Friday, January 11, 2013

Great read:

I've just finished Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind and I really, really enjoyed it.

First, though, I feel like I ought to get some credit toward my Goodreads 2013 reading challenge for reading a 722 page novel (yes! 722 pages!), that instead of 1 book, it should count as at least 2, maybe even 3. I'm kidding. Sort of.

The 722 pages go by quickly. This is fantasy, and the fact that I enjoy fantasy is only a recent revelation to me (see my discovery, here). The world Mr. Rothfuss creates is amazing -- rich and believable and all encompassing. The likeability of the protagonist Kvothe (pronounced "Quothe") is astounding as well: we root for him and believe in him. And the scene where he ends up on his own is one of the best I've had to pleasure to read. It was haunting; utterly surprising and shocking, it and its immediate aftermath has stayed with me.

I have only 2 small quibbles with this story. The first is when it switches from the present time and assumes a "let me tell you what happened" tone. This is how the entire story is told, actually, where Kvothe recounts his life's events to Chronicler, who is busy copying the oral into written form. And, really, Rothfuss does such a marvelous job in drawing us into young Kvothe's world that we very quickly switch gears and are absorbed into the unfolding scene and story. My reaction stems from the intrigue that surrounds the older Kvothe and his situation at the book's beginning, that I didn't want to leave it to start over as it were. My slight irritation was short-lived, though.

My other quibble has to do with the ending. It feels like it just sort of ends. On the one hand, the story was already 722 pages long, so, really, it was time! On the other hand, I wanted a bit more of something... resolution, closure. Instead, it feels very open-ended, very much like a pause, and I'm guessing that the 2nd in the series, The Wise Man's Fear will pick up seamlessly where this one leaves off. But this just stopping, if you will, left me slightly unsatisfied and is only a very small notch against a fantastically fabulous read.

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