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The Name of the Wind (2007)

by Patrick Rothfuss

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,576626270 (4.38)3 / 706
The tale of Kvothe, from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages, you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But this book is so much more, for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe's legend.… (more)
  1. 311
    The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (bikeracer4487, ninjamask)
  2. 250
    The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett (jm501)
  3. 279
    Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (LiddyGally)
    LiddyGally: Both fascinating first-person accounts of a boy growing up with strong magical powers. Both find loyal friends and face a teacher with a vendetta against them.
  4. 235
    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (Konran, Jannes)
    Jannes: Rothfuss draws inspiration from many sources, but to me no influence is so evident as that from the Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin.
  5. 195
    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (MyriadBooks, Anonymous user)
  6. 144
    Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (leahsimone)
  7. 73
    Legend by David Gemmell (infiniteletters)
  8. 63
    Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher (nookbooks)
  9. 42
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin (aulandez)
    aulandez: Both are strong first person narrated adventures of out-of-place heroes, and take familiar fantasy tropes and deconstruct them with intelligence and some wit.
  10. 1210
    The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (Anonymous user)
  11. 10
    Song of the Beast by Carol Berg (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: A gifted bard, and a dark and twisty story with magic, music, and dragons
  12. 00
    Colours in the Steel by K. J. Parker (WildMaggie)
  13. 22
    The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts (SockMonkeyGirl)
  14. 00
    A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan (Friederike.Geissler)
  15. 00
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling (Vonini)
    Vonini: Both accounts of a boy growing up and studying magic. And both excellent books.
  16. 12
    The Legend of Nightfall by Mickey Zucker Reichert (TomWaitsTables)
  17. 911
    Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind (Anonymous user)
  18. 25
    The First Journey of Agatha Heterodyne: Book One: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank by Phil Foglio (leahsimone)
    leahsimone: These comics (online version) are ridiculously fun. Found out about them from Pat's Blog. I love them and I don't even read comics!… (more)
  19. 05
    Baltimore, or the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola (infiniteletters)
  20. 010
    The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (Prima Official Game Guide) by Mike Searle (Littlewitch)
    Littlewitch: This book is excellently written. It is one of those books that you pick up and do not want to put down until the last page. The author too several years to release his second book, because he wanted to make sure that the public received a book worthy to be following his first one.… (more)

(see all 21 recommendations)

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English (600)  Spanish (13)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Greek (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (621)
Showing 1-5 of 600 (next | show all)
This is a great coming-of-age story. Rothfuss' world is believable, and the protagonist, Kvothe, is a ridiculously likable character at whom the author hurls all manner of shit. [full review] ( )
  markflanagan | Jul 13, 2020 |
This book is just ... I love it so much, I really do. I have no idea exactly why; it’s more of a question of why wouldn’t I? For me this is the perfect book. End of story. But that doesn’t really explain it either…

It’s basically the story of Kvothe’s life, told by Kvothe (now an “ordinary” innkeeper called Kote). Storytelling is apparently something he’s very good at, growing up as a traveler and performer; one of the Eduma Ruh. It’s something Patrick Rothfuss is extremely good at too. Everything from the adventures and characters to the way of writing is fascinating and intriguing. I don’t think it has all the usual fantasy feeling, but it’s different in a good way.

As you understand pretty early into the book, Kvothe hasn’t had a normal life so far. He’s been beaten more times than he can count, watched his family die, seen someone call the name of the wind, gotten into the University (aka Hogwarts for young adults/adults) way younger than the average age, and never seem to afford more than one pair of clothes.

He’s an interesting character too: clever, witty, adventurous, musical, charming, and everything else you could think of basically. He almost sounds boringly perfect, but more often than not his restlessness, big-mouth and wits get the best of him. It’s something that proves he's human after all. Also he’s terribly bad with women, which is a great shame but also a great joke for his friends.

I've read it at least four times now, same with the next book in the series: The wise man's fear. I can't really be trusted with not throwing it in people's faces to get them to read it. I'm not saying it's for everyone, but I definitely think everyone should read it anyway. Even if you don't like this type of book I think it's worth a try. It’s very genuine and honest, even though I get the feeling Kvothe makes himself look a little better sometimes during the story-telling. I know it's a story, and stories can be fixed, even if it's his. It makes me distrust the book itself. What a weird feeling that is. I guess that’s another thing I like about it. Anyway it’s awesome and I would recommend it to everyone over the age of 12 who can read. I guess that says something. ( )
  aquapages | Jul 8, 2020 |
Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You kil–”

Oh no, wait, that's the wrong introduction. Let me start again.

