Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Finishing What I Started
The Name of the Wind sat patiently waiting for me to read it while I was busy reading other books. I went through a lot of changes in my life last year. I faced a lot of truths - truths about other people in my life and truths about myself. I had known these truths inside my own heart and head for a long time, but I needed to change my life on the outside to reflect what I knew on the inside. This was not an easy task. It was a long year.
On the fateful day I chose The Name of the Wind from my bookshelf, I was feeling almost like myself again. I only needed a little more balm to help some old wounds heal enough for me to count them as new scars. I needed something that day, something that would refresh my soul and make me believe in something again. I needed a magical distraction, an escape, for awhile. I needed a break from all the reality I had been handling.
I remember reaching for the book, running my hand over it, and reading the back cover - reminding myself of why I had originally bought it. I smiled a sad little smile at it and hoped it was the medicine I needed. I curled up in my favorite chair with my soft, purple blankie and a hot cup of coffee. I could have selected any unread book from my shelf, but I'm so glad I chose that one...or, perhaps, it chose me.
The Name of the Wind is a medieval tale about a man named Kvothe. The novel is written as a story inside a story. In other words, there is "present day" going on in a medieval inn where a man is telling a story. The story he tells is about Kvothe's life, and how Kvothe became a legendary hero. It is a great adventure story, but on its edges (and at its core) it is a love story. I didn't say 'romance,' I said 'love'. (There's a difference, you know.) Love of family. Love of friends. (and, yes, eventually...) Love of one woman.
The author, Patrick Rothfuss, has a way with words that makes me laugh and sigh and smile and re-read. He also has a quick wit and is great at writing banter between characters. It is the way he turns a phrase that had me tabbing passages because I just loved the way the words fell together. The scenes with Kvothe and a minor character, Auri, are some of my favorite and always ended up with tabs because I enjoy the way they talk to each other. Trust me, there is a lot to enjoy about this novel.
In the end, I found much more than the balm I was looking for when I started the book. I found a writer I could admire. I have become a fan of Patrick Rothfuss. I love to read his facebook page, watch his podcasts, and hear him interviewed. He seems to be a down-to-earth kind of person with a wicked and warped sense of humor who doesn't take himself too seriously. How can you not like a guy like that? He is currently working on the third book to The Kingkiller Chronicles.
Oh, yes, I should tell you this book is the first book in The Kingkiller Chronicle series. I didn't know that when I began reading it. As I have said before, I don't like to read series of books until they are all out - if I can help it. The second book is The Wise Man's Fear. I already own it, but keep putting off starting it until I have an idea of when the third is coming out. No one knows when it's coming out - including Rothfuss - which is kind of a good-hearted joke to many people. Everyone gives him crap about it. :)
While I'm waiting, I have read other books. However, once I decided to blog about this book and looked at my tabbed quotes, I began reading it again. I couldn't seem to help myself. It's unusual for me to re-read a book so soon. That should tell you something. (Translation: It should tell you to read the book!)
I'll leave you with one of my favorite passages from the book:
...He hesitated, struggling to find the words he wanted. "You see, there's a fundamental connection between seeming and being. Every Fae child knows this, but you mortals never seem to see. We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be."
Chronicler relaxed a bit, sensing familiar ground. "That's basic psychology. You dress a beggar in fine clothes, people treat him like a noble, and he lives up to their expectations."
"That's only the smallest piece of it," Bast said. "The truth is deeper than that. It's..." Bast floundered for a moment. "It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story."