Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Name of the Wind

I just finished Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, which starts the epic fantasy Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy. Many elements are standard - boy (almost never a girl) loses family, lives a rough life, but his unusual skills and pluck draw him up in the world. Same as you'll find in the books of David Eddings (actually all of his series are point-by-point mirrors of each other - can you plagiarize yourself?), Terry Goodkind, and many more.

Yet I couldn't put it down. I'm almost angry now I have to wait until March for the sequel. And this book was published in 2007 - no idea when the trilogy will finish! The style is easy to read without any gimmicks, and the voice is familiarly sarcastic - Rothfuss has been photographed in a Joss Whedon Is My Master Now t-shirt, so he and I would get along just fine. He wrote the book well, but there's one element that really draws me to it.

Many stories give a high importance to books, or a specific Book, which is natural since authors tend to be readers. But the hero's bibliophilia struck a deep chord in me. His only connection to his past is a book - I think the only thing I have from my childhood in Hawaii is Lord of the Rings. His goal is to attend the University, primarily to immerse himself in the Archives containing millions of books. That is a goal, an obsession, I can relate to. Many lines in the book made me laugh out loud (sorry Laura!), but the book-loving parts drew me completely into the story. I wish I could find more books like this one.

Thanks, Andy, for the most excellent birthday present.

P.S. A quick Web search tells me the next two books are already written (where are they and why don't I have them?!?), and a second trilogy is already planned. Excellent. Most excellent.


  1. I just read The Name of the Wind in April and had an extremely similar reaction. Good to know I'm not the only one.