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The Name of the Wind

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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 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.

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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 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.

30 review for The Name of the Wind

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (Giraffe Days)

    This is why I love fantasy so much. After a recent string of okay fantasy novels, a couple of good ones but nothing to get really excited about, I've rediscovered my passion thanks to this book. I'm so impressed, and so in love, I can't begin to describe it. But I can try to give you a feel for the book, if I can figure out where to start and how to do justice to this masterpiece. Kvothe (pronounced like "Quothe") is a world-renowned figure of mystery with a disreputable reputation - a hero or a This is why I love fantasy so much. After a recent string of okay fantasy novels, a couple of good ones but nothing to get really excited about, I've rediscovered my passion thanks to this book. I'm so impressed, and so in love, I can't begin to describe it. But I can try to give you a feel for the book, if I can figure out where to start and how to do justice to this masterpiece. Kvothe (pronounced like "Quothe") is a world-renowned figure of mystery with a disreputable reputation - a hero or a demon depending on which stories you hear. The real man has hidden himself away at an inn in the middle of nowhere with his apprentice Bast - we know not why - and it's not until the Chronicler discovers him there that he shows any interest in reliving his past life. Insisting that his story will take three days to tell, and that the famous chronicler must write it down exactly as he tells it, he begins to share his story: a child genius growing up with his parents' troupe, performing plays and tricks across the land while being taught "sympathy" (magic), history, chemistry etc. by a tinker, Abenthy, who had been to the University; to ending up homeless and penniless on the streets of Treban, a big port city. It's not until he's fifteen that he makes it to the University, and is accepted, though he's three years younger than is usual. Abenthy has taught him well, and combined with his impressive memory, natural talent, quick intelligence and training, he moves quickly up the ranks of the university. There are many adventures and mishaps along the way, and while some plotlines come to a tidy end at the close of this novel, over-arching plotlines and themes have been given a solid foundation to continue on into the next books. It took a surprisingly long time for me to realise the connection between the number of days he will take to tell his story, and that this is "Day One" in the trilogy - it's told over the course of the first day. The only thing is, he's young yet (Chronicler judges him to be about 25, though at times he looks infintely older), and there are things happening in "real time" that intrude upon the story, that will need to be resolved I think - so while I have every confidence Rothfuss has excellent control over his creation, I would love more than three books :) I can't think of the last time I was this impressed by any story, let alone a fantasy novel. I won't compare it to bloody George R.R. Martin like everyone else is doing because I don't see that they have anything in common, really - one is a work of pure genius and the other is utter crap. Comparing them only heightens my dislike of A Game of Thrones. In truth, it's simply a marketing strategy to compare new books to ones that are already really popular, in order to draw in a well-established audience. This is an epic fantasy - epic in scope - but it's also a bildungsroman, a story of a person's life, a life journey (including the quiet moments), which I love. The character development is ludicrously good. The world-building is solid, believable and original - there're enough new elements to keep your interest, but not so many that you get confused and overwhelmed: a perfect balance. The design of "sympathy" is original and unique, and makes so much sense that I'm half-surprised it doesn't really work. It's complicated enough to not be trite, but one basic premise is the connection between things, the sympathy they have with each other - if you broke a branch in two, the two halves would still have a connection, like sharing the exact same DNA, and so if you control one half you affect the other half. Same with two pennies of the same metal, so that, if you were holding one and someone holding the other and they worked a "binding" on their half, and, say, lifted it in the air, then your penny would also lift. It's fabulous! It's an intellectual kind of magic, not a "wave the wand" type. It takes knowledge, concentration and effort, so in effect, anyone could learn. As for the characters and their growth, I am so impressed and so in love I will no doubt do a bad job of expressing it. While Kvothe's story is told in his voice, first person, the present day interludes are told in third person omniscient, but usually from certain characters' points of view. You get a mix of other people's impressions of characters, and a gentle showing that tells us even more. The genius is in how Kvothe is portrayed: while telling the story, himself as a young boy, already having experienced tragedy and sorrow and despair, and already feeling the weight of worldly concerns, but still with a lot to learn, comes across strongly. This is counter-balanced with Kvothe as a man, having been through all that and more and had it shape him into something subtly different, yet still very much the same person. If it had been written poorly, there would have been discord between the two Kvothes, but there isn't. He has so much charisma, and is such a complex sort, that I really felt for him. I may even have a bit of crush, actually. He's not good or evil, but he's suffering from a conscience: he's very human, and lonely, despite the friendship of Bast. At the same time, he's a god-like figure, an amazing musician, a skilled fighter, and a powerful magician. One moment he's commanding and chillingly masterful, the next he's doing Bast's bidding and fetching food and cutting wood for others. I expect it's his contradictions and complexities that draw me to him. The writing style is smooth, the pacing just right (though the first few chapters take a while to get you into the story, you still need to read them closely because there're a lot of details in them), and the prose isn't cluttered with boring, irrelevant descriptions or pointless details. It's a fat book and a long story, but it flies by. While it needed better proofreading - there were a lot of problems with dialogue punctuation; there were a few lazy typos; he never once used a semicolon when he should have; and he always used "lay" instead of "laid" (but hey, at least he was consistent) - the prose itself is engaging, often humorous, detailed but not overly so, and never boring. I also loved the little songs and ditties that are included, and the stories within Kvothe's story. Likewise, the way he doles out the various plots, revealing and hinting at the right moments, building up tension and anticipation, giving clues that start to coalesce into a stunning picture, is, frankly, impressive. The supporting cast, while not as fully explored as Kvothe (it is his story, after all), are in their own ways vividly portrayed and gradually explored. There's no chunky exposition or a description of a character shoved at you all at once. It's more a show-not-tell kind of book, appreciating the intellect of its audience and our ability to figure things out for ourselves. Nicely done. There was a while there, when I was reading, that the prose gave me the same kind of thrill as reading a sex scene in a romance novel might - but it could have just been the excitment of the story. One last thing (though I could go on forever): I loved what he did with dragons. I won't spoil it by saying more, just that it's original and delightful - this coming from someone who's been known to get a mite bored by dragons in fantasy. I would easily recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy, but also to people who enjoy great stories told wonderfully well. As many non-fantasy readers loved Harry Potter, they would also love this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark Lawrence

    I'll give this 5* with no begrudging. I'm pretty easy with my 5*, they're not reserved for the best book I've ever read, just very good books. I thought The Name of the Wind was "very good". I read it in what for me was a very short span of time - it had that 'more-ish' quality that best sellers need. Can I see what makes this the single best selling epic fantasy for a generation (apart from George Martin's series)? No. Excepting that perhaps the lesson is that to be head and shoulders above your I'll give this 5* with no begrudging. I'm pretty easy with my 5*, they're not reserved for the best book I've ever read, just very good books. I thought The Name of the Wind was "very good". I read it in what for me was a very short span of time - it had that 'more-ish' quality that best sellers need. Can I see what makes this the single best selling epic fantasy for a generation (apart from George Martin's series)? No. Excepting that perhaps the lesson is that to be head and shoulders above your competition in sales "all" you need is to be better by a nose - after that the non-linear dynamics of the market take over and elevate you to godhood. I loved the writing, and that's very important to me. Rothfuss often treads the thin line between prose and poetry, and fortunately it's excellent poetry that he brushes up against. The quality of the writing breathes magic into even fairly ordinary scenes, and makes some of the important ones extraordinary. The story itself is mostly compelling. It uses the reverse of the device I saw recently in Blood Song of a framing story that's not in the first person, delivering up a first person narrative. Our hero, Kvothe has bags of attitude and is a total genius at everything. To balance out his 'all power' we have his poverty, bad luck, tendency to dig himself into a hole, and his powerful enemies. Kvothe's real powerful enemy sits in the background as a motivator (& presumably story for books 2 & 3) while his 'school-boy' adversary at the university fills in for bad guy for most of the book. Like Blood Song, and many other really successful books, TNOTW is at its core a school story. Harry Potter, Wizard of Earthsea etc all feature magic schools, for Blood Song and Enders' Game it was a battle school, but the point is that the schools + lessons + masters combo sells bucket loads if you write it really well and plumb it into a compelling larger picture. With magic the school system also provides a painless way of educating your readers in the magic-system you have (by virtue of it being delivered through formal education) elected to use. Was there anything wrong with it? For me the whole 'and then I broke another string' and 'I was very hungry and dirty in Tarbean' sections were rather slow and lengthy - I understand their role in the story but they felt overplayed. And at the end the whole business with the draccus felt tangential and diluted the endgame for me. But no, nothing of great significance. A final observation: throughout the book we (like Kvothe) are constantly aware of money. Kvothe's poverty is a driver and source of tension. He is constantly coming into money, losing it, incurring costs. We almost know the contents of his purse at any time and the price of all his needs. To me this was very reminiscent of Dostoyevsky's work (and to a lesser extent, Dickens) where a similar focus on the number of coins in our character's pocket is maintained and the need to cover their expenses drives much of the story. In short though, given the impossible level of expectation built up by years of hearing how incredible this book is ... the text made a very good attempt to live up to its reputation. Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes ....

