Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Rothfuss has done a fine job of writing a kickass book in a genre so mired in cliché that it usually struggles really hard to do anything fresh. The Name of the Wind deals with the story of Kvothe, a young phenom who is cast adrift in the world and becomes a hero of sorts. The story is told as a retrospective; a legend related by the legend himself around the table at a tavern in a troubled land…

The writing is smooth, clever, and engaging. Rothfuss refrains from the leaden sentences and archaic diction that pollute so many fantasy novels. Kvothe is a likeable character in a cast full of likeable characters. And while we’ve seen many of these places before (the gypsies here are reminiscent of Robert Jordan’s gypsies, the University here has shades of Hogwarts, etc.) they all feel fresh here and tie together into a mostly believable world.

I wish the novel had been longer, which is as high praise as a book can get I suppose. I started and finished over the course of a few days surrounding the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle. The sequel, A Wise Man’s Fear, comes out in March of next year. I look forward to reading it.

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