Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

This book has gotten more gushingly positive reviews than any fantasy novel in recent memory and yet it took four years for Rothfuss to break through to the wider public conciousness. Perhaps that is just the time lag between the USA and Europe. Perhaps it is that grown up fantasy was very much hidden behind all those teen vampire novels when it was released back in 2007. Whatever the reason for the delay Rothfuss is here in a big way now and he is getting top billing from book stores to coincide with the release of the follow up novel.

I really don't need to add much to all of those glowing reviews. It is very well written. It does break new ground with its use of parallel timelines, its mocking of so many genre conventions and its strong characterisation. It is a nuanced book that would probably reward re-reading with new insights and understandings.

That said, I don't particularly like the main character Kvothe - the gifted scholar,  renowned hero, arcane magic wielder and Kingslayer who has retired to a quiet life as an unknown innkeeper in a  far away town. Given that the whole point of the series is the story of Kvothes life as recounted by himself over a three day period this is a bit of a problem for me.

Ah well. I'll read the books none the less. Perhaps he will reveal a more sympathetic side in the follow up episodes.

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