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    I have no interest in imagining I'm someone who is stronger, deadlier, smarter, sexier, etc. than myself - a famed hero in a milqtoast world little different from modern North America. I read fantasy to immerse myself in strange worlds ripe with danger and conflict. To uncork primal wonders. And there is none of that in Rothfuss' book. His world is about as strange and dangerous as a mashed potato sandwich. His protagonist is comically overblown wish fullfillment for people who weren't popular i I have no interest in imagining I'm someone who is stronger, deadlier, smarter, sexier, etc. than myself - a famed hero in a milqtoast world little different from modern North America. I read fantasy to immerse myself in strange worlds ripe with danger and conflict. To uncork primal wonders. And there is none of that in Rothfuss' book. His world is about as strange and dangerous as a mashed potato sandwich. His protagonist is comically overblown wish fullfillment for people who weren't popular in college. I'm absolutely mystified that this novel is so highly regarded by so many. I welcome fans of the book to explain its appeal. Specifically: * Writing quality. I found the quality of the prose very poor. Cliches abound, the author tells rather than shows, and the language is neither poetic nor elegant. So for those who find the writing quality high, I'd like to hear some examples of writing they feel is poor quality. * Content. I have no interest in wish fullfilment in fiction. So what other content does this novel offer me as a reader? Is there something in the plot or setting that makes this novel stand out to you as exceptional?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    I kinda liked this book. But my opinion on the matter probably shouldn't be trusted....

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    I'm sorry, Mr. Rothfuss. For realz, actual sorry. Honestly. I tried giving your book two stars out of pity, since I so wanted to like it and I'd feel bad about giving it one star and dragging down your average rating. Though you don't appear to need my pity. Your book has the highest average GR rating (4.49) of any of the book I've read. I finally dropped my rating down to one star because it's just a steaming pile of crap and I couldn't take the embarrassment of having posted a two-star rating I'm sorry, Mr. Rothfuss. For realz, actual sorry. Honestly. I tried giving your book two stars out of pity, since I so wanted to like it and I'd feel bad about giving it one star and dragging down your average rating. Though you don't appear to need my pity. Your book has the highest average GR rating (4.49) of any of the book I've read. I finally dropped my rating down to one star because it's just a steaming pile of crap and I couldn't take the embarrassment of having posted a two-star rating on something so awful. Mr. Rothfuss, you probably don't give a shit about my rating since, judging from your GR biography, you appear to be very comfortable in your own academic, geeky skin. And that is totally cool. I'm an academic, geeky type myself. Not as geeky as you. You are really geeky. Like I said: that's cool. Anywayz, for a long time I gave you two stars since a couple of my most favorite people (my brother and his fiancé) both love your book. One star for each of them. But, like I hinted, the book is pretty bad. So are you and me good? No hard feelings? Awesome. I don't take shit too personally, either. So now I'll get down to ripping your book, knowing we can still be friends. In the interest of full disclosure, I faithfully admit that this book goes in my DNF shelf. I made it 162 pages in (I was reading it on the Kindle app on my iPhone and made it to § 3154, but with little arithmetic I determined that was the equivalent of page 162 in the mass market paperback). I just couldn't finish it. I gave it a good honest try and eventually found myself reading only so I wouldn't have to admit to my brother that I didn't like it enough to finish. But that isn't a good reason to spend my time—something we have precious little of in our short lives—reading something I dislike and not getting paid for it. So I'm sorry, bro. I tried. (Yes, my brother is one of my GR friends and will likely see this review.) Now on to the reasons I couldn't finish the book. Most of The Name of the Wind is written in the first person; it's the autobiography of Kvothe, who has a number of things in common with "The Most Interesting Man in the World." Kvothe is reciting his life story to a scribe while his male companion, Bast, looks on. FOOTNOTE There are several interesting facts pertaining to Kvothe and Bast. First, Bast is described as "sharp and delicate, almost beautiful, with striking blue eyes." Second, Kvothe and Bast run a bed-and-breakfast. Third, Bast follows Kvothe around like a puppy dog. Fourth, Bast likes to tuck Kvothe into bed and watch him sleep. Fifth, Bast cries like a little girl when he hears something sad. Finally, Bast apparently can manifest himself as some sort of goat-man creature. Do you see where I'm going with this? Kvothe runs a bed-and-breakfast, in which a very sensitive and beautiful man follows him around and occasionally turns into a goat. Bed-and-breakfast and goat-men: what could be sexier? Not that there's anything wrong with that. I believe everyone should have the freedom be who they were born to be and I have several close friends who happen to be gay; I'm the last person who would have a problem with Kvothe and his beautiful male companion getting frisky (goat-style, of course). I only mention the implied homoerotic connection because Kvothe (a.k.a. The Most Interesting Man in the World) is supposed to be a lady-killer. No, not a psycho rapist murderer, you freaks. A lady-killa. A Lover of Women. I suppose that's not necessarily inconsistent; perhaps Kvothe swings both ways. Let's all say it together, now: not that there's anything wrong with that. END FOOTNOTE Not all of the book, however, is written in the first-person. First-person narrative is reserved for Kvothe's recitation of his life story. The remainder of the book, particularly the scenes of Kvothe manhandling his lover in front of the scribe (Bast said Kvothe leaves bruises), are written in the third-person. I'll address my displeasure with the third-person sections first. Let me clarify at the outset that I have no problem with the writer switching between first-person and third-person narrative. I recognize it can be a powerful tool and it serves the structure of this story quite well. The book begins in the third-person, then as Kvothe tells his life story it switches to first-person, then back to third-person for occasional interludes. My problem is with the author switching his narrative voice within the third-person sections. The academic geek is all over the place in that regard. Sometimes he writes a scene in third-person subjective, other times third-person objective. Some passages read like third-person limited, others third-person omniscient. At points the author seemed to switch voice page to page, or even paragraph to paragraph. In one especially irritating scene he even threw in a hint of first-person for a paragraph or so. Maybe if I'd kept reading I would have found a scene or two in second-person, just for good measure. The switching of narrative voices was confusing and frustrating. Perhaps the author saw his story as being so epic and/or complex that a third-person omniscient narrator was called for throughout. I certainly understand the advantages of an omniscient narrator that can relate some scenes from one character's point of view and others from a second character's point of view, and so on. But that theory doesn't fit The Name of the Wind. With most of the book, indeed the real meat of the story, being written in the first-person, the third-person sections are a minority and seem almost incidental, merely setting the stage and creating some dynamic/juxtaposition. And the theory doesn't explain why some scenes are told from the points of view of everyone present (a voice that strikes me as pompous and unreal) while other scenes are described objectively, from nobody's point of view. Still other scenes alternate points of view paragraph by paragraph, or even sentence by sentence, and at a couple of points I wasn't entirely sure who's thoughts I was reading. Such constant switching without an obvious purpose or pattern made the omniscient narrator (if that's what was intended) seem unreliable. Now on to the bulk of the book: Kvothe's first-person account of his life story. Kvothe's account actually read much smoother than the third-person interludes. Without the worry of mixing up his voices, the author did a much better job on the first-person narrative. Indeed, Kvothe's story incorporates some fair (not horrible, not great) drama, suspense, and sentiment. Portions are even quite quotable. The Author was thoughtful and observant in his telling of Kvothe's story, relating events and thoughts with which I could identify and pointing out a few things I wouldn’t have thought of. Unfortunately, for the reasons set forth below, those good qualities were not sufficient to demand my continued attention. Many passages in Kvothe's story felt lazy, unnecessary, unintended, or unoriginal. A few things were just plain weird. For example: --> Kvothe asks his father a question and the father makes a big deal about wanting to answer with a poem, but after five lines he forgets the rest. Setting aside that the five remembered lines were some shitty poetry, why is the rest forgotten? If the poem was important, then the author should have taken the time (or sought the help) to craft something decent for the father to recite. If the poem was not important, why have the father recite a poem at all? A pointless poem only serves to clutter the prose. --> As a boy Kvothe watched his parents make out so he could learn kissing technique. That's weird. --> Speaking of Kvothe watching his parents, he has some sort of Oedipal affection for his mother. It shows in a few places but never more so than when he describes his mother as "slender, fresh, and bright, pale and smooth-skinned in the firelight." I have trouble reconciling the Oedipus Complex with "The Most Interesting Man in the World." Unless I just misunderstand one or the other? 2ND FOOTNOTE What I find especially interesting is my suspicion that the author was not consciously creating the Oedipal attraction. Similarly I suspect the author was not consciously creating the romantic connection between Kvothe and Bast. Maybe if I'd finished the book I would have found out that Kvothe was a gay man who masturbated to the memory of his mother. But I doubt it. END 2ND FOOTNOTE --> Kvothe declares that he will "sum up" a certain magical principle and begins with his "first" point. He then expounds upon that first point, but never reaches a second point, nor a third or fourth. The explanation merely peters out. --> Kvothe's father sets up a dichotomy between poetry and music that I don't believe exists. (I admit that's only a disagreement rather than a problem with the writing.) --> In several places there was a lack of creativity with turn of phrase. One passage uses the phrase "there are times" too many times. --> The author uses the definite article in a number of places were the indefinite article would have been more appropriate. In the passage I marked as an example, Kvothe talks about going "deeper into the city" without any prior mention of having entered any city, much less being on the verge of going deeper into it. --> In another place, a beautiful metaphor was ruined when the author spelled out his meaning explicitly. Some metaphors are more powerful if left implied, resting behind the words for the observant reader to find on his own. In this instance, it went from beautiful metaphor to so-so analogy. I also have a much more fundamental, underlying problem with the entire storyline. That is the quality of Kvothe as a character. He's portrayed as a superhuman hero with a towering intellect and dazzling physical prowess. Kvothe can do nothing wrong; no puzzle is too difficult and no problem too big to handle. He can thrive under any circumstance and no lady can resist his advances (neither can beautiful goat-men, for that matter). He wins over the most cynical skeptics and his knowledge of the arts and sciences is without equal. Kvothe advises kings and kills demons. He can even run a clean and comfortable bed-and-breakfast. Kvothe, himself, is his own story's deus ex machina. And that, to me, it is the ultimate expression of unimaginative writing. Supposedly Mr. Rothfuss wrote The Name of the Wind over the course of a decade or more. You'd think, with all that time to contemplate and mull over his book, he could come up with something more interesting than (ironically) "The Most Interesting Man in the World."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Petrik

