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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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9,507449304 (4.39)3 / 592
Title:The Name of the Wind
Authors:Patrick Rothfuss
Info:DAW (2007), Paperback
Collections:Read 2012, Your library

Work details

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (2007)

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Showing 1-5 of 427 (next | show all)
Review: The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

I have to say the book was well written and a really powerful fantasy novel. A first person narrative by the main character and very few characters to follow, which is rare of a book of this size, and made it somewhat slow pace because the reader is dealing with mostly the past life of this character who wants to be the greatest wizard who ever lived. I believe there will be more characters and dialogue in the next book that follows.

I loved the main character Kvothe, and the author does a wonderful job building his character with unlimited ambitions, attitude, behavior, inner emotions and his clever thoughts within his mind and how he plans things out. Given the circumstances of his childhood, briefly provided by the author, of being raised by his family who lived among a traveling troupe of musicians and artists ad being treated as a street urchin forced to fend for himself in a violent environment.

The story starts out in a small town where Kvothe is a bartender at an Inn, running from his past and trying to make sure no one knows who he really is. At this time the author portrays him as a legion, but as I read I really didn’t know why he was a legion, even at the end of the book. Then a Chronicler (teller of tales) arrives at the Inn and recognizes Kvothe and provokes him into telling of the struggles and cruelty of his past that takes days to explain and this is how the author introduced the narration of Kvothe’s past life.

The story moves from one setting to another, following Kvothe as he lives through various events and tragedies. He tells how he makes a few friends and mentors, as well as enemies. After thieving and hiding and trying to survive he makes his way to a University to study the Arcane Arts, the main focus of the story. Having no money or family to back him he struggled to get accepted but cleverly got himself in but not long after he made an enemy, a rich boy, that did everything he could to get Kvothe expelled.

The story has some humor along Kvothe’s journey through mastering his skills in wizardry and magic. There are plenty of events, adventures, tragedies, to set the pace of the story as entertaining, interesting and it entails powerful beings that resemble demons which provide a creepy underlying tone to the novel. The story content was great and I enjoyed the mystic feeling I felt when I was reading but it was slow paced. After I enjoyed the story being told I felt disappointed with the ending. I re-read the ending a couple of times and I just felt left hanging……

( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
A classical fantasy hero tale without being too much of a cliché. Must read for them Fantasy junkies. ( )
  Kindnist85 | May 25, 2016 |
This book has restored my faith that there are, in fact, still good fantasy novels out there waiting to be discovered. I loved every minute spent reading this book and my only regret is that I will have to wait so long for the third book to be released.

Another original fantasy I loved: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
The Name of the Wind is one of those books that's received a ton of hype for years and has been both on my radar and on my shelf to read for quite some time. For the past couple of years it's collected dust on my bookshelf largely because I felt a little daunted and wary of picking up a sprawling epic fantasy. This is the first book in (at least) a trilogy of books telling the life history of Kvothe (pronounced to rhyme with "quoth"). Seeing the book clock in at over 700 pages and knowing there are at least 2 additional books, I was a bit uncertain if I wanted to take the risk on that kind of investment (having been burned in the past by other sweeping fantasy tales that fell flat after hundreds and hundreds of pages). Still, the hype continued to build and so I finally picked it up and dove in.

The first thing I noticed is that the style, voice and language of this book are unlike many other fantasy books (and even many other novels) that I've read. In many ways, it doesn't feel like the stereotypical fantasy novel most people would expect. The author, Patrick Rothfuss, has an almost poetic style in that he adds flourish and stylistic elements to otherwise mundane sentences. There have been some books I've read where an author tries to do this and it comes off as pretentious. Fortunately here, the author presents his language casually and with enough fluidity that it made for a beautifully enjoyable reading experience that really made the world and the stories more vibrant and interesting. Additionally, Rothfuss' story includes many mundane details that most fantasy tales disregard...the banality of daily life such as eating, working, shopping, etc. In that regard it felt more like a sprawling 19th century fiction from someone like Charles Dickens rather than a 21st century high fantasy novel with magic and demons. To me, this was a very refreshing and exciting change but I can see where some readers might get bored or bogged down with the more methodical storytelling in place of constant intrigue, action and adventure.

