The Name of the Wind / A Wise Man’s Fear – by Patrick Rothfuss

First of all, thank you Ivana for introducing these books to me! This is not going to be a full-blown book review, but a minor one with my thoughts on the books and the author.

This is what the author Patrick Rothfuss writes as an introduction to the first book:

My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as “quothe.” Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I’ve had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it’s spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree. 

“The Flame” is obvious if you’ve ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it’s unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire. 

“The Thunder” I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age. 

I’ve never thought of “The Broken Tree” as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic. 

My first mentor called me E’lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them. 

But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant “to know.” 

I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned. 

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. 

You may have heard of me.

There are few books which have re-read potential. But his first two books of the trilogy belong to that category. I like it when a book takes you on to a journey and you cannot really tell where it is headed. Although, the protagonist tells his story in retrospect. I like that it is a somewhat different fantasy book. You can find music in it and it has a fascination with words. The feeling I have when reading it is somehow smooth. It feels soft and at the same time vivid and dream-like. Few books can create such a response in my feelings.

What I also enjoy a lot that at times it is a story in a story in a story. There are so many layers and things that are easily missed that I more or less have to read the books again. But that is also very charming. I like a book that stimulates my mind and challenges me. When it tries to trick me and only reveals its story one bit a time. It is easy to get lost in his books. I like the diversity in his characters and how he manages to include important questions that we as a society need to speak about. I think with these books he tries to educate us a bit and makes us think what it means to live according to our values. But maybe I am interpreting too much =).

What I also like about the book is the author. If you read more about him and his projects (link to his homepage), you will see that he tries to do good in his life. He is not only building worlds in his books, but also in real life with his foundation called Worldbuilders. And I admire him for spending a lot of time and resources on making this world a happier place for all of us. And although many people are yearning for him to finish and release the third and final installment of this series, I rather have him spent his time on doing something good for the world. And yes, I also cannot wait to read the last part. But even if he never finishes it, I will be grateful for taking me onto a journey full of riddles, laughter, and a magical world.

 

Have a wonderful day and take care!

Stephan

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