    As an avid adult fantasy reader, out of all the books that I’ve been recommended, The Name of the Wind has always been recommended to me the most. Google, Goodreads, book reviewing sites, 9gag, even some people who don't read a lot of fantasy books, they have all praised the series highly and now that I’ve read it, it’s my opinion that the fame is well deserved and there’s no doubt that this is truly a fantastic adult high fantasy book. In terms of plot overview, the book is actually highly simpl As an avid adult fantasy reader, out of all the books that I’ve been recommended, The Name of the Wind has always been recommended to me the most. Google, Goodreads, book reviewing sites, 9gag, even some people who don't read a lot of fantasy books, they have all praised the series highly and now that I’ve read it, it’s my opinion that the fame is well deserved and there’s no doubt that this is truly a fantastic adult high fantasy book. In terms of plot overview, the book is actually highly simplistic. Kvothe Kingkiller, Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, the man of many names tells the story of his life to the Chronicler, who will write Kvothe’s entire chronicle starting from his childhood up through his present life as an innkeeper in Waystone Inn. Kvothe will tell the entire chronicle of his life within three days and The Name of the Wind encompassed only Day 1 of his story. That’s it, that’s really the basic premise of the story. You can even call this book a high fantasy memoir if you want. “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.” Picture: Tarbean by Dan Dos Santos If you haven’t read this book yet, you’re probably wondering why this book became one of the most highly acclaimed fantasy books of our time. Honestly, I have to agree that it’s one of the best out there; it’s amazing and there are a lot of factors in the book that worked so well together towards producing that result. However, there’s one single element in the book that simply excels above all the others. Is it the characters? Could be. I mean, this is totally a character-driven book and if the characters weren’t well-written the book would pretty much be screwed. The whole book is told only from Kvothe’s perspective; it’s written in third person POV for the present frame, shifting to first person POV during the flashback sequences which means you’ll be seeing the first person POV so much more than the other. Trust me, they are extremely well written. Kvothe is a great character and his narrative is wonderfully compelling to read. The Name of the Wind is his coming of age tale, covering his life from the time he was eight years old up to his fifteenth year. “When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.” We will read about Kvothe’s struggle during this period of time and how his life was an ever-changing cycle fortune and disaster. Plus, the addition of great side characters such as Bast, Simmone, Elodin and Auri made the book more intriguing. However, I have to say no, it's not the characters that dazzled the most to me. Is it the world-building? Well, it’s true that the world-building is fantastic and intricate, even including its own currency, mythology, legends, songs, and a unique magic system called Sympathy. For a fantasy book, somehow all of these addictions seemed so realistic and yet, no, it’s not the world-building. What is it then, the action? No, definitely not. Don’t come into this book expecting a lot of action, war or great climax scenes, because you’ll be massively disappointed. The narration is extremely engaging but there are probably only around 20 pages of action scenes in total. The Name of the Wind will not pull you into this grand tale of 'Good vs Evil' that can be found in the usual epic fantasy stories where the protagonists struggle against the villains to save the world. So no, it’s not the actions. It's music: the part that captivated me more than anything else in the book was its depiction of music. “Music is a proud, temperamental mistress. Give her the time and attention she deserves, and she is yours. Slight her and there will come a day when you call and she will not answer. So I began sleeping less to give her the time she needed.” There’s a huge emphasis on music right from the beginning of the story all the way to the end and let’s face it, no matter what the genre is, we are all obsessed with music. Music is really integral to the quality of the book; it’s insane how well written the depiction of music and sounds are in the book. I could see the way the fingers and strings dance to form the music; I could hear the audience in the tavern cheering when Kvothe played the lute vigorously; I could hear the silence of the crowd when Kvothe stopped playing and most of all, I could feel the emotions oozing out of the audience through the music, music that was created specifically through words and letters. One of my favorite scene in the book is when “The Lay of Sir Savien Traliard”, a tragic ballad was performed. It’s so masterfully written and right now, I have my own perception of how this song should sound in my head and I can’t wait to see how that perception compares to Lin Manuel Miranda’s rendition of this song for the upcoming TV series adaptation of the book. Picture: Playing For His Pipes by Dan Dos Santos It’s really a tricky business to find the right formula that combines all these elements in a book, especially with music being one of them. But Rothfuss managed to do it. How did he find the proper balance for all those factors? Top-notch prose. I can’t stress this highly enough, there’s a glimpse of grace in almost every word you’ll find in the book. Without Rothfuss’s prose, this book would probably receive a 2 or 3 stars rating at most from me. Patrick Rothfuss is a master craftsman with words and his prose deserves the highest of praise from me. There is a myriad of quotable (or should I say Kvothable) statements throughout the book that made me feel like writing them all down in my notebook, and yes I did. “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” It’s meticulous, brilliantly compelling, beautiful, lyrical, and poetic. It’s obvious how the fourteen years of revision and editing brought fruition to this marvelous result. By the end of this book, I realized The Name of the Wind has immersed me in an intricate role-play situation. Through reading this book, I became more than myself. I am not just the reader who read a book called The Name of the Wind, I am not the Chronicler who wrote Kvothe’s journey, and I am not Kvothe’s loyal apprentice. I am the one they call Reshi, Bloodless, Six-String and I am the “I” in the chronicle. My name is Kvothe, you may have heard of me. Now, I encourage you to read my story. Picture: The Name of the Wind by Marc Simonetti You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at Booknest

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cait • A Page with a View

    Holy special snowflake, Gary Stu. You know the type of socially awkward insecure guy who seems to lurk in the corner of every university class trying to correct everyone and whose only purpose is to make sure the world at large realizes just how much better he is at everything? And despite never seeing any actual evidence that he's God's gift to humanity, you genuinely DO NOT CARE either way and just want him to shut up? Welcome to 600+ pages narrated by that guy. I wanted to love this book SO mu Holy special snowflake, Gary Stu. You know the type of socially awkward insecure guy who seems to lurk in the corner of every university class trying to correct everyone and whose only purpose is to make sure the world at large realizes just how much better he is at everything? And despite never seeing any actual evidence that he's God's gift to humanity, you genuinely DO NOT CARE either way and just want him to shut up? Welcome to 600+ pages narrated by that guy. I wanted to love this book SO much because of the hype that I dragged myself through the entire thing while desperately trying to ignore how much I loathed the main character. Kvothe is awesome at basically everything he does without even trying and everyone he meets either worships him or hates him & is out to get him. This was fun at first, but then it's like ok we get that he can master everything in a few days instead of years. Where is the story. Kvothe's parents are killed, so he becomes a street kid and then gets into university at a shockingly young age, where he continues to view himself as some struggling outsider. He becomes a legend because he talks the university into not only lowering his tuition, but paying him to attend. And every time he does something dumb, they decide to move him up a level instead of expelling him. The secondary characters were mostly good for emphasizing just how rare and amazing Kvothe is. He is by far the most cliche fantasy MC I have ever seen. I love wisecracking clever guys who are good at everything and make you want to root for them. Kvothe was not fun, witty, or even for anything in particular. The story kind of meandered around with the only connecting theme being that Kvothe is impervious to the world's attempts to bring him down. Someone breaks a string on his lute? He's suddenly the greatest lute player ever MINUS 1 STRING *gasp.* "Dammit boy, I hope you're as good as you seem to think you are" just about sums this book up. The author kept having the narrator refer to the typical fantasy story in order to point out how he wasn't being cliche. Like he'd straight out say that Kvothe didn't follow the format of the "young boy, the hero. His parents are killed. He sets out for vengeance" and meets an old guy who tests and trains him... but no, that basically IS his story. Except it's nowhere near as adventurous as other fantasy novels. Every single cliche thing that some middle aged guy could write into his wish-fulfillment protagonist is in here, but nothing particularly exciting ever really happens. (And I honestly don't mind Gary Stus too much as long as they DO something or have a complex story arc). I LOVED the beginning with Kvothe working at a bar in the middle of nowhere, but the story quickly slowed down when he began telling his life story to the Chronicler. It's well written so it was actually more peaceful than dull for a bit. I did like the part with Kvothe learning about sympathy and names! It's fun to see influences of other religions and cultures woven into fantasy novels. I did enjoy chunks of this story because it flowed well and was a world I'd typically be into! So maybe 2.5 stars? However, Kvothe absolutely did not need a full book to only BEGIN the "foundation of a story to build upon." Hardly anything happened here and I am just so incredibly annoyed. I kept trying to convince myself I liked it, but... no. It was insufferable and void of any emotion, actually. There really wasn't much conflict or growth or any true story. It was like a lecture on the greatness of Kvothe without showing anything too meaningful or interesting. And there was very little wizardness to this story. I was told to read this because of my Tolkien obsession, but I really fail to see how this even remotely falls in the same genre. This book isn't bad, but it honestly might be the most overhyped one I've ever read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Danica

