The Name of the Wind (Review)

The Name of the Wind (Review)

‘ve mentioned Brooke, the cute little redhead who cuts my thinning hair and talks books, books, books with me. Noticed she had an old copy of The Stand amid her combs and sheers and started talking books and now we’re thick as thieves.

If only my hair grew quicker.

Anyway, I always honor suggestions – if someone tells me I should read something, I generally will. So Brooke mentioned Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind. I’d never heard about it. Apparently everyone else in the world has (including a parking lot attendant and a rounds doctor when I had a kidney stone removed recently). Everyone who read this 700 page monster (and it’s the first of three) raves about it.

Okay, so count me as one more. It’s amazingly good. Four inkstands (or whatever).

The book starts crafty, without you knowing quite who you are following, who the main characters are, and what the point of all this is. I was just thinking that I’d done fifty pages with nothing to show for it when suddenly, there, right before my eyes, a story appeared. Ah hah. Without giving too much away, this is the story of Kvothe, the hero of heroes in this fantasy world, slayer of beasts, winner of women, thrower of spells, player of lutes. And this is his story, from the time he is small until he’s about fifteen or so (when the first tome ends).

The writer is actually giving you several books here. We have his early life, how he learns the basics of magic, logic, math and so forth (Kvothe excels at learning, as is proven neatly in the opening of the tale). So his time with his parents as part of a traveling show – that’s a part of it. Then we have his time on the streets in a sprawling, dirty city (you’ll have to find out for yourself what’s in that transition). This is pretty much how he learns to play the streets, how he survives and slowly escapes this horrible existence. And then, the University, where he butts heads with everyone, makes enemies in large numbers, and impresses everyone with his ability to learn things at an astounding rate (which makes another enemy or two, in case he overlooked anyone). Then we’ve got a section where he goes into the woods, encountering a remarkable creature in remarkable circumstances, all very interesting.

Yes, I really didn’t want this book to end, even as I rolled through page 700.

All I can say is that if you like your fantasy thoughtful and artfully written, with a touch a Tolkien and a dash of Flashman, this one should be on your short list.

Hell, the parking attendant liked that I was reading it, he let us out for free. That’s the mark of a loyal fan.

So get it, and maybe you’ll get something.

Me, I think I’m getting a very short haircut next time. Brooke will want to chatter all about this one.