Internet, I have a secret. Her name is Lauren and we have been fake-internet-dating for a while now. I felt like it was time to share this with you, because not only is Lauren my twin-brain (seriously, reading her emails is like reading MY OWN MIND) but because her taste in books is my taste in books. And I make that fairly bold statement based solely on the recommendation of THIS, The Name of the Wind.
Heads up, though: it is the first in a trilogy which is not yet finished, and if you’re the kind of person who swears they won’t start a series until the final book is published (like I did that one time, and then accidentally went and read the first 4 of the Song of Ice and Fire and then began praying daily for GRRM’s continued health), maybe hold off on this until about 2010. Because while NotW is a complete and satisfying story in itself (in a way that Ice and Fire book 4 is NOT), there is a compelling and gut-stirring story over-arching it, and DAMN! I needs my hands on book 2 but soon!
Ok, this is the shit I love, all tragic love stories long past and taverns and names without enough vowels (or waaaaaaaaaaaay too many). It’s nothing particularly new or innovative as far as fantasy goes, but really, who of us wants new and innovative? Fantasy is like chocolate chip cookies, in that same old same old ≠ boring way. Kote (formerly Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, Kvothe the Kingkiller, etc) is a simple innkeeper at a simple tavern in a simple town. When suddenly, DEMONS!
The issue of DEMONS! will apparently be resolved in, I’m guessing, book 3, because shortly after DEMONS! we have a Chronicler, who has tracked down this hidden hero and wants to chronicle Kote’s tale of when he used to be Kvothe the Bloodless ibid. So Kote and Chronicler and Kote’s oddly graceful sidekick all sit down around their cups of mead and Kote spins his tale of how a bunch of tragic things happened to him as a child and he grew up and fell in love and was really, really good at the lute and got whipped a few times (because it’s not good fantasy unless someone‘s getting whipped).
There are periodic interruptions as the townspeople show up at the tavern to discuss the DEMONS!!! But mostly it’s just Kote’s tale from beginning to…I say middle. I’m calling it right now, Book 2 brings us from middle up to present day, and then Book 3 deals with the immediate town issue AND Kote is reunited with his long-lost love. ONLY TIME WILL TELL!!!
When I mentioned how embarassing the cover of New Moonwas, my sister reminded me of how our high school french teacher would force us to make construction-paper covers for our textbooks so we wouldn’t ruin them, and she recommended I do likewise for my library books (less for the ruination and more for my mortification). I’m thinking I should make a one-size-fits-all cover, because all the books I’m ashamed to read on the bus are about this size. My favorite thing about this cover (click to embiggen) is how that leaf on his navel, if you look at it really quickly, looks like a ragged hole torn through his torso, possibly because the one he loves left him for his own good (second Twilight reference in one paragraph, someone needs to wrap this review up).
Nine caterpillars, and bring on book 2!!!