Kvothe > Harry Potter
June 19, 2011 6 Comments
I gave up reading fantasy a few years ago. Not because I disliked the genre, but because writers have over saturated the stories with dragons, orcs and wizards that they have become too common and less magical. In short, I found fantasy to be not so fantastical anymore.
But after watching A Game of Thrones and playing RIFT, my love for the genre has been rekindled. So, I started reading some books again and found The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss to be a story, not just a fantasy story, of exemplary caliber.
The center piece in The Name of the Wind, which is about an orphan who went to the University to study magic and other wondrous things, reminds me of Harry Potter. But the similarities between the two books ends there. Because Kvothe is alive, a well-developed character. His journey, ordeals and triumphs makes him much more believable than Potter.
Unlike Potter, who has gold and a celebrity status that was left to him by his important parents, Kvothe has nothing. He was born as an Edema Ruh, a group of traveling entertainers, who was viewed by many as thieves or animals. When his parents died, he begged and stole so he could eat. When he studied in the University, he has to work his butt off in order to pay his tuition.
His opponent isn’t some dark wizard either. Not yet, anyways. Instead, he is faced with challenges that many of us would consider mundane. He constantly worry about his tuition or where will he get the money to pay for his food, shelter, clothing and school supplies. And every time he solves one of his problems, he loses on the other. But he is clever, talented and resilient. He has grit.
I never thought I’d fall in love with another fantasy book. But The Name of the Wind and Kvothe (and also Fela), the book’s protagonist, easily stole my heart. I really suggest this book to Potter fans. While it isn’t like Harry Potter (it’s better), I think its author, Rothfuss, is trying to one-up Rowling’s Potter with Kvothe.
Anyways, here is my favorite quote from the book:
“Music is a proud, temperamental mistress. Give her the time and attention she deserves, and she is yours. Slight her and there will come a day when you call and she will not answer.”
This is true, coming from a guitarist who has neglected his guitar for almost 10 years.