Archive for March, 2011

Have you ever been totally entranced by a book? It’s like a drug. The story is lurking in the back of your mind even when you aren’t reading it, waiting for you to go back to it and sink into that new and magical world and characters.

It’s been several years since I’ve read a book so good it digs its claws in and doesn’t let go. Happily I’ve found another stay-up-all-night read. I’m at a desk downstairs as I write this, and I can feel it whispering from the bedside cabinet: “read me, stop what you’re doing, curl up on the sofa, and read me”.

Impressively, I’ve resisted all day, and even more impressively this book is not only a new author for me, but also the first story he’s written. Patrick Rothfuss is the man keeping me up all night, and The Name of the Wind is the book doing it.

It’s fantasy again, but has a slightly different angle so far, to the usual young child is orphaned by baddies of some sort, discovers he has magical talents, finds an old man to guide him and some sidekicks to help out. Kills the baddies who killed his parents, lives happily ever after, probably marrying the young girl he’s been besotted with from the outset. In fact Kvothe, our main character, whilst telling his own story to two companions, slightly mocks this standard format.  It’s an amusing little acknowledgement by Patrick of the somewhat formulaic pattern fantasy stories can take under an unskilled hand.

I’m only about 200 pages in, so have another 300-400 to go yet. The story starts (more or less) with Kvothe sitting in a backwater inn telling his story.  The reader thinks he’s around middle aged, but there are hints that could be much older (or actually, far younger) than that and not a simple inn keeper at all. He begins his story with his early childhood, and yes, his parents are killed in rather strange and mysterious circumstances. However rather than just then reverting into a typical tale of a child growing up etc, Patrick breaks this story up every few chapters by having Kvothe stop telling his story and chat to his listeners, bank the fire, eat lunch and other small realisitic things which adds a nice touch.

Patrick had been working on the first book for 14 years (according to the blog on his website). His second book in the trilogy came out at the beginning of March (and was top of the NY Times best seller list last week), I think that makes it about 5 years since the first one was published… I’m very glad I don’t have to wait that long to read the second, and hope his third is a little quicker.

And now I’ll resist the call of the Name of the Wind no longer. Book, cuppa and sofa await.


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