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Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Paperback: 672 pages
Publisher: DAW
Release date: April 7, 2009

Series:  The Kingkiller Chronicles #1

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository


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.

Why have I not picked this book up before? It is AMAZING! Instantly one of my favorite fantasies. It is rich in description, gripping in plot, and possesses some unique and memorable characters, not in the least, Kvothe himself. It begins rather oddly though, in a variety of ways.
The prologue and epilogue are almost word for word the same, which is obviously unusual, and there is a sort of wisdom parable about three significant things about the current setting that actually reveals itself throughout the story. Essentially, each book is one day of telling a story in a scene at an inn far remote though it begins with an even older tale of lore, one that most people dismiss as legend or a story told to children. This is of Taborlin the Great who calls the wind to save himself from the evil beings known as the Chandrian. This meaning will become relevant later.
Back at the inn, the innkeeper, Kote, has a seemingly normal life with his apprentice, Bast. When a man known as the Chronicler visits, Kote reluctantly tells his story, revealing himself as Kvothe the Kingkiller and tries to set the record straight for Kvothe's wild tales. His tale grows from himself as a young child, born amongst traveling minstrels who are viewed as base rabble, to becoming an orphan and struggling to survive. All the while, he is truly gifted with his lute and in his goal to attend the University, where magics are taught. It's truly an 'epic' fantasy as it is a tale told in historic oral tradition about the adventures and famed deeds of a hero or legendary figure. However, the reasons behind Kvothe being Kote are mysterious and not fully explained...yet. *winking emoji*
The worldbuilding is pretty amazing though a lot of things are not fleshed out yet, that assuming will be revealed in later books. There isn't a map in the books (that I can remember), but here is one from his website that may help in your readings.
I loved the description of Kvothe's classes and his scrappy upbringing, which any true fan of Harry Potter would totally draw some parallels and grow to love this series. There's also the mystery of his beloved Denna, whom he meets on the road to the University and she disappears and reappears and does who knows what in the time she's gone. She's truly something for both Kvothe and the reader to figure out. Kvothe as a boy/young man is quite brash and stupid for being so talented and smart, so he's got quite a bit of growing up to do but is still very much a likeable hero. He's funny in his mishaps and you're proud when he does figure things out properly and sad when circumstances deal him some terribly rotten luck. He has a nemesis, Ambrose, a rich noble's son, and makes some good friends, including a special girl named Auri, and he manages to get kicked out of the Archives (*gasp* to be banned from the LIBRARY?! FOREVER?!), so Kvothe certainly is no perfect character. He struggles, sometimes constantly, just to have a shirt on his back, but contrarily, he also doesn't have much of a sense of self-preservation. (Does that sound like any young adults you know?) Of course, many of these things are what makes him and this book irresistible. There's no spoilers here, so there's plenty for you to find out in reading, especially some key points in the plot and overall arc of the trilogy. I hope you love it as much as I did. Look for the review of the next book in the series in next week's post! 

Kara is a teen librarian living in the southeastern US with her husband (who listens to books), young daughter (who sleeps with books), and dog (who tastes the books). She loves all sorts of books, but mostly YA, and will never catch up to all of the wonderful things to read.

3 People left their mark' :

  1. I keep hearing about this from so many different people and I keep forgetting to read it! I'm so glad you thought it was well fleshed out and everything; I really love high fantasy and it's disappointing when a book doesn't live up to all the things it has to accomplish. I started reading The Wheel of Time series and it's the same sort of thing which is lovely. I really need to finish that series too... :) Lovely review, Kara!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Thanks, Laura! I need to read The Wheel of Time series too, but it's SO BIG! *heavy sigh* At my current rate, it'll take forever with my children taking up most of my reading time...