That moment when you’re reading a book and the whole world around you ceases to exist…
That is how it was while reading The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss. My 2016 Reading Challenge continues at last with this book that was recommended to me by my new favorite bookseller, Escape Fiction. Upon learning of my preference for fantasy, the shop owner enthusiastically suggested this book, calling it among the best in fantasy fiction. I’m really glad that he did.
This is the story of Kvothe, as he retells his tale to the Chronicler. The book opens at a small town inn, sometime after the events that have become legend, with Kote the innkeeper and his assistant Bast. Though there isn’t anything specific said, it is clear these two are anything but your ordinary innkeepers. Some strange things happen in the town, including the arrival of the Chronicler, who figures out Kote’s true identity, Kvothe.
The Chronicler convinces Kvothe to allow him to write down his story. And so, Kvothe begins relating his tale beginning with his early childhood at the age of eight. The narrative is interspersed with “real time” breaks that are written and woven in so well, they flow naturally as a break in the story in which to move about, to breathe. They also serve to add greater depth to the character of Kvothe himself and greater anticipation to hear the rest of the story.
This is hands down, the best book I’ve read in quite some time. If you like fantasy fiction at all, this is a must read. It is beautiful and engrossing. The story sucked me in right from the start. I hated having to put it down, and had to be careful about picking it up lest I accomplish nothing else. I don’t read many books more than once, but this is one I will definitely read again. I’m sure there are many subtleties I missed the first time through.
This is book one of the Kingkiller Chronicle, Day One, as Kvothe’s story is told in three days. Book two, Wise Man’s Fear, picks up the story. The final book, Doors of Stone, has not yet been released.