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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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9,952467285 (4.39)3 / 610
Title:The Name of the Wind
Authors:Patrick Rothfuss
Info:DAW (2007), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Read 2012

Work details

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (2007)

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Showing 1-5 of 445 (next | show all)
There are already a great many reviews of this book, so I see no point in adding to them. Instead I'll relate the reason I picked it up.

Oddly enough, I first heard about Patrick Rothfuss because of a line in a song on the latest Nightwish album (Nightwish is a Finnish symphonic metal band, and if you don't already know about them but you do like epic, symphonic music and a singer who actually knows her stuff, you should check them out). Anyway, the song mentions the Edema Ruh. Since the album (Endless Forms Most Beautiful) is mainly about the evolution of life on Earth, I wondered what this Edema Ruh thing was. I was completely bewildered, so I looked it up on the magical repository of all human knowledge--the internet. I figured it was probably some obscure extinct marsupial or something like that. It isn't. The Wikipedia entry said it's from a fantasy series by some guy named Rothfuss.

I checked out the blurb for the book, and dismissed it as just another epic fantasy series (yawn). Not long after that, someone mentioned Rothfuss in a Discworld forum (Discworld is a series by Terry Pratchett, which is NOT just your typical fantasy, much to my delight). Still, I didn't bite.

Then, months later, someone on Facebook posted a link to an article Rothfuss wrote on the recent death of Terry Pratchett. Rothfuss, apparently, was a huge fan.

Well, I figured if he appreciated Pratchett, maybe his books were a bit different from most epic fantasy. And, since Nightwish thought enough of him to mention his work in a song, and since Discworld fans liked his stuff, I'd give it a try.

I was not disappointed. Perhaps it was because I was looking for it, but I think I noticed a bit of Pratchett influence in the characters, dialogue, and prose. The first are well developed and likable. The second is full of witty banter. And the third is well above the norm. This is a good book. I'm reading the second in the series now. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
A little slow at first, but keep pushing on. It won't disappoint ( )
  lindseyrivers | Sep 26, 2016 |
Wow.... I feel like I am still in the world of Kvothe. He truly built a whole new world with this delicious tome.. If I must complain about anything, it would be the ending. Don't misconstrue my meaning - the book is a solid 5 stars. The ending left me wanting more, like any good book should....but I wanted some resolution. Again, not a bad thing. I will be hard-pressed to pick up any book other than book 2 of this series....
( )
  Deankut | Sep 26, 2016 |
Behind the bar of the well kept tavern of a small town stands a legend with fiery hair and green eyes. With these expressive green eyes flitting between muted, watered down intensity and the sharpness of the greenest grass, our legend sweeps and polishes with seeming devotion to a job well done or at least to the distraction such a thing offers.

When a local is attacked along the road by a fierce and fearsome creature, the hero hidden in plain sight genre trope of high fantasy begins to bloom. He knows about this creature and he fears what its appearance means. Thus, origin mystery meets action and intrigue and is further provoked by the arrival of a scribe on the scene. As the scribe realizes he has stumbled across the Kvothe, a man of many names and layered reputation, he sets himself to persuade Kvothe to tell his story. Eventually acquiescing, Kvothe's narrative begins.

I typically enjoy high fantasy novels. Yes, an extensive use of genre tropes and the prevalence of anti-feminist, cookie-cutter female portrayals can send me into a lather just like many other readers. However, a love of folklore, magic, and myth tends to keep me coming back for more. Which is probably why I marked the rest of this series as to-read even as I debated whether this book was more a two or three star read. I'm a series junkie; one that's always going to get addicted to character outcomes and/or origins and one that desperately hopes that any disappointments of a previous book will be magically resolved in further installations.

Don't look at me like that, Barnabas. Just consider my hopes and dreams my own high fantasy and go drink someone annoying.

As I was saying, disappointments... while slow at points, I found the method of a hero relating his own backstory as an oral narrative pretty interesting. It calls for an introspective connection between author and character that can make or break a reader's ability to relate to said character. That being said, there were parts that read awkwardly to me. For one, total recall of a conversation in an oral narrative can come off as a bit spotty - total recall of all conversations even more so. Secondly, I found Kvothe's ego excessively off-putting at times. While the fact that Kvothe is relating the events of his youth does offer a bit of a balm against such rapt self-importance, it still ended up distancing me from him at times. I don't think it would have been such an issue if it wasn't fairly repetitive throughout. I don't particularly gravitate to the infallible hero/heroine but I don't mind the revelation of abilities and intellect as long as it's not constantly thrown up at me from the page as if it's become filler rather than the relevant build of a character.