Hello, my name is Marty Stu. You may have heard of me.

That, in a nutshell, is the blurb on the back of The Name of the Wind. It bothered me. I used to read any old tosh, oblivious to what “good writing” was supposed to mean. Innocent and carefree I was, floating through the library like a naïf. Now I'm older. I've read a lot more, and some of what I've read has explained to me the differences between good writing practices and bad writing practices. So now I float through the library, innocent and carefree, but at least aware that what I'm reading is tosh and loving it anyway.

I don't mind what some people would call bad writing. Comma splices bother me not one jot; I can't get upset about semi-colons. Telling-not-showing is as bothersome to me as it always has been, that is to say that when I like what I'm reading and it doesn't contradict itself then I forgive it.

Much harder to forgive is the Mary Sue/Marty Stu character. If you've read a random assortment of fan-fiction you'll have come across such characters, and they crop up in published works too. In essence they're a character that's a blend of perfection and wish fulfilment that breaks the most rigid suspension of disbelief and is utterly unlikeable (by readers, I mean, one of their traits will no doubt be that all the other characters adore them). In a Harry Potter fan-fiction, for example, a typical Mary Sue would be the half-sister of Harry, daughter of Voldemort; they would have mastered every spell in existence when they were a toddler; they'd be an animagus when they were ten and turn into a phoenix or Unicron, depending on whether they needed to set things on fire or consume a planet; their wand would be made of some wood that only grows on Mars and contain a hair from their pet, a pet they bred themselves that's a cross between a dragon and Jesus; they'd be headmistress of Hogwarts when they were in their teens, Minister of Magic at twenty, and President of the World not long after; they'd actually have killed Voldemort when they were seven years old but magically gone back in time and stopped themselves because they're so fucking moral and GOD I hate Mary Sue characters.

Phew. Okay. So you see, The Name of the Wind was recommended to me by someone whose opinion I value highly when it comes to books. She also explained that anyone who didn't like the book was clearly subhuman and would not be allowed to remain her friend. And so I was understandably nervous when I found the book since its blurb, in short, said “Hello, my name is Kvothe. I'm a raging Marty Stu character in a fantasy novel. You may have heard of me.” What to do? Obviously I could just avoid reading it and dodge the issue entirely. But like I said, I value this friend's opinion when it comes to book choices, so I took the plunge.

And thank God, the main character isn't a Marty Stu. Although the fact that the blurb writer thought painting him as one would help sell the book worries me a bit. The Name of the Wind isn't a story about a perfect main character getting into challenging situations and getting out of them because he's amazing at everything, it's about a fun main character getting into challenging situations and usually getting out of them because he's lucky, good at a few things, and talented at one or two important things. More than that, though, it's about stories, and legends, and how they grow up.

A man walks into a bar (this isn't a joke). He gets into a fight with two other men – one of them blind and one of them an orphan – and just about beats them, suffering two broken ribs, and a bad cut to his face in the process. Everyone forgets. But then a year later that man does something that makes him a little more famous, say wins a sporting competition. The barkeep remembers him and tells his customers that the man came in to the bar a year ago and managed to beat two other men in a fight, barely getting hurt himself. The customers go home and tell the story they heard, that the guy who just won that sporting competition got into a fight with a few other men and beat them handily. Within a week everyone has heard that the man got into a fight with a group of armed men when they were harassing a blind orphan, he beat them all without breaking a sweat then sat down and ate dinner with the orphan. And by the end of the meal the orphan's eyesight had returned, and so had his parents. Patrick Rothfuss has crafted a world where everyone knows that last version of events, but tells the original version. And luckily, I don't have to lose a friend. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You kil–”

Oh no, wait, that's the wrong introduction. Let me start again.

Hello, my name is Marty Stu. You may have heard of me.

