Name of the Wind
The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1) by Patrick Rothfuss. A scribe named Chronicler meets an innkeeper, and, discovering the innkeeper is the mythical Kvothe, of a thousand tales, convinces Kvothe to tell his story. Kvothe begins with his childhood with a traveling troupe of entertainers. A precocious child, Kvothe trains with an alchemist and magician, and yearns to go to the university and learn higher magic. Kvothe returns from playing in the woods to discover the troupe killed, and encounters the evil group of Chandrian still at the scene. Now orphan, Kvothe lives for a time in the forest, then on the streets in the city of Tarbean, blocking his memory of his past. A storyteller at an inn piques his interest, and he remembers his family, and the killing. Determined to get to the university and learn what he needs to know to get revenge, Kvothe makes the journey, and with a show of bravado, passes the entrance tests. Thus begins Kvothe's time in the university. This is a great debut novel. Rothfuss utilizes excellent imagery and emotion, and keeps the story moving well. The world and the magic is believable. It's a well-written novel. The main character is so well written that I quickly got aggravated with him once he got to the university. If you can stay patient with an arrogant, know-it-all, entirely-too-intelligent-for-his-own-good, boy who does phenomenally stupid things without thinking, maybe you won't mind it as much. My desire to reach through the pages and shake Kvothe at times tended to dampen my enthusiasm for the book. Even the mature Kvothe the innkeeper was an arrogant (add favorite pejorative here), but at least the arrogance was tempered with self awareness, humor, and caring. That said, I liked the book, I want to find out what happens, and I'll be reading the rest of the trilogy. If the worst that can be said of a book is that the character is so well written that I dislike him, the book is definitely worth reading.