“Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.”
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Category: Epic Fantasy
Publication Date: March 27th, 2007
Patrick Rothfuss has brought us a fantasy world that, while not embarking on anything new to the fantasy genre, still fills this story with mystery and anticipation. The Name of the Wind is the first book in he Kingkiller Chronicles and introduces Kvothe, a famous man who is known for being a master swordsman, magician, and musician. He has a exciting and mysterious past that he tells to a traveling scribe.
The way this story is told is very interesting. Kvothe is twenty-five years old, and has been through a lot. He is even rumored to have killed a king and started the current war that rages on. Instead of a unknown narrator telling us the story from the third-person perspective, the majority of the story is him telling the scribe about his life. It is weird to think that during this long story, (28 hour audio book, 662 pages) there is a guy writing all of this down. There are a few moments that are slow and we were just reading the book! Imagine if you had to write all this down? There would be more than a few times that we would have to tell him to move on to more interesting topics.
The character of Kvothe is a flawed one in that he can be hypocritical and biased on certain things that he sees. An example being about a woman he had feelings for. He was gushing about how her beauty was flawless and she perfect in every way. His friend Bast comment in on the story saying he didn’t think she was all that good-looking. This shows how he is only human and it makes him an even better character. It makes him relatable and when he triumphs and does the right thing, it makes us only cheer for him more and more.
The world building is full and grand. From the caravans of the nomadic Edema Rue, to being homeless in the large city of Tarbean, and finally a student at the University and learning more about sympathy (magic). Each area of his life is an adventure (whether good or bad) and Rothfuss does well on showing the happiness, despair of each place.
The one thing that hurts The Name of the Wind is that it can be incredibly slow at times as Kvothe gets carried away. Rothfuss has some of the most poetic prose out there but to make that style fit the story has to take its time so there are some points where the reader could wish that they would just get on with it. Overall there is something that keeps drawing you back in. Whether it is the main characters charm, the struggles and triumphs, or the anticipation for what is to come. We are looking forward to more from Rothfuss and The Kingkiller Chronicles.
This one surprised me. I thought it was going to be to slow for my taste and I was wrong. While parts did slow down I was invested to whole time. Kvothe and his friends he made at the University were relatable and fun to read.
The anticipation of what is coming in later books is what kept me hooked. To see the growth from this young kid to a renowned hero. I just want know more! We can’t tackle this series quick enough for me!
In writing notes for the podcast and in sitting down to write this, I have to admit that ultimately this story doesn’t bring much that is new to fantasy.It is certainly entertaining and I think that Rothfuss does a good job with keeping a reader interested even though his story moves at a snail’s pace but for some reason I can’t think of any aspect of the story that justifies how insanely popular it is.
I’m not at all saying that it was bad. I think Rothfuss is a great writer and I guess it could be said that he has taken aspects of traditional fantasy and twisted it around to something new.
I am looking forward to reading A Wise Man’s Fear (even if I have heard bad things about it) and checking out the TV show that was announced earlier this week.