The Name of the Wind

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The Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss

Winner of the Quill Award

The author of this debut novel is the friend of a friend. She sent me The Name of the Wind as a surprise Christmas present. While this made me wary of reading it, the cover art and title were intriguing, and the jacket teaser really grabbed my attention. Although this book had an auspicious beginning, it became a page-turner unlike one I've read in years. I couldn't put it down. Now, we often say this about books, however, not only could I not put The Name of the Wind down, I began to snap at my wife when she interrupted my reading, became highly annoyed when I had to housework instead of reading, and didn't do anything else in my spare time until this book was finished. It grabbed a hold of my life and would not let go. Unfortunately, or fortunately, this is the first book in a series.

Ah, but what type of book is The Name of the Wind? It is a high fantasy. We follow the main character Kote, now an innkeeper, as he retells his past life, one he wants to so desperately leave behind, yet, of course, cannot. His past life steadily creeps back into his life as the Chandrian once again threaten the world. The characters engage the senses, the villains fill your veins with ice, and you wonder what trouble Kote will create next. All the standard fantasy tropes exist (mysterious women, good vs. evil, a gifted child, etc., although no elves and dwarves yet), yet Rothfuss weaves the intricate story masterfully, as if he's written many more novels, as if the wind is a part of him.

If you enjoy fantasy, this is one of the best fantasy books I have ever read.

Lastly, Rothfuss was also a winner of the Writers of the Future Contest (mentioned in the acknowledgments) of the book. Be inspired (and maybe a tad jealous!).