From reading reviews, I know the lack of female characters has been mentioned as a con of this book. I wasn't really bothered by the lack, more the portrayal of those included. They're all "of a type" and it became boring fairly quickly. However, thinking more about these females that Kvothe gravitates towards throughout his narrative afterwards, my opinion changed a bit. Since he is relating his origin and his experiences as a teen, it makes sense that the girls he would be drawn to tend to mirror various aspects of his mother. As the men and other male teens he looks up to or enjoys being with mirror aspects of his father. It may be an obvious portrayal of the psychology of relationships we tend to build whilst grieving such a huge loss but it's accurate enough for me to presume this was Rothfuss taking his character's grief into account. Still, I did want more backstory and depth in supporting characters and hope the following books bring that into the fore.

I did enjoy Denna and Bast in particular and, as I finished the book, found myself wanting more of them in particular. I also enjoyed Rothfuss' ability to relay Kvothe's insecurities. Yes, on the surface Kvothe consistently mentioning how poor he is, how he doesn't know how he's going to make it, how different his situation is from that of other students, etc. is wearing. However, there is a lot that goes into that umbrella-topic of having or not having money. It's about being poor and struggling to survive and attain but it's also about not having the family or background of his peers, that which he can't attain or win back, what he's lost; it's just easier for Kvothe to focus on the reality of a coin in his purse instead of the surrounding issues. So for me this felt like a relation of several layers of introspection and stress rather than the constant reminder that Kvothe is poor, Kvothe doesn't have this or that, poor Kvothe.

Rothfuss' Name of the Wind has its issues and I think it's a like it or hate it kind of book for high fantasy readers. I happened to like it for the most part and hope to read more of the series soon. ( )
  lamotamant | Sep 22, 2016 |
A worthy beginning to what is to be an epic fantasy series, the primary detraction being that almost the entire book is backstory.

The Name of the Wind is on the literary edge of fantasy--not China Miéville literary...not experimental and multilayered...but it is well-crafted writing with believable characters and a raw serious tone.

Nearly the entire novel takes place via the main character telling a story to a "Chronicler," who is capturing it for posterity. So as such, it is retelling the childhood and adolescence of the main character. To some extent, I admired the author's patience. Telling a story in flashback is considered a terrible device because it steals the forward momentum and leaves you feeling in limbo. If I don't care about this character NOW, why should I care about his PAST? Where is it going? But Rothfuss pulls it off...just barely. At times, I did miss the momentum of a more present oriented story. It's a long prologue. And Book #2...more of the same. And to focus on the negative, my only other criticism is a certain lack of humor to balance the relative bleakness of the story. Rothfuss has created a very serious world with much angst. However, it does feel more "real" than most fantasy novels.

In the world of The Kingkiller Chronicles, we are somewhere between Medieval and Renaissance technology. There are diverse ways to conjure magic that can be learned with hard work and practice. Mystical creatures such as the occasional dragon or fae(ry) exist. Objects can be imbued with magic as well. It's a complex world he builds that has elements of many fantasy constructs but stakes out a unique amalgamation.

The story itself features the childhood of a man who appears to be one of the world's great heroes, Kvothe. A powerful magician although in the present he seems to be "retired" as an innkeeper and we never learn why. Both this book and the subsequent one (The Wise Man's Fear) tell how he came to be where he is, and then I assume by the time we get to book three (or four?) we will be carried into the present entirely, and he will once again take up sword and magic to defeat the dark forces rising in the world. Yes, that sounds quite cliched but it works.

In the end, I was carried by the solid writing and sophisticated world-making. And the believability of the characters. Highly recommended for fans of epic fantasy. Recommended for those who dabble in it. ( )
1 vote David_David_Katzman | Sep 8, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rothfuss, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deas, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giorgi, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podehl, NickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ribeiro, VeraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rovira Ortega, GemmaTranslatorsecondary 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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AR Level 5.1, 39 pts.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:38 -0400)

(see all 5 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"--Publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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