Another first time offering, this time from Patrick Rothfuss . Like all new authors that I have heard such great things about I approached this realtively large first release with some trepidation and a muted level of expectaion that any long time reader of the fantasy genre builds over time with new authors. The excitement of a new voice fills you with hope only to be brought low before even finishing the novel with a sense of rehashed bad prose. I am very glad to say such trepidation about The Name of the Wind was sorely misplaced.
This is without a doubt the best written fantasy novel I have read in .. well ok I don't know how long exactly but the last time I was this engrossed and fullfilled with a novel was probably the on going A Song of Ice and Fire by fantasy titan and current holder of the world heavyweight fantasy author belt of awesomeness George R R Martin. Yes the writing is that damn good.
The high points of the story are the way every character feels real and emotions through the book left me actually feeling them not just thinking about how they would feel. Some examples are a particularly kind and caring man who looks after the downtrodden of society within a city that doesn't care. He is framed in a way that makes you think of his work in a truely awe inspiring and selfless manner which is exactly how it should be seen. The settings in the book are also fantastic and myriad, the reader is shown varying worlds bordered by circumstance within the main world (a name for the main world is never given that i noticed). These different worlds are used to frame the main plot which is essentially a coming of age story about a man named Kvothe. We see a world of free abbandon in his childhood, a decrepit world of slums, theivery and poverty as he lives on the streets of a city alone and a world of possibility, wonder and mystery as he tells of his time at the University.
The cast of characters are enjoyable with Elodin being a towering high point in my view and someone I hope to see much much more of in the future novels, who doesn't want to know more about a crazy master arcasnist who can perform powerful magic??? Anyone who doesn't is someone deserving of being extremely patronised for their obvious inability to spot cool. Other feats of cool within the book include a drug addicted dragon. A darker side to fae creatures is hinted at in a rather direct way towards the end of the book that is something to look forward to hearing much more about.
As a final note I shall leave with a question is George in danger of losing his title of most awesome beard to Patrick??