Hi all, hope everything is going as well as can be expected while we’re still in the depths of a pandemic. Here on the West Coast smoke has finally begun to clear a bit, so it’s at least slightly less apocalyptic. With everything going on I’ve been neglecting posting a bit but I’ve still been avidly reading. Circumstances have changed my reading preferences slightly as I’m sure is the case for many people so while I’m still reading the occasional true crime or mystery I’ve been much more into fantasy recently. However with fall coming up the moody reading might come back full swing, we’ll see. Regardless I’m still hoping to get back into posting more. I’ve missed chatting with you all and interacting with the bookish community 💙
With all that said I want to take the opportunity to casually chat a bit about how much I’ve been enjoying the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss and encourage you to pick them up! I’m in the middle of book two, The Wise Man’s Fear, which is excellent so far. It continues right where the first book, The Name of the Wind, left off following the story of Kvothe as he retells his epic life story to a visiting historian of sorts named the Chronicler. While Kvothe has settled almost too comfortably as a innkeeper now, his past was filled with dazzling stories of magic, music, and bravery.
The synopsis for The Name of the Wind summarizes it beautifully –
Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.
The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.
A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.From The Name of the Wind Goodreads
I’m only 300 pages into the second book and it’s been really fantastic so far! And I’m upset there’s no THIRD BOOK yet because I can already tell with this pacing it’s going to end too soon. I’ve purchased novella book 2.5 The Slow Regard of Silent Things to fill the impending hangover I’ll have from the unfinished series but alas I doubt that will be enough..
Young Kvothe is such a strong character in his backstory, morals, and development. Although he can be frustratingly dense with women and a little too rash (which is acknowledged in the book), it’s incredibly easy to connect with him and feel wholly invested in his journey. The Masters at the school of magic he attends fall on a diverse spectrum of enjoyable to irritating, but no character is so frustrating as the classic enemy classmate Ambrose. The man we all love to hate. Including basically all the other characters. Despicable with women, haughty and rude, it’s little wonder Kvothe with his pride and morals ends up head to head against him (however unwise it may be). Kvothe really doesn’t need to go searching out more trouble for himself on top of basics like struggling to meet tuition, but yet here we are ticking off the firstborn son of a wealthy and powerful nobleman. Just to keep things interesting, you know.
I’ve also found other characters quite interesting like Devi, a former attendee of the same school who was kicked out years and now makes a living loaning money on the other side of the river. She’s powerful, intelligent, and mysterious and at least with how far I’ve read we know entirely too little about her. (More info about Devi here, spoiler alert)
Finally I’d name my third-favorite character is Auri, another former school member. We also know very little of her by 1/3rd through book two except that she lives in seclusion roaming the ruins below the school. She’s quick to startle and comes up infrequently to talk to Kvothe, one of her few friends. They talk in charming riddles when he brings her food and she presents an assortment of objects she’s found in return. Here’s one such exchange:
Auri hopped down from the chimney and skipped over to where I stood, her hair streaming behind her. “Hello Kvothe.” She took a half-step back. “You reek.”From Goodreads Auri Quote
I smiled my best smile of the day. “Hello Auri,” I said. “You smell like a
pretty young girl.”
“I do,” she agreed happily.
She stepped sideways a little, then forward again, moving lightly on the balls of her bare feet. “What did you bring me?” she asked.
“What did you bring me?” I countered.
She grinned. “I have an apple that thinks it is a pear,” she said, holding it up. “And a bun that thinks it is a cat. And a lettuce that thinks it is a lettuce.”
“It’s a clever lettuce then.”
“Hardly,” she said with a delicate snort. “Why would anything clever think it was a lettuce?”
“Even if it is a lettuce?” I asked.
“Especially then,” she said. “Bad enough to be a lettuce. How awful to think you are a lettuce too.” She shook her head sadly, her hair following the motion as if she were underwater.
I unwrapped my bundle. “I brought you some potatoes, half a squash,
and a bottle of beer that thinks it is a loaf of bread.”
“What does the squash think it is?” she asked curiously, looking down at it. She held her hands clasped behind her back
“It knows it’s a squash,” I said. “But it’s pretending to be the setting sun.”
“And the potatoes?” she asked.
“They’re sleeping,” I said. “And cold, I’m afraid.”
She looked up at me, her eyes gentle. “Don’t be afraid,” she said, and reached out and rested her fingers on my cheek for the space of a heartbeat, her touch lighter than the stroke of a feather. “I’m here. You’re safe.”
Charming and fascinating, right?
Patrick Rothfuss has built a rich world for readers and his characters which is really a joy to live in however briefly. If you haven’t read the series and enjoy epic fantasy I’d highly recommend this. I struggle to find a good comparison but it’s perhaps along the lines of Farseer Trilogy’s writing and adventure meets Harry Potter’s magic academic vibes, but even that doesn’t quite approach the fullness of the story here. For those who have finished the series as they stand today, any better comparisons you can think of?
As I’ve mentioned a few times I’m not quite done with book two yet but wanted to check in and catch up with you all given the long absence. Take care of yourselves and I’ll check in again soon 😊