Title: The Name of the Wind
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Synopsis: Come in, come in out of the wind and rain and rest your feet at the Waystone Inn. There are potables aplenty for all your thirsts, I’m sure. Now, if you want entertainment, well, the innkeeper might provide that – he’s a fine storyteller is our Kote. And a damn fine musician, too, come to think of it. He could sing a secret song out of the hollow moan of the wind if he wanted to, I’ll bet. The man’s got more talents than he can keep secret, it’s a wonder this inn hasn’t taken off as it should. Don’t pester him about it now, though, he’s not in the right mood. Would you be, if you were once a legend and now you’re at best, an innkeeper, at worst, a worn down ghost of the man you used to be? Well now, don’t be down on account of what I just said. If’n you can make him turn his mood gladsome, he’d p’raps tell you about the time he spent with his merry Ruh family, growing up as a trouper child and learning the art of deception and storytelling. Oh, those stories are as good as spiced cider sittin’ warmly in your belly. Or, mebbe you could prod him about all those wretched days spent scrabbling for a living on the scum-ringed waterside of Tarbean. No better place than to learn the real importance of living, I’d say. Did I mention he had enough of a noggin to get his arse into university before even a peep of red bristled his chin? Such a man is our Kvothe – ahem – Kote. Though, I can’t pretend to say he didn’t get himself into licks of trouble in the process. But don’t you just sit around and listen to me ramblin’ why don’t you go over there yerself and ask him nicely-like to let slip a story or two? He does occasionally bite and growl but trust in me that it will be worth it.
Whew, what a tiresome old man! Scoot, go away! I was afraid he’d keep chattering on and reveal the whole story to you before you get a chance to hear it from Kvothe himself!
Kvothe was the real lodestone of the story for me. I don’t often read first person POV of a guy and it was a nice change to tag along with him. I can’t wait to see what Patrick Rothfuss does with this character in The Wise Man’s Fear. A lot of events are alluded to in Day One of Kvothe’s storytelling session that aren’t addressed so be prepared to be patient. Don’t speed through this book. This novel is not meant to be flicked through (though if you read unnaturally fast, I’ll forgive you). Would you like it if someone sped through your autobiography without really digesting all those important events of your life? Or worse, skimmed, through the ‘boring’ parts? My life isn’t boring gawdamnit! Even if I spend a good deal sitting in one spot doing nothing visibly exciting (does periodically turning a page, count as significant action?). Also, you might give yourself a papercut flipping through those crisp pages at such a rate.
I like the time he spent with Ben the best and how we learn what sort of motivations Kvothe has for going to the university. When he goes to the university, I was all ready to bust through those doors and get some answers, so it frustrated me that there were so many denials there. I was also hoping Kvothe would learn more about the different aspects of magic and finally get some answers to some haunting questions. But all the university masters were displaying typical professorial eccentricities that made it impossible to pin down straight answers from them. Of course, you’ll know if you read the book that it’s against Kvothe’s nature to sit around waiting for answers so I know that he’ll eventually figure things out whether it’s for the worst or not. I’m just ridiculously impatient to bust into that library. Ridiculously. Impatient.
Denna, another significant character that popped up in the later quarter of the book didn’t grow on me much. I suppose she’s there to bring out the foolish young infatuated side of Kvothe and thus endear him more to us readers. I just didn’t care for her character and it irked me to have to listen to Kvothe moon over her over several chapters. I think he glorified her more than she deserved. I can’t wait for Kvothe to move on and find someone whose personality is actually GOOD for him.
Overall, I think I can say that this book is one of those books that you could be so exhaustingly engrossed in that you’ll not hear the apocalypse crashing down around you until you’re dead. It’s just one of those books that deserves actual shelf space rather than simply e-space.
Rating: 4.5 drug-enraged draccus looking to get their teeth whitened without having to pay dental
Ben taught me Heart of Stone, a mental exercise that let you think clearly about whatever you wished. Ben said a man who truly mastered Heart of Stone could go to his sister’s funeral without ever shedding a tear.
He also taught me a game called Seek the Stone. The point of the game was to have one part of your mind hide an imaginary stone in an imaginary room. Then you had another, separate part of your mind try to find it.
Practically, it teaches valuable mental control. If you can really play Seek the Stone, then you are developing an iron-hard Alar of the sort you need for sympathy [magic].
However, while being able to think about two things at the same time is terribly convenient, the training it takes to get there is frustrating at best, and at other times, rather disturbing.
I remember one time I looked for the stone for almost an hour before I consented to ask the other half of me where I’d hidden it, only to find I hadn’t hidden the stone at all. I had merely been waiting to see how long I would look before giving up. Have you ever been annoyed and amused with yourself at the same time? It’s an interesting feeling, to say the least.
Another time I asked for hints and ended up jeering at myself. It’s no wonder that many arcanists you meet are a little eccentric, if not downright cracked. As Ben had said, sympathy [magic] is not for the weak of mind.