It’s been a couple of weeks since I decided I wanted to write a post about this book. I know right now books about fantasy and medieval/magic fights/wars are in trend thanks to ‘Game of Thrones’ and I heard people comparing these two sagas but in my opinion they are not so similar. I’m not gonna say which writer or which saga is better because I’m a huge fan of Patrick Rothfuss and George R. R. Martin but I just wanna state that they don’t have so much in common as people might think. In this post, I’m just going to talk about the first book of ‘The Kingkiller Chronicle‘ which has been written by Patrick Rothfuss and published for the first time in 2007 so I’ll leave the talk about ‘Game of Thrones‘ or ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ for next time.
When I started reading this book, I instantaneously fall in love with it. The first chapter made an impression on me that I haven’t been able to sake it out yet. ‘A silence of three parts’, which is the name of both the prologue and epilogue of this book, is written so carefully and delicately that it made me have goose bumps. With just a couple of sentences it makes you feel the atmosphere that floats in the place which the author is describing. It might not sound as impressive as it is but being able to wake up such a feeling of oppression and sadness in readers is not an easy thing to do and I find it awesome.
The very beginning of ‘The Name of the Wind‘ tells you about a dark time in the life of the people who run (and live in) a small inn called Waystone Inn in the town of Newarre. Our main character is known as Kote there, though he, who knows the importance of Names, has worn several different ones through his life.
We don’t know so much about Kote. He’s ared head. He runs a quiet and almost unnoticed inn with his assistant (and apprentice) Bast where they live a quiet and boring life. Through those first pages you can see how they have begun to wither in this environment, how our main character seems to be broken inside though we don’t know why…
But this way of living is going to be interrumpted by the arrival of a new character called the Chronicler, a man who has recognized this innkeeper as someone who is much more than that. At this point is where the real story of this first book begins. The story of a child called Kvothe whom several years later would run an inn under the name of Kote.
One of the strongest points of this book are its characters. It’s not that it doesn’t have action or romance or a mistery to solve because it certainly does. It’s just that it is a book about the characters.
As I said before there are two stories inside this book: a small one where you get to know the present Kote (former Kvothe as it is his birthname), Bastas and the Chronicler and where some events start to change their peaceful life and another one, which we can consider the main story, where we get to know what’s the story of this man who goes by the name of Kote.
The small story is told from a third person point of view but, even so, it is written in a way that makes you feel part of what is happening and makes you love the characters (an example is my irrational love for Bast).
The main story is told from the point of view of Kvothe so you know how he sees the world, how he thinks and how he feels. I love the way he talks about himself and how he perceives the people around him.
The only thing I didn’t truly liked about this book was the main female character, Denna. I don’t really like her and I think there are so many interesting females in this book that I don’t know why she is the main one. Don’t get me wrong, she is clever and beautiful but she’s plainly boring… (maybe things will change in the second book so I’ll give her another chance).
I’ll leave you here just a small part of this book. Let me know what you think about it.
“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.”