The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
I have to thank Lizzie for this recommendation. Both of these wonderful novels which follow on from on another are hidden gems of the fantasy world. The world that Rothfuss creates is complete; beautifully detailed and entwined with music and storytelling. It’s a story told within a story as the Chronicler documents the story our protagonist, Kvothe, tells about his life.
This intriguing, all involving history of Kvothe, starts from his childhood as part of the travelling troupe Edema Ruh where he tragically becomes an orphan after his father writes a song about the Chandrian, a name hidden in mystery. His desire to join the university and his obsession for knowledge has the reader completely identifying with this under dog as he overcomes his age, his enemies and his own faults. The novel easily follows his journey into early maturity through his love of Denna, the mysterious woman with complicated desires, and his involvement with the Fae. He learns to be an arcanist, a form of magic that is intelligently created by Rothfuss, embedded in logic rather than fantasy. This magic involves the ability to “name the wind” which encourages us to see the importance that names can bestow on objects and people. Kvothe is extremely talented at all he puts his hand to including the playing of the lute. Music is intrinsically used to explore the emotions of Kvothe which therefore gives this novel its delicate touch throughout. Storytelling also becomes an essential part of Kvothe’s character, helping to remind us of the importance of sharing in one another’s lives, pain, love, and history in order to learn about ourselves too.
There is so much we don’t know about this intriguing character; we are given hints as to his past and how he was given the name the “Kingkiller”. This sometimes slow novel still has lots to divulge to its readers as the second novel finishes with Kvothe returning to the University having matured and changed.
The third novel is eagerly awaited but, like the new Game of Thrones, Lizzie and I are going to have to be as patient as possible. We don’t want to rush the creation of this stunning, highly addictive and fascinating world amongst its pages as we know it will be worth the wait.