The Name of the Wind is the fantasy book I’ve been wanting to read. I’ve seen great reviews of it almost everywhere, and I was really excited to get a chance to read it.
We’re introduced to the protagonist Kvothe (Kote), who owns a bar in a village in the middle of nowhere. However, he’s actually a great hero of the times who’s hiding from the world. When one of the most influential scribes in the world, Chronicler, comes to his inn seeking him, Kvothe agrees to tell him the story of his life, but insists that it would take three days to tell. This book covers Day One.
This is an epic book, not because of what happens, but because of the way it’s told. Kvothe tells of his childhood, how he made his way into the university, and his adventures at the university. The world is rich and the pacing of the story is spot on. A lot of things look like they’re going to be predictable, but get unexpectedly overturned. (Kvothe is quite genre savvy.) I don’t really want go into details, since I don’t want to spoil the story.
The framing story is also exciting (and building up slowly.) There is a war on, and evil creatures are making their way to Kvothe’s village, sooner than expected. Meanwhile, Bast, Kvothe’s apprentice, is very worried about his master, since he just appears to be waiting to die.
The characters are terrific – Kvothe makes an extremely believable protagonist, and the supporting cast is (mostly) just as wonderful – Ambrose seemed a bit over the top, but still plausibly so.
The only problem I had with this story is that not that much epic fantasy happened. I’m not even sure if it’s a problem, since it was well paced and well written, and a good change from other typical fantasy. I can’t wait for The Wise Man’s Fear!
- “The Warded Man” by Peter V. Brett
- “Old Man’s War” by John Scalzi