Monday, July 7, 2008

Book Review -- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I enjoyed this book very much, so I wanted to recommend it to anyone who might happen along and read my blog.

I found this book hard to get into, knowing nothing about it beforehand, and it's a rather long book, so I'll give you a bit of a clue about how it starts. We meet several characters in a tavern. They are locals, and though the book has a nice map of the story's imaginary world in the front, we don't see the name of this little community on the map anywhere. Several chapters pass and some mysterious stuff happens and it's clear that one of our characters has a mysterious past.

I was getting ready to give up on it when the point of all of this beginning stuff became clear: a new character (the Chronicler) enters who is sort of a journalist, if they have journalists in this made-up land. He's been searching for a famous person who apparently did a bunch of heroic deeds and then vanished from the known world, and no one knows whether he's dead or alive. Turns out, he's our mysterious character and he agrees to tell his story to this Chronicler. Most of the rest of the book is the first part of his story, told in first person, and we'll have to wait for the other books for the rest. There are hints that the future tales will, at some point, have some bearing on "present" time events, because every so often they take a break from the telling and recording of the tale, and we see what's happening in present time in the immediate vicinity of the tavern whose location we are still in the dark about (the map does show locations mentioned in the hero's narrative, however). It's obvious the hero will be needed to save the world again, or at least part of the world, in the near future. In addition, even more mysteries present themselves and we find we have more than one mysterious character on our hands.

By page 100 I was hooked. It's the kind of book where you think about the characters when you're not reading it, and after you finish you want to know what happens next. The author does a great job creating an imaginary world and an even better job creating characters. I truly can't wait till the next book comes out (April 7, 2009).

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