That, in a nutshell, is the blurb on the back of The Name of the Wind. It bothered me. I used to read any old tosh, oblivious to what “good writing” was supposed to mean. Innocent and carefree I was, floating through the library like a naïf. Now I'm older. I've read a lot more, and some of what I've read has explained to me the differences between good writing practices and bad writing practices. So now I float through the library, innocent and carefree, but at least aware that what I'm reading is tosh and loving it anyway.

I don't mind what some people would call bad writing. Comma splices bother me not one jot; I can't get upset about semi-colons. Telling-not-showing is as bothersome to me as it always has been, that is to say that when I like what I'm reading and it doesn't contradict itself then I forgive it.

Much harder to forgive is the Mary Sue/Marty Stu character. If you've read a random assortment of fan-fiction you'll have come across such characters, and they crop up in published works too. In essence they're a character that's a blend of perfection and wish fulfilment that breaks the most rigid suspension of disbelief and is utterly unlikeable (by readers, I mean, one of their traits will no doubt be that all the other characters adore them). In a Harry Potter fan-fiction, for example, a typical Mary Sue would be the half-sister of Harry, daughter of Voldemort; they would have mastered every spell in existence when they were a toddler; they'd be an animagus when they were ten and turn into a phoenix or Unicron, depending on whether they needed to set things on fire or consume a planet; their wand would be made of some wood that only grows on Mars and contain a hair from their pet, a pet they bred themselves that's a cross between a dragon and Jesus; they'd be headmistress of Hogwarts when they were in their teens, Minister of Magic at twenty, and President of the World not long after; they'd actually have killed Voldemort when they were seven years old but magically gone back in time and stopped themselves because they're so fucking moral and GOD I hate Mary Sue characters.

Phew. Okay. So you see, The Name of the Wind was recommended to me by someone whose opinion I value highly when it comes to books. She also explained that anyone who didn't like the book was clearly subhuman and would not be allowed to remain her friend. And so I was understandably nervous when I found the book since its blurb, in short, said “Hello, my name is Kvothe. I'm a raging Marty Stu character in a fantasy novel. You may have heard of me.” What to do? Obviously I could just avoid reading it and dodge the issue entirely. But like I said, I value this friend's opinion when it comes to book choices, so I took the plunge.

And thank God, the main character isn't a Marty Stu. Although the fact that the blurb writer thought painting him as one would help sell the book worries me a bit. The Name of the Wind isn't a story about a perfect main character getting into challenging situations and getting out of them because he's amazing at everything, it's about a fun main character getting into challenging situations and usually getting out of them because he's lucky, good at a few things, and talented at one or two important things. More than that, though, it's about stories, and legends, and how they grow up.

A man walks into a bar (this isn't a joke). He gets into a fight with two other men – one of them blind and one of them an orphan – and just about beats them, suffering two broken ribs, and a bad cut to his face in the process. Everyone forgets. But then a year later that man does something that makes him a little more famous, say wins a sporting competition. The barkeep remembers him and tells his customers that the man came in to the bar a year ago and managed to beat two other men in a fight, barely getting hurt himself. The customers go home and tell the story they heard, that the guy who just won that sporting competition got into a fight with a few other men and beat them handily. Within a week everyone has heard that the man got into a fight with a group of armed men when they were harassing a blind orphan, he beat them all without breaking a sweat then sat down and ate dinner with the orphan. And by the end of the meal the orphan's eyesight had returned, and so had his parents. Patrick Rothfuss has crafted a world where everyone knows that last version of events, but tells the original version. And luckily, I don't have to lose a friend. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
I gave up somewhere around the point he was surviving as an orphan and the religion was being revealed... ( )
  ReneeNL | Jun 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 600 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (59 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rothfuss, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deas, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giorgi, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, MortenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podehl, NickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ribeiro, VeraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rovira Ortega, GemmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my mother, who taught me to love books, and opened the door to Narnia, Pern, and Middle Earth.
And to my father, who taught me that if I was going to do something, I should take my time and do it right.
And lastly, to Mr. Bohage, my high school history teacher. In 1989 I told him I’d mention him in my first novel. I keep my promises
First words
It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.
Quotations
Anger can keep you warm at night, and wounded pride can spur a man to wondrous things.
I only know one story. But oftentimes small pieces seem to be stories themselves.
Fear tends to come from ignorance. Once I knew what the problem was, it was just a problem, nothing to fear.
Wisdom precludes boldness.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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