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Epic World Building + Intriguing Story = I Need Book Two Last Week ⇉ Review of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
I found The Name of the Wind when I was looking up good (fairly) recent fantasy books to read. Kvothe's introduction to his life reeled me in with the promise of an epic story. (See synopsis below.) Rothfuss didn't disappoint.


WHAT I LIKED


Poetic Language
The Name of the Wind is filled with poetic phrases. While they bring images to life, they are also beautiful to read and give me something to anticipate in future rereads.

Compelling World
In reading this book, I can tell that Rothfuss is familiar with his world and its rules. (I read in an interview that he even did the calculations for use of sympathy, which is akin to magic but scientific in its processes.) There is much potential for future exploration of this world, not to mention that a big conflict seems to be brewing.

Complex MC
Kvothe is both endearing and frustrating. I like his curiosity and desire to learn, and he has a natural flair for entertaining crowds. However, he is also very aware of his intellect and giftings. He is arrogant and prideful, and he picks fights that he cannot win. He also has a vice in his attraction for something unreachable.

Unexpected Plot Twists
I love how Rothfuss takes the legends about Kvothe and reveals how they actually came to be. It's so much fun to see them play out.

An Epic in the Making
As I mentioned in my comments on the world building, it looks like something big is brewing. I read somewhere that Rothfuss has said that he has tricked readers into reading a prologue, and it's reassuring to hear that. Given how little of Kvothe's life is covered in book one alone, I'm guessing that this trilogy will be solely about the building of Kvothe's legend. Yet, the happenings in the present suggest that there is more going on than what has happened in Kvothe's life alone. I hope to see more of this world soon.


WHAT I DISLIKED


Thinks-He-Knows-It-All Teen (Belief in His) Invincibility
There were many things that Kvothe did that made me question his intellect. I list this under what I dislike because these actions were frustrating and had me mentally headbanging. That said, I appreciate his know-it-all attitude because it portrays the dark side of his giftedness. As a gifted child, Kvothe would be arrogant and do stupid things thinking that he'll go ahead and take the consequences later.

What's the Main Plot?
The Name of the Wind felt like a chronicle of Kvothe's early life. (Well, the series is called The Kingkiller Chronicle.) Nevertheless, I do expect to see some kind of plot.

Kvothe's story of his life doesn't have immediate tie in's to his present circumstances or the present-day conflicts, and it takes a while for an enemy to be introduced to us. Even then, many of his misadventures don't connect with the conflict, at least not immediately. I get that Kvothe has been through a lot in his short life, but I would have liked to see a more coherent plot, one that sets the stage for what's to come.

Where's Book Three?
This is more of a personal complaint and has no bearing on my actual rating of the book. I've seen a lot on the Internet on the lack of visible progress on the third book of this trilogy, which promises to be the start to a larger series. I can understand that Rothfuss wants to take his time to write a good book without the weight of the guilt and burden to finish for the audience. At the same time, the wait time isn't encouraging me to pick up book two. Nor am I eager to think of picking up book three because I'll likely have to reread the first books first.


FINAL THOUGHTS


Overall, the complexity of the world building, the depth of Kvothe's character, and the promise of an epic in the making easily makes this one of the top fantasy reads on my list. I sincerely hope to see book three released within the next several years so that I can see what Rothfuss has planned with The Kingkiller Chronicle. I wish him all the best in his writing and that he finds what he needs to complete the third book.

★★★★★


MY NAME IS KVOTHE

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I 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 day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.


So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature--the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.





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What are some of your favorite favorite reads / series?



Publication Info
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Published by DAW
  • On April 7, 2009
  • Original pub date: March 27, 2007
  • Genres: Fantasy
  • Pages: 662 Pages
  • Format: Paperback
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle
  1. The Name of the Wind
  2. The Wise Man's Fear
  3. Door's of Stone
Content 
  • Alcohol
  • Language
  • Some sexual scenes / thoughts
  • Violence

1 comment on "Epic World Building + Intriguing Story = I Need Book Two Last Week ⇉ Review of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss"
  1. I would definitely hesitate to start this series without knowing there is a definite continuation coming in later books. It is one of the main reasons I've held off on reading Game of Thrones.

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