27 March 2011

The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss

Image from Goodreads
I recently read 'The Name of the Wind' and I have to say it's the most fantastic book I've ever read. I'm eagerly anticipating the uk paperback release of the sequel 'The Wise Man's Fear' this August. Whilst I desperately want to read this I feel like I should wait until the paperback release, if only so the books on my shelf match and to give me more of a chance to remember the earlier sections when the third part of the trilogy is released.
        I picked 'The Name of the Wind' up on a bit of a whim, I'd gone into town and had some vouchers that I intended to spend in Waterstones, there was a textbook that I thought I probably should buy, however there were no copies of the textbook in stock and as it can often take several weeks for an ordered book to arrive I decided it wasn't worth it as we'd have practically finished our course by the time it arrived. As a consequence I ended up looking around the fantasy/sci-fi section, by far my favourite, and happened to pick this one up. I like the look of the cover and some of the blurb simply intrigued me;

 'I have stolen princesses back from 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 from 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.'

It announced much recited heroic deeds in a blase way. It made you think of someone who was a nonchalant celebrity but frankly tired of it. I sat in waterstones for a long while looking at that blurb, but decided that I should mull it over more before i decided to buy it. I left the shop, spent several hours in town, both wandering and doing not a lot else, and the book plagued me. It nagged at the back of my mind. I wanted to know more about this mysterious character who had done these things. I wanted to know why they would expel someone from a University who was obviously very talented. I wanted to know who the Felurian were and why they caused people to lose their sanity or their life, and more importantly why this man hadn't. I wanted to know why he would burn down a town and expect to be praised for it. I wanted to know why he would do something which most people obviously deemed very dangerous.
                Eventually I bought the book, I went to the till and was greeted by two cashiers who got very excited upon seeing it, "that's an excellent book", they told me, very reassuring, "but it comes with a health warning, it's the beginning of a series, the only one released, and it's been two years since that has been. You will want to read the sequel." The warning they gave me couldn't have been more accurate. It took me approximately four days to read 'The Name of the Wind', but during that time I would be reading it for hours at a time, and I would lose track of time. I would become so engrossed in the story, right there with Kvothe, that every one of those nights I was awake beyond midnight still reading without realising I had done so.
             The story is told by Kvothe in the present about Kvothe in the past. It answered very few of my questions, only the one about the town in fact, but it managed to create a million more. It was an excellent book, I don't want to give away any of the plot, I'm not actually sure I'd be able to because it was so artfully woven that I don't know I could untangle it enough to tell the plot.
       I would reccomend it to anyone who happens to read this, not just those who love fantasy as I do, but those who read anything, even perhaps those who rarely read at all. It's the best purchase I can remember making, and also the best book I've ever read.