Book review: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

I started reading the Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine free digest recently. Very enjoyable, including the book reviews, particularly when I read Michelle West's review of the sequel to the Name of the Wind (no spoilers for either book here):

PATRICK Rothfuss's first novel, The Name of the Wind, was possibly my favorite novel of the last decade. It brought me back to a time when books were the best way to travel to distant places. It burned away the ennui that had troubled my reading for longer than I care to remember. The Wise Man's Fear is the sequel, the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles. It is not short. It is a worthy follow-up?

Yes. Very much yes.

But if I'm being honest, that was never a concern.

Books are a little like people to me. There are some that impress me with the clean, clear edges of their thought; there are some that I find both fascinating and repelling; there are some that I grow to love over the passage of pages; there are some that try too hard to impress. I name no names here because books are also personal, and my categorizations will not map onto anyone else's with any degree of accuracy.

There are some books that I'm drawn to instantly; there is something about them that feels real, true, and compelling for reasons that are not immediately clear to me. Often those reasons take form and shape only after I close the covers and sort out thoughts. I don't doubt these books when I pick them up; I don't doubt them when I open them. I don't second-guess them; I'm willing—even grateful—to take what's offered, suspending judgment but offering wonder, awe, outrage, and respect in turn.

Rothfuss writes such books. Wise Man's Fear is the longest book I'll read this year, and I didn't want to leave it. If Neal Stephenson wrote fantasy, the resulting books would have some of this texture and weight.

Picking up the threads of Kvothe's story from The Name of the Wind, [...]

The rest of the review does contain spoilers, I assume -- I stopped right there and went to buy the Name of the Wind, which proved to be quite a wonderful and addictive read indeed. Warmly recommended! The writing style is quite original and the story and world grip you in straight from the beginning.

I'm holding on -- with great difficulty -- getting the sequel, to try to space the books out while waiting for the final volume of the trilogy to be out. We'll see how long that lasts...


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