The story is broken into a couple of different plot lines. We have the "present day" in which Kvothe is the owner/operator of a small wayside inn and bar tucked into an average little village. We catch a few glimpses early on that tell us he is more than a simple innkeeper/barkeep. These glimpses expand as a man known as the Chronicler shows up and asks permission to interview and write the biography of Kvothe the adventurer. This begins the second plot line told in Kvothe's own voice beginning during his early childhood with a traveling group of performers (Rothfuss' version of gypsies). We learn of his aptitude for acting, music and his interest in the magical science known as "sympathy" which he studied under a scholar traveling with the troupe. His passion for learning leads to a desire to go to University to learn more. His plans are struck with a major detour when tragedy strikes the troupe and sends Kvothe into homeless poverty. Once he eventually makes his way to University, he has more struggles to try and work his way into the system and become all he wants to become. The historical story is interrupted from time to time with Kvothe taking a brief break to deal with things in the inn...which provides opportunity for some foreshadowing/reminiscing that provide minor hints and spoilers of things to come.

The book did have a few sequences of high action-adventure but being spread over the course of 700+ pages, the book generally moved at a slow, methodical pace. Often we sit alongside Kvothe as he struggles to obtain the bare essentials such as food, clothing or shelter. Other times we are with him as he studies and learns to master the magical science of "sympathy" or researches and investigates the strange race of beings known as the Chandrian who are responsible for so much fear, destruction and tragedy in the world. Mostly though, we spend the book learning more and more about the nature of Kvothe as a person...the person he was as a child, the adult adventurer he hopes to (and eventually 'does') become and the person he is "now" (at the inn, narrating his story). These three distinct personas are all intriguing and yet they are distanced from one another in such a way that compels the reader to continue on with the story in an effort to reconcile the transition from each stage of Kvothe's life into the next.

As I read the book, I loved it more and more. I had a few people ask about my reading and when I told them what the book was and recommended that they give it a try, they said something like "Oh, but I don't really like fantasy." I tried to explain to them that this is a "different" kind of fantasy novel. I really do feel like this might be the kind of fantasy book Charles Dickens might write if given the challenge. It focuses on the language...on the personal dealings of the central character...on the minute comings and goings of life. There were times when I set the book down after an hour of reading having thoroughly enjoyed the experience. But as I then thought about plot progression or what sort of rising action happened, I realized that there wasn't a lot of action that I could put forth as a compelling argument to somebody looking for the "summer action blockbuster" kind of story. This leaves me stuck in the middle as far as how to recommend this book to others (hence my rambling review). I'm hesitant to recommend it to everyone because I know some will be turned off by the "fantasy" elements (even though they feel minimized by the art of good storytelling) and others who may love "fantasy" may be turned off due to the slower pace of the action or the lacking of what they may consider more sweeping elements of high fantasy.

Personally, I really loved the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the vibrant and elegant language. I am intrigued by the interesting mythos that Rothfuss has created in terms of the way he handles magic, the dynamics of society/culture and the "fantasy" beings we've seen so far. I've had fun getting to know Kvothe and trying to unravel him as a character. There's still a lot of character development I'm waiting to see with him, mainly to try and reconcile the differences between his childhood, past adulthood and "present" adulthood. I do feel like the development of some of the other main characters is lacking a bit though that lacking may be partially due to the overemphasis on Kvothe since he's the one narrating the story and thus it's "all about him." Still, I hope for more development of some of the other characters, particularly Denna and Bast. I look forward to reading the other books in the series. I know this review really rambled a bit but hopefully it gives you some sense of what to expect in terms of the "feel" of the book. I really think it's the sort of book that almost anybody should be able to enjoy as long as they get over any stereotypical prejudices they might have before picking it up and really give it a chance. It truly was a joy to read.

4.5 out of 5 stars ( )
  theokester | Apr 20, 2016 |
Didn't live up to the hype. Kvothe is one seriously annoying main character, infuriatingly perfect little ginger snowflake with an appropriately predictable tragic past. The story starts okay but starts dragging along once he gets to the university and ends up going absolutely nowhere.

I liked Bast though, and the frame narrative was fairly interesting, which is why I stretched it to 3 stars instead of 2. ( )
  thedreadcat | Apr 9, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rothfuss, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deas, StephenIntroductionsecondary 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"--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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