    Okay. Wow. Let's back the hell up here. How is this so highly rated? Are those genre-establishment reviewers who're thrashing about in paroxysms of fawning five-star NEXT BIG THING OMG joy wearing blinders or just so used to mediocre fantasy that this book actually comes across looking good in comparison? Why do these high fantasy disappointments keep on keeping on? Whose brilliant idea was it to throw around the GRRM and Harry Potter comparisons, thereby actually getting me to waste my pennies Okay. Wow. Let's back the hell up here. How is this so highly rated? Are those genre-establishment reviewers who're thrashing about in paroxysms of fawning five-star NEXT BIG THING OMG joy wearing blinders or just so used to mediocre fantasy that this book actually comes across looking good in comparison? Why do these high fantasy disappointments keep on keeping on? Whose brilliant idea was it to throw around the GRRM and Harry Potter comparisons, thereby actually getting me to waste my pennies on this book when the money could've been better spent, I dunno, on some new dish sponges or perhaps bundled together into a lump sum donation to the Feminist Fantasy Writer Foundation? And for God's sake, why do male fantasy writers always write about do-everything, know-it-all male heroes who vanquish dragons, defeat their conniving rivals, strangle angels, and literally walk through fires /carrying weeping females over their shoulders like sacks of potatoes/???? HE WALKS THROUGH A FIRE GUYS. WITH A GIRL SLUNG OVER HIS SHOULDERS. LIKE JESUS CHRIST OR SOMETHING. AKJGALGJLSJLAG W.T.F. For one, the protagonist is an insufferable little shit. He's the best musician, the best dueler, the best test-taker, the fastest learner, the snarkiest snarker, and the best actor. Plus he's got the greenest eyes too. And an encyclopedic knowledge of everything there is to know, ever. And a tragic past. His one handicap is that he's dirt poor, but hey! That's okay, because he's so awesome it hardly matters. (Well, to be hair, it is a fairly severe handicap. But that doesn't make up for his infuriating lack of weakness in basically every other area of his life.) To echo an earlier review, I really was waiting for someone to hip-check this guy into a mud bog. Or a moat full of voracious alligators. Yay, the end! To be sure, Rothfuss is very self-conscious about his story-making. I lost count of the number of times he wrote, "If this were a story, Kvothe would be serenading Denna on his magical lute with a red rose clenched between his teeth. But it's not, which is why he's blushing and stammering (but still, amazingly, Getting the Girl)". And the language. Okay. What. I understand this is fantasy, so it's gotta have the ponderous, stentorian, "And Twas it Was that Haldorian Son of Keoth-Arbalith Returned to the Great Stone Tower of Gothalas to embrace his weeping elven bride" Tolkien vibe, and that Rothfuss was a substitute high school teacher all his life and didn't graduate from the much-touted Iowa workshop with an awesome literary degree of MFA awesomeness, but jesus, put a cap on it, please? Like, the cheapass cliff-hangers that end one chapter only to resolve in the very next paragraph? And this following paragraph, which I especially earmarked out of boggle-eyed feelings of what-the-fuckery? "Deoch, my heart is made of stronger stuff than glass. When she strikes she'll find it strong as iron-bound brass, or gold and adamant together mixed. Don't think I am unaware, some startled deer to stand transfixed by hunter's horns. It's she who should take care, for when she strikes, my heart will make a sound to beautiful and bright that it can't help but bring her back to me in winged flight." A moment of wondering silence for how this drivel actually managed to avoid excision via enraged editor. Not to go on an embittered, long-winded rant or anything (.. too late for that), but this book represents pretty much everything I hate about high fantasy. There's the utter paucity of strong female characters. The cardboard villainy of the baddies. The lack of real dimension besides character 'typeness'. The never-ending leveling up of powers. The protagonist who can do no wrong. The frankly boring, and sometimes hair-raisingly clichéd, use of language. Also, the lack of females. You know what this book makes me want to do? Smash the patriarchy. Oh my god. I think this guy needs to sit at the feet of Joss Whedon or George R.R. Martin and learn something worthwhile.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I have so many unanswered questions and I'm not even mad about it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List IT WAS NIGHT AGAIN. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts. The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a wind it would have sighed through the trees, set the inn's sign creaking on its hooks, and brushed the silence down the road like trailing autumn leaves. This is only part of the prologue to THE NAME OF THE WIND that drew me right in, the whole prologue was so bea MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List IT WAS NIGHT AGAIN. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts. The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a wind it would have sighed through the trees, set the inn's sign creaking on its hooks, and brushed the silence down the road like trailing autumn leaves. This is only part of the prologue to THE NAME OF THE WIND that drew me right in, the whole prologue was so beautifully written it pulled me right into the book. I would never had found this amazing book if I wasn't watching a youtube video about books and then looking it up on goodreads to see that so many of my friends loved it. I immediately bought it and I'm just blown away. I CAN. NOT. BELIEVE this was Patrick Rothfuss debut novel! Who writes like this? Why can't I write like this? Ye gods, this book is beyond amazing, Rothfuss writing style is amazing. It flows... like water, I have only thought this once before reading a novel. This is a big tome of a book with 700 + pages and there is not one moment of boredom or dragging. NOT. ONE. MOMENT. I am totally in love with Kvothe The Bloodless! He is telling his story from his Inn to a chronicler. We get to learn about Kvothe's story from when he was a child. There is a tragedy in young Kvothe's life and he lives on the streets for a few years, he finds some friends and they help each other. Kvothe does have to resort to stealing and begging but what would you do when you have nothing, but he is a smart boy and he is kind. He finds a way to help himself out and decides he's going to University :-) But it's the little kindnesses of people and Kvothe himself that touch my heart. He turned his back on me and started to tidy his workbench rather aimlessly, humming to himself. It took me a second to recognize the tune: "Leave the Town, Tinker." I knew that he was trying to do me a favor, and a few days ago I would have jumped at the opportunity for free shoes. But for some reason I didn't feel right about it. I quietly gathered up my things and left a pair of copper jots on his stool before I left. Why? Because pride is a strange thing, and because generosity deserves generosity in return. But mostly because it felt like the right thing to do, and that is reason enough. Brings a damn tear to my eye. Well, a lot of the book brings a tear to my eye and of course I wanted to kill a certain person named Ambrose but we won't go there! Kvothe plays the lute :-) He's very good at it and it helps him out on many occasions when he is strapped for money when he gets into University. And get in he does, through being smart... he's so smart to do the things that he does to get into the University and to stay there. I mean a poor boy who walked around part of his life without shoes and just trying to make it through the nights outside in the freezing cold with little to eat. He made it and he struggles and he's fierce and he's a hero!!!!! Every time someone brought him down he came back up! He never gave up! He is the best kind of hero, a kind person but he does get the best of some evil people when he has to and I love it, oh how I love it. I'm really glad Kvothe found a couple of really good friends at the school because he had so much against him. So many bad things would happen, but like I said, he would find a way to rise back up. He even found a love interest but it didn't really get to go anywhere but that is another story. Let me just throw in two more EXCERPTS -->I can't help myself, the book has so many good stuff it's hard to pick just a few. I paused. "However, at this moment I have two jots in my purse and nowhere in the world to get more than that. I have nothing worth selling that I haven't already sold. "Admit me for more than two jots and I will not be able to attend. Admit me for less and I will be here every day, while every night I will do what it takes to stay alive while I study here. I will sleep in alleys and stables, wash dishes for kitchen scraps, beg pennies to buy pens. I will do whatever it takes." I said the last words fiercely, almost snarling them. "But admit me free, and give me three talents so I can live and buy what I need to learn properly, and I will be a student the likes of which you have never seen before." There was a half-breath of silence, followed by a thunderous clap of a laugh from Kilvin. "HA!" he roared. "If one student in ten had half his fire I'd teach with a whip and a chair instead of chalk and slate." He brought his hand down hard on the table in front of him. You can't help but be proud of Kvothe and his determination to get what he wants and doing anything to get it. Another part showing how nice and good he is, he gives a simple girl a charm to make her feel better. "Now it's tuned to you," I said. "No matter what, no matter where it is, it will protect you and keep you safe. You could even break it and melt it down and the charm would still hold." She threw her arms around me and kissed my cheek. Then stood suddenly, blushing. No longer pale and stricken, her eyes were bright. I hadn't noticed before, but she was beautiful. She left soon after that and I sat for a while on my bed thinking. Over the last month I had pulled a woman from a blazing inferno. I had called fire and lightening down on assassins and escaped to safety. I had even killed something that could have either been a dragon or demon, depending on your point of view. But there in that room was the first time I actually felt like any sort of hero. If you are looking for a reason for the man I would eventually become, if you are looking for a beginning, look here. For the love of God, if you haven't read this book and love these kinds of high fantasy novels, READ IT! If you have had it on your shelf debating on reading it, READ IT! If you have never heard of it up until now, buy it and READ IT! It's one of the best and it's on my favorites list now... just look on Goodreads, there it is, under favorites! There are soooo many wonderful characters in this book, even the ones we only meet for awhile. And yes there are evil ones, but that's the way of a great book. Simply amazing! I think we should stop in at the Waystone Inn and have a pint and talk for a bit. I also bought the second book on the same day because I could at the time and I knew I would love these books. I just knew it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    ”Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.” Okay, there are books and then there are BOOKS!!! I guess this said it actually doesn’t take a lot to figure that “The Name of the Wind” de ”Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.” Okay, there are books and then there are BOOKS!!! I guess this said it actually doesn’t take a lot to figure that “The Name of the Wind” definitely was one of those books that falls into the latter category. ;-) This was such a wonderful and perfect read!!! So compelling and lovely!!! It captivated me from the very first page and with each and every single line it grew even more on me. I fell in love with this masterpiece and I swear I love it so much now that I didn’t even want to return it to the library. Every fibre of my being ached at the mere thought of giving it back and the reluctance I felt when I handed it back to the librarian was almost overwhelming. >_< Needless to say, I had to give it back though. =(( Also needless to say, I immediately went to amazon and bought myself my own copy! *LOL* So yeah, I finally broke my book buying ban but seriously, I need to possess this book! I guess I’ll just pass it off as a birthday present to myself! ;-P Really, I had no other choice than to buy it, my life definitely wouldn’t be complete without this book in my shelf. XD Yes, it’s that dramatic!!! If you ever read it you’ll hopefully understand what I mean! *lol* I’m sure by now you all wonder what made this book so special for me and I decided to break my usual review routine to give you the answers you’re searching for. Yes, you read right. Plural! Answers! Because there are so many damn good reasons to read this book I just can’t name only one. XD So here we go! Let’s find out how many reasons I’m able to come up with! *lol* I’m pretty curious myself. ;-) 1.) The marvellous and brilliant execution of the narration! We have two different time and story lines and the way they are interwoven with each other is just amazing!!! One plotline deals with Kvothe’s youth and his time at the University while the other one describes his current life. Patrick you get kudos for pulling this off so nicely!!! ;-P 2.) The endless wisdom of this book. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for quotes and oh boy did this book deliver!!! <333 I. AM. COMPLETELY. AND. UTTERLY. IN. LOVE. with Patrick’s wisdom and his unique way with words!!! I’m so besotted with it, it’s almost scary! ”Etiquette is a set of rules people use so they can be rude to each other in public." ”Nothing but the truth could break me. What is harder than the truth?” ”You’re clever. We both know that. But you can be thoughtless. A clever, thoughtless person is one of the most terrifying things there is.” ”We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.” 3.) The magic system! I loved the idea and how it was described. You need a lot of basic and deeper knowledge to be able to do “magic” in this book and I think it’s fascinating how everything is connected somehow. Alone the use of Sympathy was already so complex it was almost a whole science of its own and I really have no idea how they were even able to do something like that. I might have gotten accepted into Hogwarts, but I’m fairly certain I’d have never made it into the University! *LOL* 4.) The way music and stories are such an integral part of “The Name of the Wind”. Is Patrick a musician himself? I can’t help but wonder, because he sooo nailed our representation!!! I swear I never felt so understood! It’s like he knows what moves us and what makes us tick! Just wonderful!!! <333 (view spoiler)[I always died a slow death whenever someone broke Kvothe’s lute. T_T At first the one from his father and then the one he bought in the shop. Gosh, it was always so painful when he was robbed of his music! My heart bled so much for him and it quite literally hurt my artistic soul!! Urgh! Pat can we keep from crushing music instruments in the next book? Please!? *making huge puppy eyes* (hide spoiler)] ”You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story the right way. Too much truth confuses the facts. Too much honesty makes you sound insincere." ”Asking to hold a musician's instrument is roughly similar to asking to kiss a man's wife. Nonmusicians don't understand. An instrument is like a companion and a lover." ”I headed back to the University with money in my purse and the comforting weight of the lute strap hanging from my shoulder. It was secondhand, ugly, and had cost me dearly in money, blood, and peace of mind. I loved it like a child, like breathing, like my own right hand.” 5.) I’m all about interesting side characters and to say there were plenty of them would most definitely be an understatement! From Trapis to Auri and Sim & Wilem to the staff of the Eolian or Devi! They were all so damn intriguing!!! I want to see more of them and I want to know their backstories and how they ended up doing what they do!!! XD 6.) Kvothe’s unwavering dedication to knowledge and books! And his so very very relatable curiosity!! *lol* I swear there was more than one moment I was like: DAMN THIS IS SO ME!! XD PLUS the ARCANUM!!! Who wouldn’t be in love with such a place?!! *sighs dreamily* "It probably shows a perverse element of my personality that even though I was finally inside the Archives, surrounded by endless secrets, that I was drawn to the one locked door I had found. Perhaps it is human nature to seek out hidden things. Perhaps it is simply my nature." 7.) The captivating world building and engrossing depiction. Everything felt so realistic and plausible and even though the book had no epic fight scenes and no heavy drama it was still so very suspenseful and moving. Patrick Rothfuss is such a talented storyteller and there was never a dull moment throughout the entire book! It was such a delight to read his words and I respect the hell out of this man!!! <3 8.) Last but not least: The main characters! This is the moment I warn you about the spoilers in my review! There will be plenty of them and if you don’t want to read them you better leave this page without scrolling down. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! XD To make a point I’m even giving you the chance to leave… NOW!!!! ;-P Kvothe: “I am a myth,” Kote said easily, making an extravagant gesture. “A very special kind of myth that creates itself. The best lies about me are the ones I told.” Kvothe, Kvothe, oh Kvothe!!! Why did no one warn me about this wonderful and broken boy? There are so many things that make him my kryptonite; it’s not even funny anymore. *lol* He has red hair and green eyes! Oh my, I’m such a sucker for red-heads! Haha! And the sass!!! Oh boy, I love his sass and his mouth and everything he says and does!!! If he’d been a real man I’d be swooning whenever I see him. I swear! XD He’s the right mixture of everything! Funny, sassy af!!! (scratch that he’s the King of Sass!), intelligent, not black nor white if anything he’s completely grey!, calculating, stubborn, arrogant and so very very broken on the inside. In short: I was a goner the moment he was mentioned! *lol* I can’t help but love this boy, I mean he learned a language in a day and a half, he held a lecture in front of his class because Master Hemme dared him to!!! and he succeeded which unfortunately only gained him a whipping! (Damn Master Hemme, I hate him!!) Jeez! Kvothe always acted so strong but deep down within him he was such a broken thing. It broke my heart when his parents died and the years he lived at the streets of Tarbean only shattered it even more. I hate it that everyone only seems to want to hurt him and whenever something good happened, something bad immediately followed on its feet. URGH!!! My poor Kvothe, his struggle with his poverty was so heart-breaking and I hate Ambrose for everything he did! I hate him with a fierce passion; I genuinely hope he goes to hell!!! I really don’t know if I’m ready to see Kvothe suffer even more but considering his current condition, it’s clear that something bad must have happened to cause him to lead an inn. *sigh* I’m almost afraid to read the next book. *lol* Pat can you please not hurt him?! No? Okay, I’ll read your book anyway. Haha! "I jerked away from her, almost falling. "No!" I meant to shout but it came out as a weak croak, "Don't touch me." My voice was shaking, though I couldn't tell if I was angry or afraid. I staggered away against the wall. My voice was blurry in my ears. “I’ll be fine.” I gave him a hard look. “If I pass out you may do whatever you wish.” I said firmly. “Until then, I will not be tied.” “People probably are distracted by your hair. It’s so bright. It’s pretty. … Pretty distracting. And your face is really expressive. You’re always in control of it, even the way your eyes behave. But not the color.” She gave a faint smile. “They’re pale now. Like green frost. You must be terribly afraid.” "I needed to let them know they couldn't hurt me. I've learned that the best way to stay safe is to make your enemies think you can't be hurt." It sounded ugly to say it so starkly, but it was the truth. I looked at him defiantly. ”Kote looked up, and for a second Chronicler saw past the anger that lay glittering on the surface of his eyes. For a moment he saw the pain underneath, raw and bloody, like a wound too deep for healing.” Denna: ”No matter where she stood, she was in the center of the room.” Kvothe frowned. “Do not misunderstand. She was not loud, or vain. We stare at a fire because it flickers, because it glows. The light is what catches our eyes, but what makes a man lean close to a fire has nothing to do with its bright shape. What draws you to a fire is the warmth you feel when you come near. The same was true of Denna.” To be entirely honest, I still don’t know how I feel about her. At first I was afraid she might only play with Kvothe and I guess to some extent she did, but the more I got to know her, the more I realised that she can’t really help it. She obviously likes him a lot but there are so many things that make it impossible to have a relationship with him and she constantly seems to be drawn to other men. Men that have more money than him, men that can provide for her. It would be too easy to say that she could stop it to be with him, because let’s be realistic and face it, they both would end up living on the streets. My initial distrust for Denna definitely turned into pity the longer the story continued and I really hope she’ll find a rich sponsor soon. Her life seems to be tough and I really want to know what happened to hurt her so much. I hope the next book will answer this question. ”There were tears once or twice. But they were not for the men she had lost or the men she had left. They were quiet tears for herself, because there was something inside her that was badly hurt. I couldn’t tell what it was and didn’t dare to ask. Instead I simply said what I could to take the pain away and helped her shut her eyes against the world. Bast: ”And I swear by the night sky and the ever-moving moon: if you lead my master to despair, I will slit you open and splash around like a child in a muddy puddle. I’ll string a fiddle with your guts and make you play it while I dance.” Haha! Yeah, Bast definitely is Kvothe’s student. *lol* I love that guy! He’s not an all too huge part of the book and only appears in the time line when Kvothe tells Chronicler about his past but it’s obvious that he cares about his master deeply. There seems to be a dark side to Bast but everyone who knows me, also knows that this only makes him even more appealing to me. ;-P I want to find out how they both got to know each other and how it is possible that Kvothe who’s so much younger than Bast ended up being his master. *lol* Bast has a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to find out more about what truly “moves him”. ;-P ”You are not wise enough to fear me as I should be feared. You do not know the first note of the music that moves me.” The question seemed to catch Bast unprepared. He stood still and awkward for a moment, all his fluid grace gone. For a moment it looked as if he might burst into tears. “What do I want? I just want my Reshi back.” His voice was quiet and lost. “I want him back the way he was.” Soo that were eight reasons. Are you already convinced or do you still need another one?! 9.) There aren’t many books I’d take and throw at a person with the words “READ IT!! READ IT NOW!!!!” but “The Name of the Wind” definitely is one of those rare books! It’s one of those BOOKS!!! So read it!! Read it now!! *lol* My conclusion: “The Name of the Wind” is a masterpiece and Patrick Rothfuss is a freaking genius! Don’t let the 722 pages keep you from reading this awesome book because if you like amazing tales with a lot of details and intriguing characters this definitely will give you everything you’ve been craving for! XD I highly recommend you to read this book and once you’ve actually managed to open it, the pages turn so fast someone might even consider it to be…. Well, dare I say it? Magic! ;-P

