Short, sweet and to the point, read this novel: The Name of the Wind.

Illustration for article titled Short, sweet and to the point, read this novel: The Name of the Wind.

I have one thing for you that will draw you to an idea faster than the prison-murder scene of Breaking Bad repelled you from even THINKING of selling weed.

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Medieval-Magic-Swordsman-Bard-College-student-Batman.

Spoiler warning: His parents die early in the book, and it is gruesome, unexpected and cruel. Me telling you this will literally have no loss of impact of this event. So prepare to cry, BITCH.

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Medieval high fantasy about one of the most interesting characters you will ever read about. His name is Kvothe, perhaps you’ve heard of him? What makes this book compelling is the dual time shift. The contrast between young Kvothe who struggles to find hope, those who killed his parents, and his place in the world and older Kvothe who has lost all hope and wishes to die.

As you begin to become invested in young Kvothe, you will wonder how Kvothe got to the point of mental dilapidation and despair, running an inn in the boonies after faking his own death and killing a king.

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A guy who knows a guy finds him and asks for his story. What we know about this present is: There is a war, dark hellish grotesque creatures running around and Kvothe claims it is all his fault.

I could not help but be reminded of how it feels to be playing Skyrim but with actual narrative when I read this book. Kvothe starts out as a bastard with nothing but the shirt on his back, yet due to his wits and skill alone he manages to survive the streets and get into the University. He learns a bunch of amazing sword skills, magic, is driven by goals, and becomes overpowered in his own right.

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Kvothe isn’t a broody teenager who somehow knows what to do: He hides that broodiness because he knows it would destroy him. He buries himself in his work, he solves problems by figuring them out, he acts.

The magic in this book is an innovative type of magic: Sympathy, gone are the days where you have a mana bar and a lot of magic that hurts stuff.

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Say you have fire on one side of the room and a candle on the other? If you are careful, you can borrow some heat from the flame and light the candle. If you suck, you will burn the wax or the house down.

Say you’re a jackass and you want to use your body heat to light the candle and you suck at sympathy? You’re gonna have a bad time!

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I cannot praise the splendor of this book’s normalcy enough. It takes away the inane mundane elements of daily life and yet comes across as something you can totally see yourself doing. It’s like having a nice hot coffee on a calm afternoon with friends. You are often taken to classes with Kvothe and company, the taverns, or even the university square where students hang out or trade exam spots and its such a good time.

The way the writer writes about music without actually writing music is a work of magic itself.

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I could tell you more, but you will have to play Dark Souls and find your own answers.

Currently there are three books of the Kingkiller Chronicle, the last being about an interesting character we meet in the book:

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The Name of the Wind

The Wise Man’s Fear

A Slow Regard for Silent things

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