Kote is a man of secrets but you wouldn’t know it. For as much as anyone knows, he’s a quiet tavern owner who doesn’t get involved in the lives of his patrons. When Chronicler, a man who collects stories and is after the story of a man named Kvothe, stops at Kote’s Waystone Inn, he finds not only the story but the man. Kvothe — who now goes by the name of Kote and is enjoying life as a tavern owner — begins his story with his happy childhood being cruelly taken from him, his years living alone with his sadness, his survival on the streets, and years at university. As his life story unfolds, as do many questions — who exactly is Kvothe and what kind of power does he hold?
The book started a little slow for me and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it even though I had very high hopes for it. It came highly recommended and I didn’t want to give up before I found the goodness I was promised. In the end, my worries disappeared and I got caught up in the story Kvothe was telling wondering how his young self would handle the next problem. He’s immature and incredibly smart (he gets into university years before he should have even been considered) and because of this, he gets into one problem after the other. Somehow, this didn’t bother me at all because at this point I was too caught up in the story he was telling to care. I was also entranced with the magical world he was becoming a part of. The university itself is an interesting place and seeing Kvothe trying to fit in was a story in itself but that’s not all. He quickly becomes a part of the university but sees more of the underground than most and he refuses to let go of one subject — the Chandrain. He must find out how and why the Chandrain killed his parents. I wanted these answers too and was glad to see it didn’t fade into the background of the story.
What I really liked about this book, besides the world building which is top grade, is the way it’s told. It’s Kvothe’s own words. He tells you his life story and it has a very personal feel. Because of this I didn’t want to stop reading once I got into the story.
This is the first book in a series followed by A Wise Man’s Fear. I will be reading the next book in the series. It’s my first Rothfuss and I’m looking forward to more. His writing style is quiet, much like his character Kvothe, but he has a way of bringing you into a story and making you feel as if you can’t leave until it’s finished. It’s addictive writing. It’s addictive storytelling.
This review feels so inadequate. Here’s the thing, if you like fantasy, you should read this book. That’s all you need to know.
The Name of the Wind
By Patrick Rothfuss
Daw Books, Inc.