This book has nothing to do with ASoIaF. There, I said it. Although, I guess I can see the Tolkienish aspect, that something that completely captivates. Comparisons are rather annoying, and yet I’m going to throw another one out there: this book is like Harry Potter, dude!
The truth is that we can compare this book to basically any other book existing. Let me tell you why.
The Kingkiller Chronicle Saga is the telling of Kvothe’s life story, a “retired” epic hero, living his life in the quiet anonymity as a tavern keeper. Any well told life-long story would include high and lows, misery and happiness, love, friendship, mistakes and triumphs; and this is how The Name of the Wind intertwines the core of different genres and the base of any other story you have ever read.
A parallelism starts when Kvothe is convinced of telling the true happenings that lead him into becoming a legend, going all the way back to his childhood, and continues mixing between his present and his past. The present is boarded in a third person narrative and very little explored. The past is boarded through a first person, very unreliable narrator.
Clever mechanism, right? The whole books is clever in fact, a very astute reflection about what storytelling really is, done almost in a satirical way. The story is plagued with typical clichés, approached in a quasi-realistic manner.
I knew the shape of stories. When a young couple comes to a river there is a definite shape to what will happen next. (…)I would move off a discrete distance, out of sight, but within easy talking distance. Then... something would happen. She would slip and turn her ankle, or cut her foot on a sharp stone, and I’d be forced to rush over. And then...
But this was not a story of two young lovers meeting by the river. So I splashed some water on my face and changed into my clean shirt behind a tree.
This makes kind of a predictable story and a very main-character based one. Luckily, our protagonist is funny, cute, ironic, ingenious, a little arrogant and pretty mysterious; enough to keep us entertained.
The world building is marvelous, but mostly lightly shown: geography, background history, currency, bibliography, folklore and a quite believable kind of magic.
I can’t give this book 5 stars. I loved it, but the hype took my expectations too high, to an unreachable point. Let’s be honest, Patrick Rothfuss doesn’t need my pity stars, and if I’m allowed to be completely subjective in my reviews, I won’t give it a perfect score because I ended feeling a little hungry for more. Meaning, I will totally read the sequel and I’m expecting more side-character development and action.