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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (edition 2007)

by Patrick Rothfuss

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7,693376438 (4.4)2 / 495
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

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    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)
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Showing 1-5 of 354 (next | show all)
Within 10 minutes of finishing it, I was at Amazon getting book two of the series. That should make it pretty obvious that I enjoyed it. ( )
  Pegasi | Sep 11, 2014 |
Patrick Rothfuss’s novel The Name of the Wind is the best fantasy novel I have read so far. I was captivated from the first chapter all the way until the end. From the moment it was mentioned, I had to find out what a scraeling was and what it was doing near town, and as soon as he was introduced there was something strange about Bast.

The story is extremely interesting, emotional, engaging, and more original than any other fantasy book I have read in a while. I could not put the book down! The book is written in the point-of-view of Kvothe, the main character, which was very well done. He tells his story as an older man who owns an inn and the story swaps between the present and the past every once in a while. I just found that it was an interesting way for Rothfuss to write the book. I really enjoyed his style.

There was so much detail in the book that I actually felt like I was Kvothe when I was reading this. I became wrapped up in his life and felt all of his emotions (don’t want to give anything away!). Even though there was a lot of detail I was never bored or felt that something shouldn’t have been described. There are only a few parts to the book that are not that exciting, but they are still interesting and important to the story. I never felt that I had to put the book down because I just couldn’t get through a certain part. Who really wan’ts to read a book that is just one action scene after another?

I know other people complain that there was too much detail and some things had nothing to do with the main plot, but that just made it all the more real for me. We are reading a story about a person’s life and that person is actually telling it, so you are going to get more details and other information that you wouldn’t get if someone else was telling the story.

The character development was excellent for Kvothe! He changes dramatically throughout the novel. The other characters don’t have as much development, but I can’t complain too much about that because that has to do with the writing style. When you are telling your own story you will focus more on yourself and not so much the people around you.

What I really enjoyed was that the characters were actually believable, especially Kvothe, and felt like real people. They made mistakes and those mistakes had consequences, and they also had good fortune, but nothing that would be unbelievable. They also have distinct personalities, for example Kvothe is incredibly smart, curious, and kind, but he is also arrogant which tends to get him into trouble.

Patrick Rothfus seems to be a rather good writer. Everything flowed very well throughout the novel and I didn’t notice any grammatical errors (though I’m not too picky). I also never noticed any annoying dialog or repetition, which I have encountered plenty of times in other novels.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, and since there is only a little bit of violence I believe it is appropriate for anyone who is 16 or older. ( )
  AshleyMiller | Sep 10, 2014 |
This is Book One of a very popular fantasy series (“The Kingkiller Chronicles”) recounting the story of Kvothe, a self-effacing innkeeper not yet thirty, currently going by the name of Kote. His saga is told by the literary device of the “frame story” or “Mise-en-abyme” - a story within a story. (Compare, for example, One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), a story about stories told by Scheherazade, tales which occasionally include other stories narrated by characters within the stories.)

A historian, called the Chronicler, comes to the inn and recognizes Kote as Kvothe, and asks if he can record the truth about Kvothe. The Chronicler argues:

“…you of all people should realize how thin the line is between the truth and a compelling lie. Between history and an entertaining story. … You know which will win, given time.”

Kote recognizes the Chronicler’s ploy, countering, “Nothing but the truth could break me. What is harder than the truth?”

But Kote decides to do it, telling the Chronicler it will take three days. (Thus, this book is called Day One of the Kingkiller Chronicles.)

The telling of the story is central. As Bast, Kote’s assistant and student, explains to the Chronicler:

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”

Kvothe (“pronounced nearly the same as “quothe”) came from a family of traveling performers, so he learned early how to act, how to pretend, and how to make music. He associated music with his family so much that when his family was gone, music became his grounding, his identity, what kept him sane. But as the story begins, we learn that now his life is filled with a silence, a silence that is all the deeper for being absent of music.

Kvothe was always an intellectual prodigy, and was mentored as a young boy by a traveling “arcanist” or scientist/magician who accompanied his troupe. Kvothe was fascinated by his teacher’s magical ability to call the wind by naming it, and later went the University to develop his own skills in “sympathy,” or magic. But he had a broader agenda as well: his whole family was massacred while he was out gathering herbs, and he desperately wants to find those who did it and exact revenge.

Discussion: There is so much going on in this saga that it would be impossible to summarize. In fact, there is a chapter-by-chapter interactive exegesis online conducted by author Jo Walton. I have read this also (the index is here) and was astounded at all the layers and nuances I missed. I would recommend that anyone who reads the book consult Walton’s analysis afterward.

Some aspects of this fantasy I particularly liked:

  • This is a medieval sort of world, and yet it is one in which there is knowledge of “germs” and the theory of conservation of energy (energy can neither be created nor destroyed: it can only be transformed from one state to another); popular but expensive treats are coffee and hot chocolate; there are problems with drug addiction; and there is a wonderful mix of fantasy elements tempered by skepticism about their very existence. Running through the story also is a commentary on the means by which stories - both good and bad, true and outrageous - get broadcast and changed in the retelling. This practice also easily allows for the weaving of prejudices into the tales, such as the biases in this book against the Edema Ruh. The Edema Ruh are traveling players, like Kvothe's family, who clearly evoke the Romani people.

  • The theme of the criticality of naming, and the importance of the accuracy of names, underlies the plot and serves as a motif for many of the stories told. It is significant that some of the central characters keep changing their names as the story progresses; they are no longer who they were before, or maybe they are just changing who they want to be.

