Five Stars- that's right, I give this selection a full five stars. I rarely give any book a full five stars; only the ones I think are truly exceptional. This is the second time I've read this one and I loved it just as much this time as I did the first time. Now that I'm done, I think I'll read it again, only backwards this time. Seriously. I love this story so much, I intend to read it backwards- as a method of studying plot, characterization, hiding clues, and whatnot to improve my own sense of story telling.
As a writer, I am in awe of this guy's skill. He is a master craftsman. As a reader, I am captivated by this story. All 700+ pages were delicious. I went to bed each night and dreamed of the world he created, the characters he brought to life, and even though I knew the plot, my imagination took all these things and made new connections and new possibilities, new roads for the story to take.
I could spend the better part of an hour reviewing all the reasons I loved this book, but I won't. I'll just say that if you love fantasy, no- if you love reading, no- if you ever take the trouble of BREATHING, you must put down whatever mediocre collection of words you're reading now and pick up The Name of the Wind. It's possible you may not LOVE it like I do, but it will be worth your while, I promise. Books like this one are the reason I continue to plod through lesser works of fiction. Every now and then, you'll find a real diamond among all the zircons.
(FYI-there is some mild language, very mild.)