Current Reads: Wise Man’s Fear

This post is linked at “It’s Monday, what are you reading?”, a weekly meme that tells us what the blogosphere is currently reading. It is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. The links in the cover images take you to GoodReads.

I am currently reading

The Wise Man's Fear Hangsaman Punainen kuin veri
The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss
Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson
Punainen kuin veri by Salla Simukka (“As Red As Blood”)

I’m currently reading a couple of different books since I’m feeling a bit restless. I continued with the high fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicle right after finishing the first book. That book is huge, though, and I’m also currently reading the modern classic horror Hangsaman, as well as a Finnish YA crime novel. I’m making slow progress with each, and reading graphic novels whenever I pause with these.

Last week I posted

January Book Haul

Last week I finished reading

Chew Vol. 7
Chew Vol.7: Bad Apples by John Layman & Rob Guillory
Last week I only finished one comic trade paperback, the latest volume of Chew. It was ok, but pretty clearly an in-between volume before the plot gets back going again.

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The Name of the Wind Review (2014 High Fantasy Challenge 1/10)

The Name of the Wind
The Name of the Wind

(The Kingkiller Chronicle #1)
By: Patrick Rothfuss
First published in 2007
Book 1/10 of my 2014 High Fantasy Challenge

The most notorious wizard the world has ever seen, famed dragon-slayer, feared swordsman, his tale is part myth, part hearsay, part wild speculation… but Kvothe himself has vanished, taking the truth behind the flamboyant rumours with him. The world has settled without him, without a catalyst to bring change and innovation, into a quieter, darker, more dangerous place. But his story still lives. And, for the first time, Kvothe is going to tell it…


Okay, I stayed up until 3 A.M. to finish this book, so it’s safe to say I liked it. In fact, I loved it. The characters were interesting and the story just whisked me away. Even though The Name of the Wind is a hefty book at over 600 pages, the writing style isn’t heavy at all; in fact, it’s very effortless to read. Rothfuss doesn’t go for long descriptions, and he writes a lot of dialogue.

The book was certainly very different from what I expected! I was expecting the legendary adventures of a fully grown hero. Instead, the story starts with Kvothe’s childhood, and goes through his teenage years, delving into how some of the legends about him got started. This storytelling style reminds me of classics – the way that Jane Eyre starts with the main character as a little kid, or the way The Count of Monte-Cristo spans a long period of time. It was unexpected, but it’s something that I really love with classics. It helps to separate the book from other fantasy books, while also being a great way to make the reader emotionally invested. When we learn what is important to the character early on, later developments pack more of a punch. For example, we quite quickly learn that Kvothe loves music, so everything pertaining to music, be it happy or tragic events, had a stronger impact on me later on. I got so emotional over some scenes that wouldn’t have been as touching if there wasn’t such a strong history of the character to back it up.

The characters were very interesting. I liked how Kvothe differed from the usual “hero” type by being willing to lie and cheat to get ahead. Still, there weren’t many times when these unethical actions felt unjustified to me – most of the time I was on Kvothe’s side.

Other memorable characters include Master Elodin and Bast. The bit crazy, happy-go-lucky, yet very intelligent Elodin, a master at the magic University Kvothe attends, had some of my favourite lines in the book, and might even have been my favourite character! The mysterious and protective Bast was very intriguing, and while we didn’t learn much about him in this book, I hope the next one delves more into where he came from and how he met Kvothe. I also had a penchant for Master Elxa Dal, who is described as looking like the archetypal wizard villain with his lean face and trimmed dark beard, but who is in fact a quite fair, if strict teacher. I just kept imagining him looking like Jafar, one of my favourite Disney characters, which was a lot of fun for me!

For most of the book, I was captivated by the story, but there was one side plot that didn’t quite work for me. It only lasted for about 50 or so pages near the end. I think it sidetracked the plot a bit and could have been dealt with quicker. It definitely slowed my reading down by taking me out of the story, because I just wasn’t that interested. As fast as that side plot was done, though, I was eager to read on, and back to loving everything.

The Name of the Wind was a great start to my 2014 High Fantasy Challenge, and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I can definitely see myself rereading this in the future.

Favourite Quote
“Noble’s sons are one of nature’s great destructive forces, like floods or tornadoes. When you’re struck with one of these catastrophes, the only thing an average man can do is grit his teeth and try to minimise the damage.”


Next up in the challenge
So, as I’m already caught in the Kingkiller Chronicle net, I think I’ll just continue to the second novel in the series. The next book on my challenge list can wait for a while more – it isn’t like I’m straying from my chosen high fantasy path by reading The Wise Man’s Fear. After that, I’m done with this world for a while (since the third book isn’t out yet), and perhaps will feel more ready to move on.

(Also, welcome to the 100th post on this blog! I just had to mention it.)

Current Reads: The Name of the Wind

This post is linked at “It’s Monday, what are you reading?”, a weekly meme that tells us what the blogosphere is currently reading. It is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. The links in the cover images take you to GoodReads.

I am currently reading

The Name of the Wind
The Name of the Wind
(The Kingkiller Chronicle #1)
By: Patrick Rothfuss
Genre: Epic fantasy
My copy borrowed from my sister

The most notorious wizard the world has ever seen, famed dragon-slayer, feared swordsman, his tale is part myth, part hearsay, part wild speculation… but Kvothe himself has vanished, taking the truth behind the flamboyant rumours with him. The world has settled without him, but his story still lives. And, for the first time, Kvothe is going to tell it…

I’m finally starting this series! I feel like reading books again, so of course I went right ahead and picked up the heftiest tome in my reach… I started reading this on the weekend, and so far I really like the writing style. It doesn’t feel heavy at all, which, for such a big book, is a strong plus. I like both Kote/Kvothe and Bast already, and am intrigued about their backgrounds, as well as the mythology of the world. Yay, can’t wait to learn more!

I’m not finished reading all those graphic novels yet, though; I’m continuing Runaways, and started with Invincible.

Last week I read

Fortunately The Milk Runaways Vol 1 The Walking Dead Vol 1
Fortunately, the Milk… by Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell
Runaways #1-18, the first Runaways story arc, by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona & Takeshi Miyazawa
The Walking Dead, Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman

  • Last week I read Neil Gaiman’s whimsical children’s book Fortunately, the Milk… and found it really fun. This was the UK version with great illustrations by Riddell.
  • I finally read the first story arc of Runaways, and I really enjoyed it! I liked the characters as well as the compact storyline. The numbering of the issues and the collected volumes can get confusing with this series (which is why I originally first read the first volume of the second storyline, thinking it was the beginning of the series…) but that is like the only downside of it.
  • I also read the first volume of The Walking Dead, while I was sitting at the library waiting for someone to get to downtown to meet me. I wasn’t that into it, since the volume covered the story that is in the few TV series episodes that I’ve actually seen, so it was nothing new. I did like the art style, though, and found the original illustrated version of Rick Grimes more likeable than his TV counterpart. I don’t think I’ll be continuing with this series, though, it was just a nice pause at the library.

Last week I posted

Character names I love
A Sentence from Game of Thrones