Patrick Rothfuss’ ‘The Name of the Wind’ a magical adventure

“It was as deep and wide as autumn’s ending. It was heavy as a great river-smooth stone. It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die.”

Before you devour “The Name of the Wind,” the first book of the KingKiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, make sure you are truly ready. A large, steaming beverage, maybe a crackling fireplace, a blanket or two and a comfortable place to curl up for hours of uninterrupted reading – you’ll need it all because you’ll be there until the last page.

The Waystone Inn is a quiet establishment in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. A few people gather to tell stories or have a cup, but nothing really ever happens. The innkeeper Kote polishes his bar, sweeps out the dust and welcomes his few customers when he is lucky enough to have them.

Then one day, a chronicler stumbles into town and into a story – a story about the most legendary wizard who ever lived.

It is a story of demons and magic and love. It is also a story about many types of courage, even the courage to hide yourself in a little town.

Kote, who is in truth Kvothe, is known as the man who was whipped but didn’t bleed, who was admitted to Arcanum after only two days, a hero who saved the life of many and who possibly performed some of the greatest magic ever known. He exists in a million rumors, legends, myths and songs, but no one knows him in truth.

Kvothe, a man who is hiding himself and slowly fading away into the innkeeper Kote he pretends to be.

With a little encouragement, Kvothe agrees to tell the chronicler the real story of his life in three days. The first day is entitled “The Name of the Wind.”

In this first day, we learn everything from Kvothe’s childhood love of music and performance to his discovery of magic, years begging on the streets and entrance into the university.

We experience Kvothe’s first love and watch as he makes great friends and terrible enemies. Tragedies, losses and betrayals abound.

We are left with the feeling of wanting more because when Kvothe’s first day has ended, his story has only just begun.

(Originally written for Get Out

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The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

She felt an enveloping happiness to be alive, a joy made stronger by the certainty that someday it would all come to an end. Afterward she felt a little foolish, and never spoke to anyone about it. Now, however, she knows she wasn’t being foolish. She realizes that for no particular reason she stumbled into the core of what it is to be human. It’s a rare gift to understand that your life is wondrous, and that it won’t last forever.”

The Geographers Library by Jon Fasman

“They call it ‘the whispering of the stars.’ Listen,” he said, raising a finger for silence. I could still hear the tinkling and craned my neck to see what it was. Zhensky laughed. “No, here. Look.” He formed his mouth into a wide O and exhaled slowly. As he did, I saw the cloud of breath fall in droplets to the ground. That was the sound I heard: our breath falling. “It’s a Yakut expression. It means a period of weather so cold that your breath falls frozen to the ground before it can dissipate. The Yakuts say that you should never tell secrets outside during the whispering of the stars, because the words themselves freeze, and in the spring thaw anyone who walks past that spot will be able to hear them.”