Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I mentioned in another post that I'm not a big epic fantasy reader. Well, I'm starting to question that image I have of myself. The Name of the Wind is the first in Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles series and it is a fantastic series opener. The book itself is a doorstop at 660 pages but it took me less time to read it than it has many books half its size. It's a quick moving story with a great cast of characters and it has the depth that I'm starting to appreciate with epic fantasy.

It's the story of a man named Kvothe, whose parents are members of a troupe of magicians, storytellers, and other types of entertainers who travel from city to city. Kvothe is a prodigy of sorts. He's just a young boy as he begins telling his story, but he's advanced for his years. He's quick to learn and has an insatiable appetite for knowledge. One evening, after Kvothe had been wandering around as his parents prepared dinner, he returns to find his parents and everyone else in their troupe murdered. He has a brief encounter with their killers and comes to believe that they are the Chandrian - a group previously believed to exist only in myths and legends.

So begins Kvothe's quest - to discover the truth behind the legends and gain the skills he'd need to avenge his parents' deaths. His journey takes him from the life of a street urchin, fighting daily for his survival, to that of the youngest student ever to be accepted at the University - a Hogwarts-esqe type of school that teaches those who attend the power behind the names things are given. The book ends after just one day of Kvothe telling his tale to a scribe, day two picks up with The Wise Man's Fear, which is on my bookshelf right now. We'll see how long I can hold out before picking it up. My goal is to wait until publication of the third book has been announced.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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