“I am a myth, a very special kind of myth that creates itself. The best lies about me are the ones I told.”
I read this book early last year and forgot to write a review until it was too late, so I took advantage of the long vacation to read it once again—thus, here I am writing this while feelings and emotions are still fresh.
It took me ages to finish this book the first time I read it and although I finished it a lot quicker the second time around, it still took me longer than how I usually peruse fantasy novels. The reason for this was the pacing of the frame story. See, Name of the Wind covers two timelines: The present, wherein Kvothe tells of his life story; and the past, the story being told. Truthfully speaking, I found the frame story a bit slow, too slow to my liking, that it took me ages to get past the opening chapters. I remember giving up reading the book multiple times because of it. However, once the real story began, the book became very difficult to put down.
“I would pass over the whole of that evening, in fact. I would spare you the burden of any of it if one piece were not necessary to the story. It is vital. It is the hinge upon which the story pivots like an opening door. In some ways, this is where the story begins.”
Name of the Wind’s magic was one of the things I loved most about it. Of course, there is “knowing one’s true name”—a concept that has been used in fantasy literature throughout history, but more importantly, I was fascinated by Sympathy. It was interesting how the author used concepts and laws borrowed from real Science and built a magic system around it—it can give you quite a headache too if you tried too hard to understand it. The school setting reminded me of Hogwarts, but not quite. Familiar but foreign. I get why people say the book has similarities with Harry Potter but seriously speaking I think that’s as far as it goes. Name of the Wind has its distinct charm that cannot be found elsewhere.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. The stories within stories were fascinating and absorbing. The world was carefully built, and although it took me awhile to be submerged in it, the dive was worth it. Rothfuss is a great storyteller. He has a way with words—his prose dances and flirts with you like music, and I think this element shines through the brightest whenever Kvothe speaks of Denna. You’ll understand what I mean once you’ve read it. For now, I’m eager to read Day two.