My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I was younger, I had no problem finding new authors to like. I suppose it had something to do with having all the time in the world and that feeling of invincibility that only the young have. I read everything I got my hands on. Historical fiction? Bring it on. Translation from Arabic? Sure. Fifth book in a series I’ve never heard of by an unknown author? No problem (this happened many more times than you would imagine – especially as I got closer to finishing reading all the novels in our small branch library. Staying up all night reading every night wasn’t a problem – I had the energy of youth and healed fast. I had time to waste.
Now that I’m married with a clan of children, I have to be more careful about my reading. What if the book is a dud but I don’t know it until I’m most of the way through? What a waste. This has led to a spiral of avoiding new authors (or in the case of this new trend of furry fiction, avoiding entire genres) outright. It isn’t anything intentional – I just find myself waiting for more from the authors I know (which doesn’t always work out – I’ve read some real stinkers lately from some of my known favorites).
So all of that is preamble to my comments on Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind. I had seen a number of reviews here and there for the book, and the synopsis seemed intriguing but uninformative. When I was younger I probably would have read it right away. In the end, I had several extra audible credits and decided to take a chance.
I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to ruin the experience of meeting Kvothe and learning his world, but I will say that although I started out on an audio book, I eventually got an ebook copy because even listen at 1.5x speed I wasn’t getting the story fast enough. That is how much I enjoyed the book. Read it in two sittings (eventually you do have to do things like eat and go to work.
The reviews I have seen have been really polarized (lots of 1 and 5 star ratings), but without much explanation of why they might be leaning one way or the other. Here are some of my reasons: 1) I love the world, including the back story; 2) The main character and his companions are compelling; 3) the mechanism for telling the story is confusing at first but is a creative approach and adds to the story, 4) the story starts out a little slow, but that’s ok it clears up quickly, 5) I like the magic system in the world, 5) there is an epic feel to the story without being pretentious.
I have more reasons, but could find a way to list them without giving too much away.
The Banner and Featured images for this post are from the cover of the French version of Name of the Wind, by Marc Simonetti (http://marcsimonetti.deviantart.com/art/The-Name-of-the-Wind-123640928)