A Foray into the Eclectic

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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This book was lent to me by a work colleague who share my passion of reading books and also sympathy ( joke, you’ll understand later ) for those who don’t. It is also probably of little surprise that it is part of a trilogy of which the 3rd instalment isn’t even out yet, finished maybe but not out. It is also this authors first book to be published I believe. So forging ahead


The Name of the Wind

Whatever I write about this book I don’t feel I can do it the justice it deserves, it is an astounding, richly laid out multi layered, funny, other world in which we find ourselves nodding our heads in half remembered memories of similar situations, times and events. Book one only covers a day but the main character Kote/Kvothe in the present tells his story to a Chronicler whilst the present story slowly unfolds itself.

I should point out that whilst I may give away a few plots ( spoilers as they say in movie circles ) I don’t believe I could ever ruin this for anyone wanting to read it simply because I cannot convey the amount of things happening. But of course if you easily put off you may not want to read any further an just accept this sound advice ‘ Buy this Book and emerse yourself as soon as’.

So as sinister things are afoot in our present Kote the Barkeep of the Wayside Inn turns out to be a legendary figure whose reputation goes before him. As would appear (?) a Chronicler who also has a reputation of being an exceptional scribe and has developed his own shorthand in order to accurately write down what a person is saying and has fined tuned said skills over the past couple of years and in which Kote manages to learn in 20 minutes is procured to record Kotes’ story. (Not sure that a very good punctuated sentence but it seems OK to me so I’m leaving it for now, obviously if you don’t read this later then I’ve deleted it!!). And so we go back to Kvothes’ ( his real name ) childhood. As a trouper in a travelling gypsy caravan known as the Edema Ruh, these are proud people and the Relais & Chateaux amongst travellers. They put on plays and shows in towns and have a sponsor to whom they are indebted to. In this world there are Arcanists who can perform Magic, which is called Sympathy, using a knowledge of all things, Runes and Bindings to create links or connections to do things. It is in one such village that Kvothe sees an Arcanist being harassed when a wind appears from nowhere nearly knocking even Kvothe over from his hiding place. And it is from this that we learn you can call the wind and that the wind has a name, hence the title of the book. Master Kvothe sets about befriending the Arcanist in an attempt to learn the name of the wind. But like most things in life this is not so easy.

As the story progresses we learn many things about the world in which Kvothe inhabits, not least that there were/are demons and bogeymen and monsters of all shapes and sizes/disguises depending where you live. What is real and what isn’t is just a small part of our journey.

Every now and then they take a break and todays story reveals itself a little more before continuing on our journey.

Kvothes Father writes a lot of songs and has been working on one such song about a group of being know only as The Chandrian, wanting to ensure he is accurate in his telling he takes a long time to collect stories and here-say in order to build a bigger picture of what The Chandrian are. One night after much haranguing he finally sings part of what he has written much to the delight of the rest of the group. The next day whilst Kvothe is away exploring some woods he returns to find the entire troupe including his Mother and Father have been slain and the executioners are still there. He is approached by a being called Cinder who says ‘ Somebodies parents have been singing entirely the wrong sort of songs’. And then the group are gone, leaving Kvothe an orphan. The trauma caused by this event causes Kvothe to lose himself before finally getting to a city and being a beggar for the next 3 years. This is all conveyed really well and in depth. During which we get to meet Denna and Kvothe is justifiably smitten. We meet this enchanting lady throughout Kvothes travels. After many obstacles and problems our ‘hero’ finally gets himself together to go to the only place in which he might be able to find out about The Chandrian, the University. A place for students to learn the art of becoming an Arcanist. Kvothes challenges are immense and he is always struggling for money not least to ensure payment for his next terms tuition which steadily rises and is based on a complete archaic system. There he crosses Ambrose and so we have our classic arch enemy angle which is not the main thrust of the story whilst we are at University but just as in life a problem which rears it’s ugly head from time to time. And so we follow our young master in his day to day life. We are treated to brilliantly realised situations and find ourselves laughing at such lines as ‘ Sometimes my mouth speaks and it take my head a while to catch up’ ( not a quote ) we desparately want our hero to realise what he is but there is so much going on that it just not possible. We are in thrall at what will happen next and situations very rarely turn out as we expect. Of course we sometimes do know something is rotten in Denmark but then we have to remember our hero is still only 15.

We meet many characters and places and we follow our hero as he progresses. Well paced and never over the top I read this book feeling fulfilled and happy. I could go on writing things but the diversity with the pages is nothing short of exemplary. Even if you only read one book this year this book should be it.

This author is to be recognised and followed, revered possibly. Anyway I’m a quarter way through the 2nd book and Patrick you are definately on my top 3 authors now.

Catch his Blog here download his book here