This isn’t a review as I have no wish to spoil any part of the books for anyone else, they are also too large and complex for me to do them justice. Therefore this will take the form of a recommendation, I will talk a little about the content of each book and the way they are structured, along with my thoughts on how this was achieved. After that it’s up to you.
When my sister bought me The Name of The Wind for my birthday last year this book went on my shelf and with university reading I didn’t pick it up until may after my final assessments. Letting it sit there was a huge mistake. It took one page and the description of a ‘silence of three parts’ to convince me that this book was worth my time and every page after confirmed that.
The way the Meta-narrative this novel contains is set up means that we are introduced slowly to Kvothe as a character, taking us in relative detail through his childhood and his time on the streets as he prepares to go to the University. Once there he immediately finds himself in trouble with a number of adversaries, notably a Master Hemme and Ambrose Jakis the son of a rich and powerful individual. From here the adventure turns to both his instruction and in part his quest to locate the Chandrian.
Whilst this is but a sparse overview of the plot, not all of the story takes place in the meta narrative, the world is changing around the speaker and all is not as it seems with every character in the present. This style never feels jarring as it is wonderfully woven between perspectives with natural or appropriate pauses in the meta narrative. In fact sometimes you mirror the chroniclers dismay that Kvothe has stopped relating his story. I was most gutted upon finishing The Name of the Wind to discover I didn’t own the next book in the series and promptly asked my sister to purchase it for my birthday.
She did and The Wise Mans Fear did not disappoint, whilst it starts at the university it moves us beyond its walls and out into the world at large. There it is safe to say the world is not static and is convincingly different. My favourite section of this book involved Kvothe trying to understand the Lethani. It was a beautiful portrayal of a different culture, the way in which he communicates with and tries to understand the Adem was both beautifully written and extremely poignant.
I would wholeheartedly recommend that anyone looking for that next great fantasy buy these two books and start reading. You wont regret it.
I will be doing a more in-depth review of The Slow Regard of Silent Things in a couple of weeks. This novella is part 2.5 in the Kingkiller Chronicle and I fully expect it will be worth the time to read.
Go, read, enjoy. Have a great day folks.