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Friday, 20 February 2015

Review: The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

"It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts."


Kote is an innkeeper, assisted by his friend, Bast. One night in the woods, Kote meets a man who is known as Chronicler, and saves his life from the scrael, huge spider-like creatures. Kote brings Chronicler back to the inn, and Kote is soon revealed to be Kvothe, a man of great renown. Chronicler is desperate to record his story, and Kvothe eventually agrees. From being the son of troupers, to befriending an arcanist named Abenthy, to seeing his family get murdered by the Chandrian and struggling for years in Tarbean, and finally his long trek to the University, Rothfuss maps out Kvothe's life in intricate, breathtaking detail. The language is rich and flowing, the characters leave you no option but to get attached - whether through love or hate - and the world itself is so present. It reads like a parallel reality, what the Renaissance could have been like had there been true magic in the world. And it's just so clever - Kvothe is immensely intelligent and resourceful, making his triumphs feel even more satisfying and his lows even more painful.

I don't think I've ever read fantasy that is this good. I hardly even knew where to begin this post - how does one sum up this book in just a few lines? It's the kind of book which necessitates a lot of free time to read - I started reading it on a school night (mistake) and was in the constant dilemma of just reading one more chapter or getting the sleep desperately needed to face five hours of teaching the next day. Needless to say, one more chapter usually won out.

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