Thank you all for yesterday’s comments on J is for Jean Grey. I continue the A-Z today with;
K is for (The) Kingkiller Chronicle
Another brilliant fantasy series I love is The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss.
I got into this series through my sister, Lisa, who’d read the first book – The Name of the Wind – and recommended it to me.
“I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I have burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.”
From the back page synopsis alone I was hooked.
The story is told from two time periods. Present day, which is told in third person and where Kvothe goes by the name Kote, and runs the Waystone Inn. And the past, which is told in first person and where Kvothe is retelling his life - dating back to his early childhood as part of a travelling entertainment troupe called the Edema Ruh - to a character called the Chronicler.
The first book details how Kvothe loses his parents, lives on the streets, and finally gets into the University where he studies what can only be described as magic. But it’s a very original take on magic.
|Kvotheby by fattylumpkin50|
Fields of study include Alchemy (which is apparently nothing like chemistry), Naming (which is where one perceives the True Name of a person, place or thing and by perceiving the thing's true nature the namer can control it), Sympathy (which is a system of energy manipulation that requires extreme skill and concentration. Sympathy requires a user to create a sympathetic link between two objects. What is done to one object will affect the other), and Sygaldry (which involves the use and application of runes, which create effects similar to a permanent form of sympathy).
While at the University, Kvothe faces many challenges like meeting his tuition fees, and making enemies out of one of the Masters and a fellow student. As well as distractions in the form of an attractive, mysterious girl named Denna. And all the while, Kvothe is searching for the truth about who killed his parents – a mysterious group – regarded now as only legend – called the Chandrian, who are described in a poem as:
“Cyphus bears the blue flame.
Stercus is in thrall of iron.
Ferule chill and dark of eye.
Usnea lives in nothing but decay.
Grey Dalcenti never speaks.
Pale Alenta brings the blight.
Last there is the lord of the seven:
Hated. Hopeless. Sleepless. Sane.
Alaxel bears the shadow's hame.”
The second book - The Wise Man's Fear – expands Kvothe’s world, as he travels to the country of Severen, where the powerful Vintish noble Maer Alveron has need of a talented musician. While there, Kvothe is tasked with helping Maer woo the object of his affection, and later to lead a party of four mecenaries, to get rid of bandits who were waylaying the Maer's tax collectors. One of the mercenaries named Tempi, is an Adem, famous warriors of unequaled skill. Kvothe persuades him to teach him the philosophy all Adem follow. While returning, they encounter Felurian, the mythical Fae women known for seducing men and keeping them until they die. Then later, Kvothe trains further with Tempi and the Adem, before returning to Maer Alveron.
The books are full of so many things I love in a good fantasy series; compelling characters, who are neither good or bad, but shades of grey. Mysteries that keep you guessing and theorising throughout the series, twists and OMG moments that have you throwing down the book in disbelief, rich world building, in a fantasy setting fully realised that completely pulls you in, and an original magical system that is breath-taking and fascinating.
Additionally, author Patrick Rothfuss is a fantastic guy. He writes a regular blog which is hilarious, does a lot of charity work in the writing community, and goes above and beyond for his fans – once even personally returning the phone a fan lost at a convention. Plus he has a kick ass beard!
I’m eagerly awaiting the final book in the series - The Doors of Stone – to see how Kvothe’s story concludes.
Check back tomorrow for L is for Lost Girl, and if you're interested please check out my writing blog's A-Z of Prenatural Entities latest entry K is for Kitsune.