Why, oh why did I wait so long to read this book?
The Name of the Wind was first published in 2007, and friends who are fans of epic fantasy have been talking about how great it was. But I was reading other stuff, and, well, time gets away from one.
I finally got around to reading it recently, and I very much enjoyed it.
A more-or-less itinerant Chronicler stumbles into an inn in the middle of nowhere one night, and finds himself face-to-face with a legend: Kvothe, the most amazing wizard (among other things) of all time. But here, Kvothe is known by another name, and he's running this inn with his loyal assistant, Bast. All is not what it seems, of course; Kvothe is Bast's teacher, and Bast himself is...perhaps not entirely human. And there's a monstrous evil thing that has begun attacking people not far from the inn. It's clear Kvothe will soon need to come out of hiding -- but first, he agrees to tell the Chronicler his life story. The Name of the Wind, the first installment of that tale, details Kvothe's early years, from his life with his parents in a performing troupe to his years at the University in Treban.
Rothfuss is a fine storyteller, and he's picked a unique way of telling his story: Kvothe tells his life story in first person, but the present-day frame for his tale is in third person, and I thought the choice made perfect sense. I found Kvothe to be an appealing hero, and his mysterious love interest intrigued me. Of course, this book has been compared to everything from Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones to Harry Potter, but it's different from each of these. In all, a fine start to the series. You can bet it won't take me another nine years to read the next book.