The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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  • Title: The Name of the Wind
  • Author: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Coming of Age
  • Pages: 722
  • Format: Paperback
  • Other: Amazon, GoodReads
  • Grade: B+ (4.5/5)

Blurb 

My name is Kvothe.
 
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
 
You may have heard of me.

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

Review

One of my goals this year is to read more epic fantasy, and this is the first book fulfilling that goal. I wanted to ease into it with something people enjoyed, so I picked The Name of the Wind.

And I actually really enjoyed it.

The world building was extraordinary, but more importantly, it wasn’t boring. The only other epic fantasy series I’ve read was Lord of the Rings and quite frankly, I found it excruciatingly dull because of the world building.  However, Rothfuss gave me as much information I needed at the time I needed it. It was spread out, and I don’t remember an instant where he spent pages just describing something, whether that be the landscapes or the history of his fictional world. Instead, the world was vivid as Kvothe experienced it.

Furthermore, this approach of giving information this information in pieces rather than all at once is what kept me reading. I wanted to know about how the world worked, the different kinds of people in it, the magical creatures in it. I wanted to know how the magic system worked. Like Kvothe, I wanted to know everything.

And Kvothe- well, he’s quite fascinating. I admire him for his strength and perseverance.  Yes, he’s foolish and reckless, but he’s also brave, loyal, and kind. And I’m so interested in learning what tied everything together for him. There are these moments where Kvothe foreshadows something that happens later on in his life, and it creates more of a reason for me to keep reading. But what’s more interesting is that we see Kvothe now, and the Kvothe he paints in his story. And I can’t help but wonder what’s true, what got him to where he is.

But the other characters are just as interesting. There’s Denna- a girl of mystery who you can’t help but love. There’s Bast- exactly how did he and Kvothe meet? There’s Kvothe’s friends, his mentors, his family. Everyone felt real and fleshed out. And despite this being Kvothe’s story, they have their own stories too.

It’s also a coming of age story. You see what shapes Kvothe into the man he eventually becomes. You experience the joys and pains of adolescence with him. You watch as he grows from a boy into a young man. And on top of all that, it’s an adventure and for Kvothe, there’s always this question of survival.

But at the same time, Kvothe’s story is a little too perfect. Or rather, he’s a little too perfect. I wanted more flaws, more weaknesses. Even when Kvothe struggles, it sometimes didn’t feel like much of a struggle. But the thing is, I’m not sure if this is because Rothfuss created a too-perfect character or if this was how Kvothe chose to paint himself. After all, he is telling his story to someone, and it seems like he would want to paint him self in this really positive light. There’s this small part of me that wonders if this was all intentional.

Despite this, The Name of the Wind was captivating. I looked forward to reading it every night, and I had to force myself to put it down. Now I’m having to force myself to hold off a little longer on book two, primarily because the third book doesn’t have a release date. But either way, if you’re looking to delve into epic fantasy, The Name of the Wind is a good starting point.

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10 thoughts on “The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

  1. Shelby says:

    I just finished reading this for the first time a few days ago, and I 100% agree with your review. I had some reservations about it, as I typically prefer “magical realism” to high fantasy. But I thought this was quite good and will be continuing with the series!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bookishglenda says:

    I definitely think him being painted as the perfect character kind of comes from his biased view since he’s telling his own story. (I’d probably do the same tbh) With that, I think Bast may be our best bet at seeing the weaknesses as the story goes on. I haven’t started the second book but I’m eager to see where Bast is first introduced into the story – especially with the final dialogue between him and the Chronicler. This is one of the few books I’ve read that I want to know the background as side characters just as much as the main one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Megan says:

      True enough. I’m sure I would too. Yeah, the end was so interesting, and I’m definitely curious as to how Bast comes into the story as well. I think the fact that the side characters are just as alluring as Kvothe is one of the novel’s strongest points.

      Like

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