  12. 5 out of 5

    unknown

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I must preface this review by stating that my experience with fantasy is somewhat limited: the Harry Potter books, George R.R. Martin, a dozen scattered other novels and series. The more of it I read, the more I realize traditional "epic" fantasy of the multi-book series tack is not quite for me. Or maybe I am bad at choosing, since I really like some of it (Martin, Bujold). Some of it, not so much. Take, for instance, The Name of the Wind, one of the most celebrated fantasy debuts in years, with I must preface this review by stating that my experience with fantasy is somewhat limited: the Harry Potter books, George R.R. Martin, a dozen scattered other novels and series. The more of it I read, the more I realize traditional "epic" fantasy of the multi-book series tack is not quite for me. Or maybe I am bad at choosing, since I really like some of it (Martin, Bujold). Some of it, not so much. Take, for instance, The Name of the Wind, one of the most celebrated fantasy debuts in years, with glowing praise from... just about everyone. In some ways, I can see why. It's very well written. The characters are engaging. There's good dialogue. Drama. Adventure. But it's also very long. I'm not against a long book if I feel like I got something back for the time invested. But TNOTW doesn't tell an epic story to match its epic length. To be fair, it's the start of what promises to be an epic story, but that means I'll have to read the next two books in the series to be satisfied. This book is not a satisfying installment on its own. The episodic structure means large parts of the book are largely inconsequential when you get right down to it, so if they aren't interesting, well... they feel like a waste of pages. Which means while I really enjoyed the scene of Kvothe earning his silver pipes, I *really* could have done without the extended horse bartering/fevered riding/detective work/battling dragons section (which was about 150 pages I think), as it didn't advance the story... at all, really. Not even when you throw in the romance angle. What I liked: The structure of the book is interesting. I like the idea of the narrator telling his story. In fact, because of this I can somewhat excuse the episodic feel (and the appallingly thin, idealized female characters, who have no substance and next to nothing to do), even if I don't always like it. It also does a great job of slowly revealing the mechanics of its world without too much exposition or too little explanation, and some elements, like the explanations for sympathy and "real magic," are very satisfying. The prose and dialogue are better than the narrative; I would read other books by this author (just, er, no more books like this one). What I didn't like: Rothfuss is a little too satisfied with the ways he's working to break fantasy conventions even as he seemingly reinforces them (i.e. a unassuming boy is secretly a genius and a chosen one, goes off to a magic school, excels at everything he tries, etc. etc.). I can't even count the number of cute comments like, "If this were a story, X, Y, and Z would have happened. But this is not a story." This might be a revolutionary concept in fantasy writing, but considering much of post-modern literature is built on metafiction, it struck me as one one interesting element; certainly not enough to excuse 600 pages of narrative inaction.

  13. 5 out of 5

    colleen the convivial curmudgeon

    "I must confess myself... disappointed." (For those who don't get the reference, it's a line that Voldemort uses in Goblet of Fire - the movie version at least. I am using a Harry Potter reference in retaliation to all those people who are somehow comparing this to that series, for the sole reason that there's a freaking magical university. Really, there's very little comparison aside from that. I mean, not even to get into how the whole tone and whatnot is different, but, really, the fact that t "I must confess myself... disappointed." (For those who don't get the reference, it's a line that Voldemort uses in Goblet of Fire - the movie version at least. I am using a Harry Potter reference in retaliation to all those people who are somehow comparing this to that series, for the sole reason that there's a freaking magical university. Really, there's very little comparison aside from that. I mean, not even to get into how the whole tone and whatnot is different, but, really, the fact that there's a "Hogwarts like school" seems to be the only unifying focus. I don't agree that there's a "Snape and Draco clone" in this series because, quite frankly, it's not like the sneering, unfair teacher and the mortal enemy were exactly unique tropes when Rowling used them, either. And this book has none of the wonder of Harry Potter, and certainly none of the whimsy. Furthermore, one of the achievements of Rowlings world is that the characters are real and relatable - even secondary characters are given some semblance of depth and personality. Few of the characters in this book really stood out to me as real, living, breathing characters. Perhaps it is because the vast chunk of this book is written in first person narration - first person, total recall no less - but as we see everything through Kvothe's eyes, we aren't given the glimpses into their minds that we are given in Harry Potter. In short, I dislike the comparison. For one I liked the Harry Potter series much better. For another, I find the comparisons flimsy and nothing more than a cheap marketing ploy. That so many people do seem to see the comparisons just makes me shake my head in wonder - because either they're seeing things that aren't there, or I'm very myopic when it comes to my beloved Harry Potter. I admit, either could be a possibility.) Anyway... As I said, I'm not a huge fan of first person narration, but sometimes it works. I think it works best when I like the person whose head/life I am living in. I found Kvothe generally tedious and annoying and an unbelievable Gary Stu. I also found Denna/Dianne/Deannah/whatever to be far too high maintenance, and not really worth the time and/or energy that seems to go along with her. But, then, we can't really control who we fall for - but, aside from the fact she's beautiful, I can't really see why men fall over themselves for her. But, then, I prefer a Hermione or a Luna to a Lavendar or even a Cho... (Ok, I'll stop with the HP references now. Maybe... ) A lot of people seem to feel that the story starts off slow and then picks up when he gets to University. Oddly enough, I'm rather the opposite. I liked the start of the story. Actually, even before we start his story, I liked the part at the bar and with the demon spiders. I imagine we're going to get back to that in the third book, since I figure the second book is going to be Kvothe's autobiography. Yay... So, I liked the start of the story. I even liked the start of the story within the story. I liked Kvothe's early years, his time with his parents and the troupe. I liked Ben, and following the things he was learning. I was interested in sympathy - and how it corresponds to the actual rules of sympathetic magic (well, sort of. You know, it takes the basic magical premise and then applies it to how it would work in a fantasy world, which would be much cooler than how it works in our world.) Quite opposed to most others, I felt things started dragging horribly once he got to University. I got tired of his effing "brilliance" and just how wonderful he is. I got tired of all the teachers being practically interchangable. And Hemme is no Snape. My gods, Snape is horrible and fascinating - and Hemme is just a silly little plot device to manufacture some arbitrary obstacles to impede our wonderful, fabulous, and did I mention BRILLIANT fucking protagonist. (My gods, at least Harry Potter has some actual flaws, aside from being crap with girls.) (And yes, apparently I lied about the comparison thing...) Ditto with the whole thing with being denied access to the Archives. Something so blatantly and *brilliantly* stupid, that it just seems totally unbelievable - just another manufactured obstacle. I mean, I know every story needs plot devices, and not even my favorite stories are without them. And sometimes they irritate me, too, especially when something is either overly convenient or clearly manufactured. But such things are always better when they seem to happen organically, or through some actual fault of the character, and not as some silly accident that he's not even responsible for because he was drugged at the time (which comes with it's own dose of silliness and arbitrariness.) So, yeah... where was I? Oh, so I felt things slowed down for awhile, and then started picking back up again with the music competition. That was pretty cool. And the fire. And then there's the sheer preposterousness of the ride to catch the Chandrians, which I just thought was silly, and the whole part with the draccus just went on forever. Now, let's see - what do I like? I liked Kilvin, as much as you can like a bare sketch of a character. I liked Elodin - but, then, I like the archetype of the mad professor. I wished we would've seen more of him and he was more fleshed out, as opposed to just being vague and abstract. And I like Bast, or I think I will like Bast, and hope to see more of him as the story progresses. I didn't hate the story, but I did find it overly long and thought it dragged in a lot of places, especially towards the last 150 or so pages where I just wanted it to be over... Oh - and Rothfuss repeats himself and his descriptions too much. Overall it's rather disappointing... And I am never listening to you people again. Ever. So there. :p

