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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Patrick Rothfuss

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8,133393389 (4.39)2 / 525
Title:The Name of the Wind
Authors:Patrick Rothfuss
Info:DAW (2007), Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (2007)

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English (376)  Spanish (11)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Greek (1)  All languages (394)
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made it to the first flashback - paused ( )
  jason9292 | Jan 24, 2015 |
I liked the beginning, loved and ripped my way through the middle, and petered out at the end. As did the author. It's one thing to purposefully structure a three-book story arc, it's another to just dwindle to a stop and say, "See you next book!"

That said, this had some nice twists on the typical fantasy tropes and employed a different structure. I'm intrigued, and will read the next, I just wish it had ended with the energy that it had int he middle section. Or any energy at all. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
No one would believe that the humble innkeeper serving them food and drink in such an out-of-the-way place could be the legendary Kvothe. That is exactly how Kvothe wants it. Still, when he is presented with the opportunity to tell his own tale, he takes the chance to put the truth on the record. However, the brutal world he once engaged in is closing in on him as the past and present come together with violent results.

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”

It would be easy (and lazy) to say The Name of the Wind is a melding of A Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. However, that would sell this story short. What Patrick Rothfuss provides with this first installment of The Kingkiller Chronicle is a first-person retelling of the life of an extraordinary fantasy character. One of the great achievements of this story is how Rothfuss tells two compelling stories at once - Kvothe’s narration of his life story alongside the unsettling action occurring around him as he tells his story to The Chronicler. From start to finish, Rothfuss never once allows either story to lag while unveiling this unique fantasy world one nugget at a time. His writing voice maintains an unwavering flow. All of his characters have the complex personalities that make them a part of your own life rather than just names on a page.

There is a level of sophistications with The Name of the Wind that few writers are capable of calling up – and even fewer in the fantasy genre. There are no clumsy tricks or over-the-top actions to try and maintain interest. Instead, the need to know more builds from the very beginning and never abates. This is one of those stories that you look back on when you are finished and marvel at how perfectly crafted it is – and wonder why every writer can’t do that. Rothfuss makes something exquisitely difficult appear deceptively effortless. The true characteristic of an artist.

The hefty page count of The Name of the Wind was irrelevant – I didn’t want the story to end. Fortunately, the sequel is available along with a companion volume. The third installment of the series in the works. If future volumes provide a similar level of storytelling finesse, The Kingkiller Chronicle will become one of the grand fantasy epics. Let us hope so. ( )
  csayban | Jan 19, 2015 |
Kvothe was born of tragic beginnings, with the loss of his family very early on in the novel, he was forcefully thrown on to a path of desperation where self sufficiency was paramount. His situation is less than ideal as he is homeless, penniless and without a friend in the world. Eventually he learns to survive on the streets and ultimately finds his way to The University to pursue his dreams of becoming an Arcanist. It is there that he hopes to gain insight into what actually happened to his parents and maybe even learn the name of the wind.

The storytelling was very well done, with engaging characters and a familiar world to fantasy fans, but not too familiar. For me, I could tell this was going to be a five star read only a few chapters in and this thought only wavered a few times. My biggest complaint is that our hero Kvothe is just too perfect. Even when bad luck strikes, somehow intelligence, bravado or just plain luck makes him shine even brighter. That aside, Name of the Wind is well worth the investment. ( )
  JechtShot | Jan 17, 2015 |
Giving a book 3 stars can reflect any one thing. It may mean that the book is a harmless, fun filled story that never reached any high point. It may mean a good book with a long slow beginning. It may mean a heavily flawed masterpiece, or a book that was never meant for you to appreciate. The Name Of The Wind is not a masterpiece, is not heavily flawed, though it might be both for some readers. I think the way I see it, it's the type of book that's either not meant for me, or it's a book that falls - slightly - short of all its aims.

Take the problem encountered with creating such a hero as Kvothe, or the world where he lives. Creating a character who is a genius means a lot of hassle for a writer who is at the beginning of his career. Now that we all know that the book is a bona fide success, we know the author has won his spurs. But consider the humor of the book. The direct speech of Kvothe against, say, Ambrose. Where is the humor? There is none to speak of. Sure, the repartee is sharp, but the thrust lacks riposte. Being funny is not the same thing as being smart. As an apprentice reader for fantasy I've yet to cover ground, but looking at the horizon I see authors who do not sound funny, and I see a genre lacking in true wit. Is it an acquired trait of the genre? Surely it's tough to make jokes in a fictional world. Where's the window of opportunity for puns, nods, references? There is scarce room.

