Not much ever happens in Newarre. But if something were going to, it would happen at the Waystone Inn, which is presided over by Kote the innkeeper — a flame-haired giant of a man who always seems to be embarrassed by the sound of his own voice. Every night a handful of the local men gather to hear and tell the old stories, and canvas the same old news.
That is, until the night someone kills a black spider the size of a wagon wheel. Whispers of “demon” flit from ear to ear, and news of strange occurrences beyond the mountains begins to filter into the small town.
Following right along behind these rumors is Chronicler, a collector of stories. His stop in Newarre is one of necessity, but a sudden attack forces him to the Waystone, where he discovers that its innkeeper is anything but just another townsperson.
Kote is not his true name. He has been called E’lir, Six-String, Kvothe the Bloodless, and Kvothe Kingkiller. All of these names are earned. Chronicler has three days to hear Kvothe’s story — and all the while, outside the monsters are gathering…
Of all the books in the world, I love most the ones that pull me into a world and won’t let go. And of all the stories that can do this, fantasy is the best at it.
This book, the first in author Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller series, introduces the reader to a world full of amazing and terrible things. Kvothe tells Chronicler of his childhood, and his education at the hands of a master wizard; the horrible death of his parents, and the genesis of his search for the Chandrian; his dazzling entry into the wizarding school, and a hundred other tales.
The world is large, deep, and impeccably developed, and the writing is exquisite — lush, dark, and beautiful. I haven’t been so entranced by a novel since the first fantasy novel I read (Elvenbane, Andres Norton and Mercedes Lackey). It pulled me in and didn’t let me go, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next in the series, The Wise Man’s Fear.
“ ‘When do you bleed a patient?’
The question brought me up short. ‘When I want him to die?’ I asked dubiously.” (p. 230)
“I buried my face in my hands and wept. Not for a broken lute string and the chance of failure. Not for blood shed and a wounded hand. I did not even cry for the boy who had learned to play a lute with six strings in the forest years ago. I cried for Sir Savien and Aloine, for love lost and found and lost again, at cruel fate and man’s folly. And so, for awhile, I was lost in grief and knew nothing.” (pp. 369-370)
Have you read this book? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!