  14. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    OKAY WOW. THAT WAS FREAKING BRILLIANT AND I AM UTTERLY ABSOLUTELY ENTIRELY OBSESSED. And noooo I'm NOT GOING TO STOP SHOUTING. I shall keep shouting!! Because I loved it so!! It had like a checklist of so many things I love that it's most emphatically a Cait Book. And what is this checklist, you ask? Well, sir. Here you go: CAIT'S CHECKLIST OF GOODNESS IN BOOKS: • young genius narrator ✓ • who is totally too sassy at times because #clever ✓ • magic ✓ • plus an intensely amazing MAGIC SYSTEM THAT IS T OKAY WOW. THAT WAS FREAKING BRILLIANT AND I AM UTTERLY ABSOLUTELY ENTIRELY OBSESSED. And noooo I'm NOT GOING TO STOP SHOUTING. I shall keep shouting!! Because I loved it so!! It had like a checklist of so many things I love that it's most emphatically a Cait Book. And what is this checklist, you ask? Well, sir. Here you go: CAIT'S CHECKLIST OF GOODNESS IN BOOKS: • young genius narrator ✓ • who is totally too sassy at times because #clever ✓ • magic ✓ • plus an intensely amazing MAGIC SYSTEM THAT IS THRILLING AND COMPLEX AND YAS ✓✓✓ • epic friendships ✓ • dragons (although it was a vegetarian dragon but whatever, can't have everything) ✓ • music appreciation ✓ • evil that does not sleep ✓ • magical university • intense library appreciation Like I seriously can't flail enough. I CANNOT. I even put off writing this review because I knew I'd just be going "FJAKDSLFAD READ IT" and yet I want to convince you all more than that. So deep breaths. Here we go. NOTE : I read this via audio (narrated by Nick Podehl) and it was amazing. Well it was amazing on double-speed. Hahahha...ahem. Impatience is my middle name, also. And it was like 20+ hours long but I seriously zoomed through it because addictive. So basically it's a story about a 15 year old genius off to a magical university to learn MAGIC. Kvothe (yes I know his name is ridiculous) was absolutely my favourite creature of ever. He's clever but kind and he's witty but also a bumbling idiot at times. He LOVES music. Like he lives and breathes it. And he also loves academic stuff and has a photographic memory and aRGH I SHOULD HATE HIM BECAUSE HE'S INFURIATINGLY SMART. BUT I JUST LOVED HIM. He got into so much trouble all the time (usually because he's an idiot). But he was precious. About his name pronunciation: I've heard people say it's said like "quoth" but...well, no. The audio narrator had a hard "K" sound, so he almost said it just phonetically? "K-voth"??? I THINK??? It's hard. I'm just going to not say it outloud and that'll solve all my problems. ALSO PARDON ALL SPELLINGS IN THIS REVIEW BECAUSE I HAVEN'T SEEN A PHYSICAL COPY OF THE BOOK SO I'M JUST TYPING WHAT I HEARD. haha. This is going to be a disaster. The book is also "told" by Kvothe. It starts off with a mysterious little town and this mysterious little inkeeper (Kvothe, DUH) and he ends up narrating his life story to a passing storyteller who's writing it all down. I have so so so many questions. Like why is Kvothe hiding? What is he doing? How did he meet Bast? Can I ship him and Bast? Why is he so easily telling his life secrets? Why is he sad? Why is he not at the university? WHYYYY. GIVE ME ANSWERS. Least to say the book does NOT give me all the answers and I'm crying because I need book two. Guess who ordered it the second after finishing this? Oh yes. Yes, me. But MOSTLy the book is told in 1st person about Kvothe being 15 at the university. So it's equal parts learning complex magic things, and watching Kvothe be banned from the university, make enemies, lose all his money, be a disgusting little GENIUS, and never never stop learning because hE LOVES LEARNING. He's also addicted to books, did I mention that?? He looooves books. His #1 reason for attending uni was BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS. Okay but I do have a few negatives... Which, I mean, should make it a 4-star probably? BUT I'M OBSESSED. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!! I can even look past some of these twitch aspects, such as: • It contained some seriously irritating writing techniques...like repetition. He'd repeat, in the SAME FREAKING CHAPTER that he was "wounded and tired and a little drunk" word for word. It was a bit insulting to my intelligence, actually, and this happened a lot with the repetition. • It had some DUMB TROPES. Like oh look super happy parents. THEY'RE GONNA DIE. #cliche • The romance was a total pancake flop of a disaster. Like Denna was a major Manic Pixie Dreamgirl. Basically no personality but mysterious and beautiful and she totally lead Kvothe on AND always has another guy on her arm...I mean, if a guy was doing that I would be mad too. Romance = #unhealthy. Even though Kvothe basically friendzoned himself. #LowKeyShippingKvotheAndBast • Very very very very sexist. Basically all the women in the book can be described as "nice". That's it. And they have lots of sexist views on them too which made me want to punch someone quite frankly. ...so, like, wow. I had issues, but I still loved it. A LOT IF YOU CAN'T TELL. I also just loved how complex and detailed the world was. From the complex magic system to the detail of the history and backstories and just how BIG the world felt. It wins for me wanting to be totally sucked into this universe. Although I constantly got confused at how much kindness was in here??? Like in A Game of Thrones everyone is just alive to stab you in the back. So I was SO CONFUSED when people were genuinely nice here??? What is this???? DO I HAVE PROBLEMS? I THINK NOT. Also magical uni?!?!? YES IS ALL I CAN SAY!!! And I'm literally being Hermione over here and screaming every time Kvothe nearly gets himself expelled because he's an idiot. DUDE, YOU BETTER LOSE YOUR HEAD BEFORE YOU GET EXPELLED BECAUSE WE WILL NOT BE SQUANDERING THIS GORGEOUS LIBRARY AND UNI. DEATH BEFORE EXPULSION. Well, obviously I could flail forever. But I shall caaalm myself and just continue loving and adoring the darling Kvothe who is a genius academic musician who loves books (like the dude picked up a book in the library purely because it was about dragons??? is Kvothe me???) and this reminds me why I freaking love adult fantasy. And I want to read it all. IT ALL. AHHHHH. It didn't have a rocketing fast pace and sure, it had things that made me twitch angrily, but problematic moments aside: it's freaking brilliant storytelling and I LOVE IT.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    Upon this second reading, I've come to the conclusion that the audiobook for this isn't the greatest. SO, if you're reading it for the first time I INSIST that you read the actual book. 100% the best way to read this book. Also I am SO READY for book two.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Allison (The Allure of Books)

