You guys. I’m already so far behind on my reviews for CBR8, and I’m finding it so hard to motivate. But I think if I can get this one behind me, I might be able to make a fresh start. Because this book…this book took me almost an entire year to read.
This book was my personal version of Billy Bragg’s Great Leap Forward. Every time I thought I was taking a step forward, and excited about a good part, that part would suddenly end, and I found myself taking two steps back, struggling to pick up the book again.
The Name of the Wind is the story of the mighty Kvothe — the greatest scholar, fighter, magician, lover, and musician of his time. Kvothe is secretly living in the country as an innkeeper known as Kote. The locals don’t know who is really is, and the only one who knows his secret identity is his student, Bast.
Until one night, evil spiders filled with dark magic attack the town, and while fighting them, Kvothe rescues a man passing through the area who is knows as The Chronicler. The Chronicler is a wandering scribe who travels across the countryside, writing down the greatest stories the people can tell him. And Kvothe promises him a great one that will take three days (this book is only the first day…I have yet to decide whether or not to proceed with the next two…I look to you, my Cannonball brethren, to tell me what to do!)
I loved reading about Kvothe’s childhood, traveling around and performing in different towns with his family, learning about magic from Abenthy, and realizing how smart and talented he is. I was heartbroken for him when the Chandrian slaughtered the troupe and his family, and found the following chapters about him living on the streets in Tarbean to be quite effectively depressing.
And then Kvothe went to University, which should have been fascinating. He’s the youngest student in ages! His talent is beyond measure! But his snotty attitude and the constant “will he get kicked out?” back and forth really bugged me. And it went on and on and on and on and on.
I also was not a huge fan of anything relating to his musical career, his constant bickering with Ambrose, or his relationship with Denna. And these things take up hundreds of pages.
But I did enjoy his trip to find out more about the massive slaughter of wedding guests in a nearby town, and his obsession with the Chandrian. I loved the section about the draccus and could have read about that bizarre creature for ages.
So I’m a bit torn. I’m curious to see how Kote the innkeeper manages the current influx of dark magic in his town, but I’m just not sure I want to read any more about how great Kvothe was doing everything that he ever did for two more books.
And now that I’m in a Billy Bragg mood. I’m going to go off and listen to Back to Basics and Workers Playtime. But I’ll leave you with this: