story of a story

Just finished reading ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s quite refreshing in a sense to read a fantasy novel after so long without reading from that genre. There’s just something about reading about made-up places with made-up people doing impossible things.

I’ve always thought it was quite a skill to be able to make up names for fictional places and people and creatures and whatever else comes from people’s imaginations. You have to construct a name that suits what you’re naming and that also sounds suitable to the characters who say/use the name. (Hopefully you get what I’m saying there…)

Also impressive is making up a language for a fictional civilisation, especially if you include long bits of dialogue in/throughout the story. There’s probably some sort of trick to it…

Back to ‘The Name of the Wind’: I really enjoyed reading it. Feels like I say this a lot, but it was quite different to other books I’ve read. This time, it’s different in the sense that it’s sort of a story of a story. That is, the protagonist is telling another character the story of how he became a hero. The hero’s history is pretty much the bulk of the book, but you get little intermissions where you go back to the “present day”, if you will, when the hero is telling the story.

But there are certain events in the “present day” that let you know that the story isn’t just going to end when the past meets the present, so, really, it’s more than just a story about a story.

[Caution: Possible spoiler in following paragraph] However, it did remind me a bit of ‘Harry Potter’, when you consider the very, very basic concept behind the story: evil person(s) kill kid’s parents, kid goes to uni to become educated in “magic” and to find answers, kid makes enemy of pompous/snooty guy but has a few true friends, kid builds up quite a reputation for himself at uni. But other than that, the two stories and the two respective protagonists are very different.

Another thing I liked about ‘The Name of the Wind’ was that Rothfuss seemed to anticipate all of my questions. There aren’t any holes or loose ends in the story (except for the ones he intentionally left for the purpose of creating intrigue).

All in all, I definitely want to read the sequel.