/magician sort of thing. And his high opinion of himself is generally what gets him into rough spots. The book is packed with adventure, mystery and sadness and it ends with a sort of cliffhanger. There is still so much story to tell!
If you're a reader of fantasy you've probably already read this. If you're not you should definitely give it a try. Fans of The Game of Thrones books will enjoy this as well.