Name of the Wind : Review

A pub/inn, a setting where many stories get told. A setting for new friendships are made, old friends to share stories of their lives, travellers to rest before continuing to script their life stories. An innkeeper named Kote. A red haired man who was part of stories, legends. The one who is wise and keeps his past hidden under this masquerade. A loyal servant who knows the past. A traveller/story teller who happens to know some of the stories and wants to get the complete version. The setting for this magnificent tale of the most famous son of the Edema Ruh is perfect.
The myth of the Chandrian, the seven. The foundation years under an arcanist and his parents. The stories told through music and performance of the troupe. The art of Sympathy, magic of the world, which relies on relationships between materials is one of the best scientifically explained magic that I’ve read. The myth of the Chandrian, the struggles of Kvothe to reach The University after his parents’ death all contribute fairly to develop the character brilliantly. The story telling during his first term at the University is fantastic and provide a backdrop for some of the best moments of the tale to happen during the siege of Trebon by the Draccus and its conquering by the E’lir Kvothe and his eventual return to become Re’lar, the speaker of names.
The ending of the story, back in the Inn with the Chronicler settling down at the end of the day was bone chilling in a good way. The revelation by Bast about his intentions makes the reader yearn for more in the next two books of the trilogy.
I should specifically call out Denna, the girl Kvothe desires, but keeps slipping away. She is a metaphor for what you pursue so much and yet slips away from you, while still giving you hope to catch it eventually.
This is the second time I read the book and picked up a lot more nuances of each character. This is a must read for most fantasy lovers.

Awareness and Temptation

I was listening to a podcast from the Tolkien Professor about the portrayal of knowledge in the works of Tolkien. While my thought process may have been on an entirely different tangent to what the discussion was about, I arrived at some realizations about my own life.

Many years ago, 12 to be exact, I was perfectly happy even though ignorant. The teenager had very little to complain about life. I could be easily satisfied with a good cheap meal at a tiny restaurant, fresh mangoes off a tree and the water melon season in summer. I was also perfectly happy with the 1 GB of music I had, which I felt enough to last a lifetime.

Internet came into my life and so did travel and moving away form home in search of knowledge and an engineering degree. There was a whole new perspective of the world and a lot of new things to learn about and experience for the taking and each of them coloured my life differently.

The move abroad and the interactions with multi-talented individuals from entirely different upbringings have meant that I’m feeling much inferior and unfortunate than I really should. The lack of meaningful hobbies, a clear lack of in-depth understanding/expertize on anything I have an interest in all show up and take me down instantly, and give me anxiety attacks and a sense of worthlessness, all of which were irrelevant in that tiny world where I grew up. What’s more, the experiencing of all these in small measures also means that there’s a constant desire to experience more of all of these and more in a short span of time which has led to a lot of unhappiness.

The infinite sources of knowledge at my disposal has also let to decision paralysis wherein I’m unsure what I really want to do at this instant and attain mastery over. If only I could hard code into my head that life is a marathon and not a sprint and take it slowly, one thing at a time!

The Harry Potter Experience

So 10 years after entering adulthood, I decided to take the plunge and read the series. While reading it, I ignored the teenage, angsty side of Harry and his friends, and instead focussed on the plot, their characters in the face of adversity etc. The world building from Rowling is top notch. The marriage of the real world with the magical works perfectly. The invention of new food, sports, means of communication are all approachable and believable, and not queer enough to be deemed ridiculous.

The relationships between the kids, friendships and romance, aren’t overbearing to the movement of the plot, which is rapid through each of the books, while not missing out on crucial details and being descriptive enough to let the readers form imagery in their heads.

The Boy Who Lived is a metaphor for the one who fights on, despite knowing the end is near. The hope he clings on to is the same hope that provides the shining light and sends signals to his head to plot the overthrow of darkness amidst the ill omen that happen around him.

Snape is such an outstanding character that words fail me while trying to describe him. Though driven by his love for Lily, he does everything in his power to folly the plans of the Dark Lord, while pretending to do his bidding.

Dumbledore is a benevolent one, but he has enough shades of grey to not be the perfect being.

This is a fantasy series I wish I’d read 10 years ago, as the story happened, as the rest of the world experienced it. To take part in the ride of joy and despair together, to laugh and cry together. I already know what one of the things I’ll be doing with my unborn kid is going to be!

¡Estoy muy feliz!

Learning a foreign language, other than English, had been something on my bucket list for the longest time. A few weeks back, I took a major step in that direction by completing the Spanish tree on Duolingo. This is by no means a big achievement, considering that I still confuse the words, as well as totally misinterpreting sentences. It’s going to take a few more years of practise before I can consider myself proficient. However, I’m happy. Happy that I managed to stay disciplined and went on a 180 day streak. Happy that I have a new hobby, even though I’d have liked one that forces me to stay away from the computer screen. Happy that I am on my way to learning a language that’s spoken by some of my favourite footballers. Happy that I am on my way to learning a language that is one of the most used in the world.

¡Estoy muy feliz!

The Color of Magic

I have decided to read all the books from the Discworld series in the official reading order suggested by past readers and experts on the series.

The journey has started with The Color of Magic. The false wizard, Rincewind is asked to guide a tourist by the name of Twoflower through the city of Ankh Morpork. However, fate takes them away from the city and carries them to different parts of the Disc, one of magic with dragons, to earth where they suddenly find themselves surrounded by cops inside a flight, and travelling along the edges of the Disc on a boat rowed by a seatroll.

Twoflower is followed by his Luggage, which has legs of its own and seems to find its way back whenever it gets lost, irrespective of the situation.

The dangers they put themselves in and the hilarious escapades are a treat to read. The book also succeeds at explaining the concepts of Magic, Time, Fate, Death etc in the Discworld as well as the characters, who I’m sure will make some more appearances, if not a lot, over the next few books.