Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review - The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss

Publisher: DAW
Genre: Fantasy




Book Description:

Publication Date: March 27, 2007

The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet's hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.

Being so impressed and absolutely enthralled with Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyeria Series, who better to ask for a recommendation for my next read?  So, that’s exactly what I did, and the result was The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.    

The more I read good quality epics, the better I like them, and appreciate the skill, talent and creativity it takes to write them.  It’s no easy task creating a whole new universe.  God himself found it so tiresome of a job He rested after every six days. Unfortunately, there are many who fall flat on their faces in their attempts to create successful epics, but I’m learning that it’s not so much these authors had a lack of imagination, but more of a lack of patience and discipline.  I’ve been extremely blessed these past few months to have come across some really great epic writers and truly wonderfully crafted stories, part of me keeps wondering when the other shoe is going to drop.

The Name of the Wind is an excellent example of the masterful strokes of a truly talented story weaver.  For those who’ve followed my reviews for a time, you know how I’m more drawn to character-centered and character-driven stories.  My favorite writing/reading style is active/third-person.  Too many times I find that stories written in first person are often pregnant with too much telling and not enough natural character and story development.  Nothing irks me more than a character that “knows it all  (no offense to Kvothe and his genius intellect)– knows the right things to say – always makes the right decisions – and always saves the day”. Kvothe is full of mistakes, wild with fears and though highly intelligent, he’s highly naive. That’s awesome!  A character that has plenty of room to grow???  Wow!  What a concept.  (Please note the dripping pools of sarcasm).

I love fantasy, not faery tales (my apologies to all fae).   Saying all of that, I was a bit weary of diving into a story, being told by one of the characters, however, this is why I call Rothfuss a masterful weaver, because somehow this author was able to keep this story engaging, active and spell binding.  I know those terms are overused by other writers in the industry, especially when it comes to the marketable blurb, but in this instance, it is the simple truth.

While the ‘present day’ part of the story is engaging, interesting, had me asking a million questions, it wasn’t until Kote started telling his story with young Kvothe, that I was not only intellectually, but emotionally absorbed into this story.  The little, street rat has pick-pocketed my heart.  His song calls out, not just to be heard, but to be felt and remembered.  The way he yearned for knowledge, music, and magic felt so familiar, and so daunting at the same time, I am forever hooked. 

This is a story, for story-tellers.  I believe Rothfuss’ greatest praise will come from other writers like me, because this story is the story of a story-weaver, told by a story-weaver.  I feel like I know this character, as well as I know myself. 

So, thank you Michael J. Sullivan for your recommendation of this series.  This was a good one.  I would definitely recommend it to others.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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