Also some authors can write up a genius character without ruffling the readers' feathers. Kvothe is a problematic child. If he is so smart, then why does he do stupidly rash things? If he survived his poverty struck childhood living on the streets, where are those instincts when he needs them? Why does his understanding of the world leaves him naive, wandering deserted streets at night without a care? Speaking for myself, I had a period in my life where I had to cope with dangerous variables. The resulted reflexes and temporary wisdom I gained from my experience stayed with me for more than 2 years after which I shrunk, intellectually, to my usual boundaries. The time period for Kvothe's story betrays the false note coming from the author. Kvothe, in short, got too dumb too fast. The book is littered with the phrase " if you haven't known that or that, if you haven't experienced such and such, then I can't make you understand". Well, I think the author has never learned to live by his wits, or he bent the truth or alloyed it with falser metal. I won't harp on Kvothe's stupidity in keeping replying to Ambrose to keep their enmity fresh or not managing his finances rightly or being surprisingly hot headed and impatient. This is because this is clear for all to see and also, well, the plot demands it.

I do so wish Denna hadn't gotten such a big role. I wish Denna, and Dinnah/Dianne etc, were separate people. The author wanted the past to come back, and I understand, wanted to surprise us with a trick of movement, and produce a flutter from his readers. But what purpose does Denna's continued appearances serve? I think Kvothe should have been allowed to forget and never meet his love again. As a result of Denna's role in the present, Kvothe never learns the lesson that the first love of a life is never the last love, or never an ever lasting one. That's a missed golden opportunity to make Kvothe mature and grow up. Producing Denna out of his hat, the author has also introduced romance and its bastard child, serendipity, into his book. Was it worth it?

For my conclusion I think that the supporting characters didn't get fully drawn. I know that the writer has a limited number of brushstrokes but would it hurt him to give Wil and Sim different voices? You can substitute that with Lorren and Elodin. I did however, appreciate the language employed by Patrick Rothfuss. It was a relief to read about the tangent of the hero instead of the bricks and mortar of the fantasy tinged world of the book. This is the dominating positive that came from reading The Name Of The Wind. Fantasy is an unexplored genre for me. To survive reading further of it, I must recognize which books I'm going to tolerate and which I'll bodily reject. This particular one got three stars from me, and that's the end of the story! ( )
  Jiraiya | Jan 11, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rothfuss, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giorgi, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podehl, NickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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 that night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0756405890, Paperback)

Amazon.com's Best of the Year...So Far Pick for 2007: Harry Potter fans craving a new mind-blowing series should look no further than The Name of the Wind--the first book in a trilogy about an orphan boy who becomes a legend. Full of music, magic, love, and loss, Patrick Rothfuss's vivid and engaging debut fantasy knocked our socks off. --Daphne Durham

10 Second Interview: A Few Words with Patrick Rothfuss

Q: Were you always a fan of fantasy novels?
A: Always. My first non-picture books were the Narnia Chronicles. After that my mom gave me Ihe Hobbit and Dragonriders. I grew up reading about every fantasy and sci-fi book I could find. I used to go to the local bookstore and look at the paperbacks on the shelf. I read non-fantasy stuff too, of course. But fantasy is where my heart lies. Wait... Should that be "where my heart lays?" I always screw that up.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors? Favorite books?
A: Hmmm.... How about I post that up as a list?

Q: What are you reading now?
A: Right now I'm reading Capacity, by Tony Balantyne. He was nominated for the Philip K Dick award this last year. I heard him read a piece of the first novel, Recursion, out at Norwescon. I picked it up and got pulled right in. Capacity is the second book in the series. Good writing and cool ideas. Everything I've like best.

Q: How did Kvothe's story come to you? Did you always plan on a trilogy?
A: This story started with Kvothe's character. I knew it was going to be about him from the very beginning. In some ways it's the simplest story possible: it's the story of a man's life. It's the myth of the Hero seen from backstage. It's about the exploration and revelation of a world, but it's also about Kvothe's desire to uncover the truth hidden underneath the stories in his world. The story is a lot of things, I guess. As you can tell, I'm not very good at describing it. I always tell people, "If I could sum it up in 50 words, I wouldn't have needed to write a whole novel about it." I didn't plan it as a trilogy though. I just wrote it and it got to be so long that it had to be broken up into pieces. There were three natural breaking points in the story.... Hence the Trilogy.

Q: What is next for our hero?
A: Hmm..... I don't really believe in spoilers. But I think it's safe to say that Kvothe grows up a little in the second book. He learns more about magic. He learns how to fight, gets tangled up in some court politics, and starts to figure unravel some of the mysteries of romance and relationships, which is really just magic of a different kind, in a way.

Patrick Rothfuss's Books You Should Read
The Last Unicorn
Beatrice's Goat
See more recommendations (with comments) from Patrick Rothfuss

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:04 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"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"--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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