Monday, September 22, 2014
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Synopsis From Back Cover:
My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back form sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled form the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.
I'll be the first to admit that I suck at reviewing fantasy books. I can't even begin to tell you why that is. I'm not sure if it's because, and this is accurate of pretty much all the fantasy I read, of the sheer scope of what most fantasy authors are able to do. It's just not a story they are telling, they are creating a whole other world. They have to, to the smallest details, figure out what this world is like. They have to be able to come up with whole new religions, nations, races, languages, lineages, histories, animals, currencies, and the list could go on forever. It's the sheer size of what is being created, that makes me cave under pressure. I'm never comfortable in my ability to review, or even simply talk about what I thought of everything involved.
What I can say about The Name of the Wind, is that while I know a lot of work went into building the world Kvothe inhabits, I have to admit that I couldn't see it. I couldn't see where the author had to struggle and strive towards creating this place. I couldn't see the blood, sweat, and tears involved in creating an entire world from scratch. The narrative is so smooth, you forget that everything you are reading is made up. Kvothe tells his story in such a way, that I forgot it wasn't a real autobiography. I bought into the whole thing. I willing suspended my disbelief after the first few pages, which was when this emotionally powerful narrative took over.
I'm not not normally enthralled in a fantasy world. Even when I really enjoy the world an author has created, I'm always aware that this is a make believe place. Before Kvothe, the only other fantasy character that I had fallen this in love with was Vanyel Ashkevron, the title character in Mercedes Lackey's Last Herald Mage trilogy. They are the only two examples, of when I was able to forget I was reading a fantasy story. I've gotten to see Vanyel's story through the end, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Kvothe's.