The Shadow of the Wind was bought at the post office as a light but boring read. Suffice to say that no more than 48 hours later it was finished and definitely the most unexpected book I had read in a while. Set in 1945 Barcelona young Daniel’s father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world. When Daniel chooses a book- The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work only to discover that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. The book is well written, interesting and thoroughly enjoyable- a really amazing surprise and one that also reminds any bookworm of the special power of the novel
The Prophecy of the Stones is the perfect example of one of my pet peeves- books that are published due to the author’s age and not their literary prowess. Much like a previously reviewed book Legacy, The Prophecy of the Stones was woefully bad. I bought it because of the hype surrounding it only to find that I was possibly the most bored any human has ever been in their entire existence. Other than the fact that this is one of the few books I’ve ever really struggled to finish, the whole three girls fulfilling an ancient prophecy in order to save a land called Fairytale is about as original as the evil stepmother plot. So in short- most overrated book. Ever.
I was lent this book by a friend for a ‘short time loan’ but it took about a year before I actually got round to reading it and another year before I returned it (moral of the story- don’t lend me your books). Not because it was bad- far from it- it took me forever to return it because it was so damn good. These days, as I have probably already mentioned, fantasy rarely really grips me. The ideas are the same, the plots are the same- the writing is just fluff- but this book was phenomenal. Its so complex that I wont explain, just read this excerpt (copyright, patrick rothfuss’ blog), go out and buy it and then you can come back and thank me:
My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as “quothe.” Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I’ve had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it’s spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree.
“The Flame” is obvious if you’ve ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it’s unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire.
“The Thunder” I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age.
I’ve never thought of “The Broken Tree” as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic.
My first mentor called me E’lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them.
But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant “to know.”
I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.
So begins the tale of Kvothe—from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more—for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe’s legend.