The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1)

The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss Back in the day, they used to do fantasy like this. I wasn't born at that time, but I've heard about it through old, unforgettable stories told at midnight, near the campfire. Faces lit up by the flames, playing demonic games when smiling, an old, thin and tired man speaking words of a thousand winters past.. Back when the wolves roamed the deep, dark forests to howl at the two moons. Back when on the road you'd have to keep your sword on your thigh and your knife up your sleeve, just for safety. Back when princesses were able to fight next to you, not just be a walking piece of collection there to reassure people of your wealth.

Back then, there used to be Kvothe.

Hello and welcome, readers, future readers or never-to-be readers of Patrick Rothfuss! It is my pleasure to review this wonderful installment today!

Let's be clear on something: while this doesn't touch on some major fantasy series (ever heard of the father of everything in this genre, Tolkien, or the preacher of complexity, George Martin? ), it still is a wonderful work, very well thought of, very well put together, with some pretty damn awesome characters and a plot to die for!

I am not here to argue with you, people. I am here to praise a book I really enjoyed, and to tell you why I enjoyed it.

First and foremost, let me mention this. I, in 99% of the cases, am a declared enemy of first person narration. I hate it. It's usually made so that the character seems a selfless idiot who barely has a thought of what independence means, or the character is a narcissistic ass who doesn't give a single **** as to what else might be happening around him. In this particular book, however, I was surprised, about a hundred and fifty pages in, to realize that I had been reading first person narration without seeing it. I backed up a bit, then got to the point where Kvothe begins his story, read it again, and was amazed at how flawless the transition is. This is, I think, Rothfuss' witchcraft. He never gives you a stopping point, there's nowhere where you can say "now he's making a transition". He just fluidly moves around them and gives you the feeling that there's no real time to his story, that it's ageless. Also his changing from Kvothe to Kote is a really nice think. I do wonder if this was in his plan and he had to work for it, or if it just comes to him, because rarely do I find a book that is just so flawlessly written.

Second in line is, of course, the main character, Kvothe. You have no idea how nice it was to finally stumble unto a character that isn't a full stereotype. As I said before, you can have the type of character that when he realizes he is smart, and handsome and has abilities no one else has he's like "oh, Jeez, I wonder where all of this comes from. I'm so humble and don't know what to do with my powers. Here, you take them, I don't need them. While we're here, take my life, also, it's useless". Yeah, I know. Annoying. And then you have the characters that are something like this: "I can shoot lasers out of my asshole without eating beans. Bow down, bitches.". I know, I know. Horrible.

Then there comes Kvothe. He is the perfect blend of narcissism and selflessness. He is both aware of the fact that YES he has some fucking amazing talents and YES he is so young and YES he had to survive through some tough shit, and still he thinks of others and doesn't go all pussy and "I'm a loser". Loved that.

From the setting point of view, the author's created world is pretty neat. You don't get as much scenery as you get in other books (but seriously now, who is as fucking damaged as Martin was when he created his purely awesome and incredibly complicated world that we, fans of him, know and adore and probably don't fully understand?), by which I mean villages or general geography or kingdoms or that kind of thing. But from time to time, I do like my fantasy like that. It's a nice pause from everything that revolves around kingdoms fighting and all that crap. It's good to have such a book out there.

I am aware of the fact that the series is called "Kingkiller", so it will probably at some point involve ... kings. I hate politics.

I've also come, by time, to appreciate fantasy through its own style of language. You have to have that certain old feel to it, otherwise it wouldn't be a fantasy. That's just one reader's point of view, though. Some other people might like it more modern, but I love old-school fantasy. Rothfuss also accomplished that well. He's got the right language for the time of the book and he gives it a touch of other languages also, just to make you feel right and cosy withing the pages of his books.'

The only really mean thing I can say about this book is that it ends... badly. Not with a bang, but with a fizzle. More like a whimper. Just moaning its way through the last pages, crawling to the end and dying on the last page. Nothing thrilling about that. If the book hadn't been so entertaining as a whole, the ending of this first part wouldn't have made me want to go on to the second or third one. But, as you all know, and as I know, I kept going.

After reading this first installment, I have immediately moved to the next one in line, Kingkiller #2, The Wise Man's Fear. On Goodreads, it has 994 pages. On my Ebook, it has 1090. Thank you, Prestigio, for this lovely surprise.

The next review will take some time.

Meanwhile, if you haven't read this, do so! You will certainly enjoy it, not just from one point of view.

And if you hate it, there's always a need for paper to a fire.