Book Review : Name of the Wind

Book Review : Name of the WindThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle #1
Published by Penguin Group DAW Hardcover on March 27th 2007
Pages: 662
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five-stars

Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

Joanne Harris said, “Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul.” Name of the Wind is one of these books and hands-down one of my all-time favorites.  If you’re looking to get into the fantasy genre, but have no idea where to get started, look no further. This is THE book to read, even if you don’t like fantasy novels. It has everything—romance, mystery, revenge, magic, dragons, music, spells, wit, and a compelling hero and a great cast of side characters. I literally cannot say enough good things about it and have even read this 800+ paged book twice. But don’t let the page count intimidate you, this fast-paced book ensnares the reader, making the pages fly by and leaving you grasping for more. Even on my second reading, when I knew what happened, I stayed up past 5AM, reading over 400 pages in one sit down, unable to put it down until I finished the book.

 

In fact, I love Name of the Wind so much that I am have trouble putting it into words. I love main character, Kvothe, a fiery and prodigal red-head set on revenge and on solving one of the biggest mysteries of his time, the mythical and deadly Chandrian. With an undying thirst for knowledge, and a talent for music, barbs, and causing trouble, Kvothe’s life is never dull. Where other heroes are often too perfect, Kvothe is a young genius that is all too-human. Author Patrick Rothfuss excels at breathing life into all of his characters, especially Kvothe. He makes mistakes—picking fights with a rich and powerful student named Ambrose, falling hopelessly in love with the wrong girl, taking on more than he can possibly handle, constantly failing to think things through, being completely clueless when it comes to women, and mouthing off when he shouldn’t. Kvothe is flawed, but so utterly charming and intelligent that the reader has no choice but to root for the teenager that we know becomes a legend himself.

 

And Rothfuss deftly weaves the story of young Kvothe with the reality of older Kvothe, who narrates his life’s story, setting his own legend straight once and for all. The mystery of why older Kvothe, hides away as an innkeeper named Kote in the middle of nowhere, combined with a sense that evil is rapidly spreading, is just as interesting as the story of his youth and the secrets that younger Kvothe tries to solve in his quest for vengeance. Readers can only wonder at how all the pieces of the past and present fit together and what it means for both Kvothe and his world. This heady combination delivers a high tension that pervades the book and renders it impossible to put down. For the first time ever, I was not unhappy when the book switched points of view between young Kvothe and older-disguised-Kvothe-as-Kote. This is something that always kills me in other fantasy novels, like Lord of the Rings.

 

But Kvothe isn’t the only character worth loving in Name of the Wind. The rest of the cast of characters is just as lovable. There is Auri, the mysterious girl who lives in the tunnels beneath the University; Willem and Simmon, Kvothe’s best friends and partners in crime; Master Elodin, the kooky professor of Naming who constantly makes me burst out laughing while reading; Devi, the genius moneylender known as “Devi the Demon,” who was expelled from the University for mysterious reasons, but can match Kvothe in knowledge and skill; Fella, the gorgeous Scriv of the Archives, who isn’t afraid to owe Kvothe a favor; Bast, Kote’s student in the present, who is much more than he seems; and of course, the seductive and enigmatic Denna, who has captured Kvothe’s heart without even trying. Rothfuss, in these side-characters, creates more complex and developed characters, than main characters of other novels I have read and effortlessly shows off mastery of his writing craft.

 

Another reason that I love Name of the Wind so much is that it puts me to mind of one of my favorite video games, Skyrim, with its “College of Winterhold,” where a player can travel to learn magic and unlock the secrets of the arcane. Those familiar feelings of wonder and magic come rushing back to me as I read Rothfuss’s masterpiece once again. If you haven’t this read book yet, and even if you aren’t typically a fan of fantasy novels, I wholeheartedly urge you to buy Name of the Wind and the second book in The Kingkiller Chronicles, The Wise Man’s Fear, immediately. You won’t regret it!

 

five-stars
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Name of the Wind - bloggingwithdragons.com - Book Review

Posted July 12, 2017 in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Favorite Books

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