Monday, April 27, 2009

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I just finished a book titled "the Name of the Wind" but Patrick Rothfuss. It is this author's debut novel and I have to say that I really loved it! The book is a little daunting when you pick it up -- a 750-page paperback doesn't fit easily between your fingers -- but it kept me thoroughly engaged.

A number of things were interesting to me about this book that actually didn't have anything to do with the actual plot. First, we are introduced to our characters at what seems to be the end of a story, not the begnning. The main character, Kvothe (pron. quothe) seems to be a great man who is "retired" and is living his life as a humble -- undercover -- innkeeper.

Second, there are two stories and two very different characters in the person who is Kvothe -- the boy and the innkeeper. The bulk of the book is Kvothe telling his life story to a scribe. Kvothe went to "magic" school as a young boy -- this gave me a little bit of a dark "Harry Potter" feeling. The author frequently jumps back to present-day innkeeper-Kvothe as the narrative gets interrupted by the daily activities of running an inn. While reading the chapters about the young Kvothe, I would completely forget that I was supposed to be reading a narration and would often get a little jarred when the author swapped back to innkeeper-Kvothe.

Finally, the plot itself. This book, while huge, really is simply setting the stage for the later books of the trilogy. The entire book encompases a little over 24 hours of innkeeper-Kvothe's life -- the first of three days he has agree to spend recounting his life story. The majority of the book is the narration of Kvothe's boyhood and adolescence. However, enough strange stuff is happening in innkeeper-Kvothe's life during the opening and closing of the novel -- the two evenings on either side of the day of storytelling -- for the reader to want to learn the backstory so that we can get to the current-day stuff! In terms of young Kvothe's plot, there is love, tradgedy, mishaps typical of magic school, adventure and, of course, a dragon. What more could an adventure/fantasy reader want?

Overall, five stars for this book -- I devoured it in two days of good reading (thank you to summer coming early to NYC!).

No comments:

Post a Comment