The Name of the Wind came out perhaps like 3 years ago. I got my hands on the same in 2009, came highly recommended by one of my colleagues who is also a fantasy buff, “Truly Kickass” was what he described it I remember. That time, I was reading Demon War Saga by Peter V Brett. And I didn’t really want to dive into a door-stopper mammoth fantasy debut, when I was having so much fun reading shorter books.
Today I stand corrected. Patrick Rothfuss’s debut is so much more richer, refined and in more ways than one, “Truly Kickass”. To say I was floored by the lyrical richness of Patrick’s prose would be an understatement.
In Kvothe, Patrick Rothfuss has given us one of the most memorable characters of modern fantasy literature. We weep, cry, struggle, whoop along and feel every other emotion felt by him and boy, it has been such a killer of a journey for me along with this boy. In fact, I loved Kvothe much more than Locke Lamora, simply because he is so much more human. And flawed. And completely vulnerable. Unlike Locke who is a superstar thief and a master conman, Kvothe is just a youngster thrown into the big bad world (albeit, one of the smartest cookies around!) and learns the hard way to work the system in his own favor. What’s more, unlike Locke, (where Scott Lynch hints at a romance gone bad for our hero!), the book boasts of a full blown love story.
In the beginning, getting into the book is a little hard, as a lot of foreign terms gets thrown at you and you scramble and pitch around trying to get your footing in this alien world. World Building is set into the backdrop of the book, coming alive through songs and stories. I thought this was such a wonderful idea. Patrick reminds me of Tolkien, as music is constant presence throughout the book. With Kvothe being a passionate follower of music, the world around him comes alive in the little poems and songs about forgotten heroes and the myths surrounding his world. The story is chronicled in three days flat and book one records Day One. But rest assured, the narrative is truly phenomenal, never for a moment getting you bored. One of the best writers of prose I’ve read, Patrick is a master of the story-craft and keeps spinning the yarn in one of the most entertaining manner indeed. His analogy’s are simply out of the world and yet so simple. It’s the simplicity that makes it so beautiful, if you ask me. Truly a fantastic piece of literature, well deserving to be up there in the ranks of the Gods of Fantasy. Cant get enough of all the praise heaped up on this one.
Have heard Wise Man’s Fear is another mammoth doorstopper and a lot of the book is rambling all over the place without too much happening. Will cross that bridge when I get to it. For now, I am burrowing myself back into Day One, King Killer Chronicles. So Tehlu save me!
Am going with a full five stars. Am a sucker for love stories. And unforgettable characters that leap out of the book into your mind. For this and much more, The Name of the Wind is a landmark achievement in modern fantasy literature.