  • Rothfuss makes the characters come alive, even when it is not always clear whether they are altogether “human.”

  • The world building is extensive and full of fascinating arcana about chemistry, physics, medicine, languages, religion, poetry and mythology.

Evaluation: This is only “day one” of the story of the life of Kvothe, but if you are like me and hundreds of other rabid fans in the readosphere, you will not be able to wait to start the next book, The Wise Man’s Fear, which picks up with day two of Kvothe’s story. Can this one be read as a standalone? Sure, but I bet you can’t read just one…. ( )
  nbmars | Aug 31, 2014 |
BLOG POST: http://chaibooks.blogspot.ca/2014/06/review-name-of-wind.html

What more can I say about this novel that hasn't been said already? Simply put, this novel is a masterpiece. It truly is a work of art.
Basically, The Name of the Wind is an absolutely beautiful narrative about a legend named Kvothe. As a gross simplification, it's a retelling of his life from boyhood.

The Characters? I don't know how all the characters in The Name of the Wind managed to be so fully-fleshed out. Every. Single. Character. Even the minor characters such as merchants, or quick acquaintances felt so real. Each character was so interesting and stood out.
Kvothe was a wonderful protagonist. It was a privilege discover his mysterious and heartbreaking past. He is a legend, and he was shaped and molded into the stuff of fairy-tales and we got to see a sneak peak as to how. He is extremely intelligent and talented in so many areas. I had faith in Kvothe! I felt like I knew him. He is a great protagonist.

The Setting? Beautiful. The Name of the Wind is not only for those who are fans of fantasy... It is for anyone who wishes for a brilliant escape into another world. From the colorful and magical travels with the troupe, to the dark and dangerous streets of Tarbean, to the prestigious and ethereal airs of the University and Archives... This world was magnificent, to say the least.

The Plot? Dazzling. I can honestly say that I lost myself in this book. I loose all sense of time as the only things I could think about when I wasn't reading The Name of the Wind was what Kvothe was doing. I laughed, I cheered, and I gasped out loud, and I might have cried. I didn't have to do any work at all... Rothfuss carried me through with his beautifully crafted story.
I especially love the system of magic that Rothfuss uses. It takes intelligence, concentration, and a whole lot of talent for one to successfully use magic. I love how science such as chemistry and mathematics are weaved seamlessly into magic.

Overall?The Name of the Wind lives up to it's hype. It is an authentic and exciting journey of a young boy. It carried me through emotions that I didn't know I could feel while reading a book. It is an absolute masterpiece, and I could honestly recommend it to almost anyone, regardless of their preference in genres. Excuse me as I pick up the second novel in the Kingkiller Chronicles... ( )
  Naomi_ChaiBooks | Aug 20, 2014 |
Patrick Rothfuss brings alive all the moments and experiences that are often glazed over in Fantasy and manages to weave them together into a book that is so easy to read it feels like a stroll though the park. His skill with prose and creating a fully realised world wherever he places his characters is obvious and it is an absolute joy to be able to let go and be taken on a journey. Whether in the forest, on a roof, in a bar or in a library, everything feels real and completely imaginable. Not since reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman have I felt so comfortable with trusting the driver and enjoying the ride.

Patience is an important part of this book, for some of the characters and the reader, who are both eager to hear the story of Kvothe, a man of great renown about who much is spoken as legend but little known as fact. Telling the story is an Innkeeper called Kote who knows it truest, as it is his own. After a fairly leisurely introduction where we get a feel for the man he has become whilst we wait to hear about the man he was, we learn he has had many names because of his many experiences and so his will be a tale of many stories.

Our companions in hearing the tale are a man, or something far more, who goes by the name Bast and a storyteller who has come seeking the tale of Kvothe known as the Chronicler. When he asks to hear the tale he is told it will take three full days to tell properly.

The idyllic nature of his life at the beginning is of course too good to be true, but despite knowing this, it is next to impossible not to form a close emotional link with Kvothe and his family. They are wonderful people and they sing and play and perform together and their love for each other is infectious. Usually in a book like this I am thinking where are the swords and the fights but in this I was eagerly looking for the next time he played his lute or even practiced.

Sadly his father’s insistence on finding a song for an ancient evil, the Chadrian, brings them into a darker world. Parts of this book were so sad and when Kvothe broke out of his tale and took a moment, so did I. The thought of this big man weeping out the back of his tavern was enough for me to put the book down for a bit and just reflect.

A great tragedy of Kvothes life is that he never quite gets the girl he loves, yet even more tragic is that despite knowing almost from day one that she could never be his, he cannot help but follow his heart and care for her. Rothfuss does a great job of getting us attached to a character, mirroring the relationship they have with Kvothe, and then taking them away so we also feel that sense of loss and emptiness that they are gone.

A couple of negatives for me were that at times it felt a bit repetitive with many moments beginning and ending with him looking for Denna. I also found Kvothe’s fight with the Draccus (a large fire breathing herbivore) an odd part as I didn’t find it added to the plot much. Selfishly I’d also like to have more happen. As much as I loved the prose I expected a little more scope and action to the first book and for Kvothe to be in a different place at the end than he was in the beginning.

Overall a fantastic book, I can see what all the fuss was about and I cannot wait to pick up The Wise Man’s Fear.....which I am doing right now.

4.5 stars ( )
  areadingmachine | Aug 19, 2014 |
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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)

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"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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