Have you ever felt as though the universe was pushing you towards something? Dropping little clues…nudging you when you weren’t looking?
Back in June, on one of the facebook author fandom groups I follow, the conversation turned to book recommendations. There were two authors enthused over by much of the group and whatever was said about them impressed me enough that I wrote their names on my desk calendar.
A week or more later – in a completely different author’s facebook fan group – one of those authors was recommended again. THEN two weeks ago, I was talking to a new friend about the Harry Dresden series (of which he is also a huge fan) and he recommended a book that he claimed might be his favorite of all time. When he said the name of the author I realized it was already written on my desk calendar in a short must read list. Adding another cosmic nudge, one of the other friends at the table chimed in that the book was absolute poetry on every page.
It was too much convergence to ignore, so I went directly to Audible and downloaded the book.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is the first in a series (already three books strong) called The Kingkiller Chronicle. I will be reading them all. He has a blog on his official website here.
Aside from being excellent writing with an interesting protagonist with both theme and setting that engages me, the writer does something I wish more authors would do — he surprises me. Patrick Rothfuss is not about predictability and giving the reader everything they want or expect. Just when I think I know what he’s doing, he zags instead of zigging and I’m left smiling at a freshly pressed road stretching off into the horizon.
The protagonist, Kvothe, slowly reveals his past to the reader in a memoir-style backstory that takes place in another world and era. As he reminisces on his travels through this world – which still relies on beasts of burden for transportation, tinkers and farmers’ carts for shopping, and traveling troops for entertainment – Kvothe describes tales of hardships, horrors, and heartache. Each phase of his life feels like a mythic ordeal that is tempering Kvothe for immortality, leaving the reader to flinch at his pain and occasionally cry for him.
Not that his life is all woe and worry. Kvothe also has times of joy and elation for the reader to share. Some of those moments are so beautiful they also brought tears to me eyes.
He is a scholar, a rogue, an adventurer, a reluctant hero, a perpetual savior, a bard, and for most of that first book only a boy.
Kvothe has three goals:
Vengeance against the Chandrians (a demon race).
To be a master Arcanist (Master Wizard).
To learn the Name of the wind.
And if he’s really lucky, to earn the love of a mysterious girl.
Treat yourself to a little vacation in Rothfuss’ Four Corners of Civilization. If you decide to go, I can recommend a good Inn.
A little inspiration for your day from the author himself.
I hope you have been working on your September submission. I’m only up to 600 words or so on mine, but I have my outline done and I wrote a new Greek myth to kick it off. I hope no scholarly types object. Space! I wish I could wake up there 🙂