You might ask yourself why on earth is this chick reviewing a book that came out years ago? That she read years ago. That we’ve all read. And that we might have a very strong love hate relationship with. The answer is simple it’s because everywhere I turn lately these books seem to be popping up. I started reading The Name of the Wind a week or so ago in a desperate attempt to fight off a reading slump and it worked so well that I continued right into The Wise Man’s Fear. Then I started noticing both books showing in my Goodreads feed and realized that others I know had been reading it recently too. And finally I was out with some friends yesterday and found out that one of them was reading WMF for the first time. Rothfuss’ stories are everywhere–and for good reason.
I first read this series because of Connie. Connie, my wonderful book friend who can be pushy in the best of ways. A skilled enabler, her love for Rothfuss’ storytelling was so deep that she had to shout it from the rooftops–or Facebook as it were. And trust me, if you know Connie, you know she’s hard to ignore when she loves a book this much. So I read it. So we all read it. And devoured it. And became immersed in Kvothe’s world. A world we didn’t even know the name of until years later. We adored Kvothe, the small child who was more clever than was good for him. We cried for Kvothe, the young boy broken and hurting. We marveled at the brains and stupidity of Kvothe the teenager who, like most of his age, thought that he knew best and found he often didn’t. Page after page after page we read–1500 pages in fact–learning about our hero, Kvothe, and the path of his life. He was a powerful archaist. He was a brilliant musician. He was a skilled fighter. He loved a woman more beautiful than words can describe. He left that all behind and opened an inn?
Yeah. He’s an innkeeper. And that’s the framework of the story. Kote, as Kvothe calls himself now, is the owner of a small inn and is hiding from his past in some way. He is found by Chronicler, a collector of stories, and is telling his tale–the reader is just listening in as a fly on the wall. Why is he an innkeeper? I don’t know. Why is the series called The Kingkiller Chronicles? I don’t know. Where is Denna? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.
Two books and 1500 pages later all we’re left with is more questions than answers and burning desire to know WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON! 1500 pages and the reader was given nothing. Nothing. No closure, no answers, no cliffhanger really even. Nothing. Nothing that is, except hours and hours of enjoyment and the experience of being surrounded by some of the most beautiful language you’ll ever read. Kvothe’s story is one for the ages. A series, destined to be a classic, that you have the opportunity to read as it’s legend is being created.
If you haven’t read it–what are you waiting for? If you already have–isn’t it time for a reread? If you’re on the fence, here’s a favorite quote from the book. It’s long, but I bet you’ll want to read more at the end.
“My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as “quothe.” Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I’ve had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it’s spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree.
“The Flame” is obvious if you’ve ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it’s unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire.
“The Thunder” I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age.
I’ve never thought of “The Broken Tree” as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic.
My first mentor called me E’lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them.
But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant “to know.”
I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.”
Rating: 5 stars
Titles: The Name of the Wind & The Wise Man’s Fear
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Release Date: March 2007, March 2011