Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Name of the Wind
The Kingkiller Chronicles: Day One
by Patrick Rothfuss

662 pages
DAW (March 26, 2007 US)

"A silence of three parts. The Waystone Inn was his, just as the third silence was his. This was appropriate, as it was the greatest silence of the three, wrapping the others inside itself. It was deep and wide as autumn's ending. It was heavy as a great river-smooth stone. It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die."

The last paragraph of the first chapter sums up the whole of what the reader will find in Patrick Rothfuss' tale of a lonely innkeeper divulging his inner secrets and life story to a traveling writer. This book is both deep and wide. It is also heavy. It can also be quite grim, like the patience of a man waiting to die.

Another new author in the year of 2007 that seeks to fit amongst the ranks of todays premier high fantasy legends. Rothfuss hits the nail on the head his first person narrative debut, The Name of the Wind. Part one of a trilogy (so far), the novel opens with an innkeeper looking inwards and finding not what he wants to see, or rather, not what he use to be. With a great longing to get back what he once had, he sighs to himself and lays in a bed devoid of sleep. Out of nowhere, a traveling writer named Chronicler visits the inn and captures Kvothe's first person narrative on paper, which is what we, the readers, read. In Day One, Chronicler visits Kvothe's childhood and early to mid teen years.

Kvothe of the Edema Ruh, a traveling troupe of actors, singers, and musicians, finds himself to be an orphan (much to my dislike, aren't all of our heroes orphans?). Without his parents and traveling family, Kvothe follows his love of magic to Hogwarts, er The University. While there, the young student proves his talents and knowledge and surpasses his peers in the art of magic and naming. Financially strapped and always in trouble, Kvothe is at constant odds in his first year of magical learning. Ron and Hermione, er, Wil and Sim are loyal and honest friends that are at his side to voice their opinion and deal out sometimes helpful and sometimes not so helpful advice. Then there is Denna, the hard to get flower of a girl that is always at Kvothe's fingertips but always ever so distant. Harry, er, Kvothe is our lovable hero that is trying to make something of himself in the hard world that he lives in.

I hate comparing this to Potter, but it's just so much along the same lines plot wise, but aside from the Harry Potter likeness, Patrick Rothfuss' dive into fantasy has plenty of originality that consumes the reader and saturates the pages with brilliant concepts and characterization. The magic system is quite original, simply put, if you know the name of the wind, fire, water, etc., you can make it do as you please. Of course, wind isn't simply wind, its some unpronounceable word in a foreign, archaic language thats long forgotten. Kvothe and his relationship with his friends, teachers, and especially the girl Denna, are easily read and make you yearn for more interaction. Kvothe's chase of the Chandrian, those who killed his troupe, is believable and exciting, you as the reader can't wait for him to gain just a little more knowledge about the elusive demons. This book releasing the same year that Potter's story draws to its end is definitely something that older fans of the Hogwarts student may want to check out. It is much more mature, much more believable, on an adult level, and in my opinion, better. Day Two is slated for April 2008. [4/5]


brandon said...

so you started this in may? woo i had no idea. nice. i may not read these books buuut ill read your blog nonetheless

fool of gold said...

Sweet dude. Its awesome to see someone read this!