    Originally posted here. This is definitely one of my new favorite books, so if you're a friend of mine, prepare to have me brutally push it on you until you give in and give it a go. One of the reviews I read compared it to The Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings, saying that the book was equal to the best of fantasy written thus far. Well let me tell you, this doesn't stand alongside the fantasy greats, it knocks them off the shelves. It isn't just some fantastic epic that you read for fun Originally posted here. This is definitely one of my new favorite books, so if you're a friend of mine, prepare to have me brutally push it on you until you give in and give it a go. One of the reviews I read compared it to The Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings, saying that the book was equal to the best of fantasy written thus far. Well let me tell you, this doesn't stand alongside the fantasy greats, it knocks them off the shelves. It isn't just some fantastic epic that you read for fun and adventure (although you'll get plenty of that too). It is story of a real life. Kvothe has known pain, despair, the feeling of being completely abandoned and alone, and he has also experienced joy, love, happiness and knowledge. One chapter he is beaten half to death, the next he is being shown some of the truest acts of kindness I could ever imagine. I can't think of an emotion I didn't experience while reading. I snorted with laughter, gasped in outrage, choked back tears, shook with disbelief and trembled with anticipation. Seriously, the book has it all. What a magnificent achievement to tell this story in a completely believable way-I mean sure there are dragons and magic (sympathy)...but I mean the "real life" stuff. Here you have a 15 year old boy, who early on, had fantastic parents and a happy life as a traveling performer. When that was taken away, he lived on the streets of a large city and raised himself to be tough and cunning. He knew how smart he was, and he got himself a place in the University. Now-before you start thinking that he is portrayed as being perfect-the author never hesitates to remind you that he is still a kid! He is constantly showing off and doing outrageously idiotic things that get him into heaps of trouble. I wanted to wring his neck more than once myself! Anyway, I'm not going to try to summarize the book. I wouldn't be doing it any favors. I will say that the beginning was slow. It probably took me over a hundred pages to actually get really involved with the story. But, even that was all so mysterious and sinister that I knew sticking with it would pay off. I can't wait to read it again someday when I will be able to understand more of what was going on in the beginning. The ending. I have read a ton of reviews and comments of people saying it ruined the book and so on. I don't get that. I thought Kvothe ended his story in a perfect place to set up anticipation for the next book, and the little scene with Bast and the Chronicler that closed the story was brilliant, set up interest in the current setting. Anyway...just my opinion. Even after over 700 pages, I still don't "know" Kvothe. Isn't that the point? He isn't predictable, and he hardly ever did what I expected him to do. For that reason alone, I know the next installment will probably be even better then this one. So...quit listening to me and go meet Kvothe for yourself. Oh yeah--one more thing though. If you're a fan of the book...or really, even if you aren't, I recommend checking out Patrick Rothfuss' blog (it is posted on his website). He is hilarious, and regularly keeps me entertained. He is just the type of guy I would love hanging out with. Not in a creepy-I'm-looking-at-him-through-his-window way, more of a "hey lets eat something really unhealthy and talk about books." Anyway, he comes off as a really nice, interesting guy. Its a pleasure to read such a fantastic book by a guy that actually seems to deserve the privilege of having come up with it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    When I began reading this, I did so with a yawn. It initially appeared quite basic and completely uninspiring. I almost stopped reading after twenty five pages, shocking I know. If I did that it would have been a massive mistake because this is one of the best fantasy novels published in the last twenty years. Those first few pages did nothing to encourage me, but as soon as I realised that this is, essentially, a story about a story, I was hooked of Rothfuss’ magic. This series has such a huge s When I began reading this, I did so with a yawn. It initially appeared quite basic and completely uninspiring. I almost stopped reading after twenty five pages, shocking I know. If I did that it would have been a massive mistake because this is one of the best fantasy novels published in the last twenty years. Those first few pages did nothing to encourage me, but as soon as I realised that this is, essentially, a story about a story, I was hooked of Rothfuss’ magic. This series has such a huge scope. Kvothe’s story isn’t something that is told lightly; it is told carefully and with precision. Rothfuss has spent a lot of time setting this up, and in the process has created a lot of apprehension. Let me explain myself, Kvothe is telling his story to a chronicler who is writing down every last word. He is telling his story in the manner of a master bard who knows how superior his own tale is; he knows that his life was somewhat eventful to say the least. The reader, like the listeners, cannot prize themselves away from it. This was such an extraordinary clever technique. "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." A man of many talents and woes Kvothe certainly hasn’t had it easy. At the beginning of the book we hear about this man who has become a living legend; we hear about this man who is hero worshiped and revered. Kvothe’s nature suggests that his feats were achieved with ease, but his story tells the truth of it: here is the tale of an aracanist who had to struggle and fight his for everything he ever earnt. This may seem a little contradictory when considering his superb natural talents, but when he was a boy he lost everything; he had no family; he had no friends; he had no books, and most importantly, in this world, he had absolutely no money. He is naturally proficient at magic and all things academic; he is clearly someone who belongs at the university. However, tuitions fees cost, and he is a lowly beggar living on the streets of Trebon. Thus, a tale of hardship, magic and the struggle to survive unfolds. Rothfuss has Kvothe narrate it is such a way that you are listening in earnest for every word; he makes you feel like you are sitting in the Wayward Inn with the chronicler and Bast; he makes you feel like you are there as he tells his life story: he makes you feel like you are hearing the legendary Kvothe reveal his secrets for the first time. Of magic, music and women Try as hard as he might Kvothe could never fully repress the horrors of his past. He was separated in a most brutal manner from his parents, one that made him almost forget who he was. However, a likeminded storyteller brought him back to himself, which sent him on the path to the university. He slowly starts to remember the magic he learnt as a boy; he starts to realise, again, what he is capable of. He digs up his past and uses it to make him stronger. Indeed, through re-learning the music of his youth he finds solace and a way to pay his tuition fees. He begins to grow up and, in addition to this, he finds an unexpected friend through the power of his lute. "When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind." I really do love the way this story is told. Throughout there is the constant feeling of impending disaster, but I think Rothfuss has saved much of Kvothe’s story for the next books. He has paced this series in such a clever way. The way in which he reveals the truth behind the legends, which have been made of Kvothe’s deeds, can only be summed up as brilliantly humorous. He did “sleigh” a dragon and he did “burn” down Trebon. However, these acts were not in the conventional sense, though he did technically do both; it made me laugh. For me, this series has everything. It is an interesting magic system that is both complicated and difficult to master; it has a protagonist who is very well written and is deep in sensibility. And to top it off, he has three mistresses: magic, music and women. He tries to balance the three, but often fails extraordinarily. That doesn’t matter though because this has one of the best romances I’ve read in fantasy, and I do wonder if it will be fulfilled or forgotten. Can I please come and study at the university? The world in which this is set is developed and wonderfully written. At the end of this book, I simply wanted to join the university and explore its archives. This place has more books that can be read in a life time; it is packed full of tomes of every variety. I have a soft spot for novels that take the time to describe books and libraries, and, in the process, share a love of reading. For me, this made the university a rather desirable location, even if several staff members are confrontational and directly seek rivalries with students. This story was, simply put, excellent. There are perhaps a mere handful of fantasy novels that I’ve enjoyed reading as much as this. To my mind, Rothfuss has more than earnt his reputation. I’m so glad this book lived up to the hype, and I hope the rest of the series is as every bit as grand as its opener. The Kingkiller Chronicle 1. The Name of the Wind- A jaw dropping five stars. 2. The Wise Man's Fear - A messy four stars 2.5. A Slow Regard for Silent Things - A terrible one star

  18. 4 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind (The KingKiller Chronicle #1) is a work I should have read a long time ago. This is a magnificent and wonderfully-written epic fantasy novel! I actually started it a little over a year ago, but didn’t get very far. At the time, I had been plowing through books, and I’ve since discovered that this is not the way to get to know or appreciate The Name of the Wind. This first book in The KingKiller Chronicle emphasizes the early years of a wizard named Kvothe, Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind (The KingKiller Chronicle #1) is a work I should have read a long time ago. This is a magnificent and wonderfully-written epic fantasy novel! I actually started it a little over a year ago, but didn’t get very far. At the time, I had been plowing through books, and I’ve since discovered that this is not the way to get to know or appreciate The Name of the Wind. This first book in The KingKiller Chronicle emphasizes the early years of a wizard named Kvothe, framed against what we know (or can surmise) about the present-day fugitive Kvothe who is telling the story. In his years on the street, I heard a faint echo of Orson Scott Card’s precocious Bean (from my favorite of the Ender books, Ender’s Shadow). I also heard echoes of Colonel Aureliano Buendía from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude as well as tons of mythology. You quickly forget comparisons to other stories or mythology because Rothfuss’s storytelling makes everything uniquely his own. I’m looking forward to reading The Wise Man’s Fear (but will know better than to rush through its 994 pages)!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    ETA #2: Spare me Rothfuss fanboys who just want to pick fights over negative reviews. I thought the book sucked. My thinking the book sucked in no way impacts how much others enjoyed the book. And if you are uncomfortable that I point out the lack of strong female characters, the main character as essentially a male Mary Sue, or the fact that the entire book was pure male fantasy wish fulfillment, then perhaps you should consider some personal reflection on why those points upset you. ETA: I had ETA #2: Spare me Rothfuss fanboys who just want to pick fights over negative reviews. I thought the book sucked. My thinking the book sucked in no way impacts how much others enjoyed the book. And if you are uncomfortable that I point out the lack of strong female characters, the main character as essentially a male Mary Sue, or the fact that the entire book was pure male fantasy wish fulfillment, then perhaps you should consider some personal reflection on why those points upset you. ETA: I had to downgrade this from 2 stars to 1. I have a very visceral negative reaction whenever I am reminded of this book. I have blocked this book's existence from my mind and whenever someone mentions it, I want to foam at the mouth. I slogged through the first 200 pages and kept wondering when the plot was going to show up. The early bits were interesting but had a tendency to drag (espcially after Kvothe was by himself). After he joined the University, the story picked up a bit and became more engaging -- but there was still no real point to the book... and after finishing it, there still wasn't. Rothfuss probably planned the story arc over the span of (presumably) three books, and broke up the story at what seemed like appropriate points. But my complaint is that they weren't - by focusing on the overall story arc, there were no arcs in the individual book, and no thread that connected everything together other than Kvothe was telling the story of his life. Another irritant was Kvothe, the paragon of perfectness. He was beyond perfect. He had no flaws and after a while, it got annoying. Would it have killed the author to give his main character a zit or something? On a whim, I started filling out the Mary Sue litmust test for Kvothe but got tired of checking all the boxes. He was OSSIM at everything he tried, and not only awesome but better than people who were masters. Everyone LURVED him. If a character didn't love him, they were horrible, bad, not very good people. Women fawned over him and fell at his feet and had no other role in the story. This was an epic fail on the Bechdel test. Gag. There were enough hints of a larger plot to intrigue. I just wish that Rothfuss compressed everything more. After finishing the 700+ pages, I didn't actually get much story. I did end up liking it enough to contemplate continuing on with the second book...until learning that The Wise Man's Fear was even more of a badly plotted mess of male wish-fulfillment than The Name of the Wind.

  20. 4 out of 5

    else fine

    I really, really wish I could give this negative stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    THIS. BOOK. WAS. SO. FREAKING. GOOD. I'm not over it. Everyone was right it's amazing and I love it so much and I'm still sad the third book isn't out even though it's been basically six years it's fine EVERYTHING IS FINE. This book has all the makings of a great fantasy. Amazing world building. Characters that you connect with & that grow. Plot that moves along very well and is supremely interesting. It's got it all. One thing I also appreciated is how simple the magic system is. It's pretty e THIS. BOOK. WAS. SO. FREAKING. GOOD. I'm not over it. Everyone was right it's amazing and I love it so much and I'm still sad the third book isn't out even though it's been basically six years it's fine EVERYTHING IS FINE. This book has all the makings of a great fantasy. Amazing world building. Characters that you connect with & that grow. Plot that moves along very well and is supremely interesting. It's got it all. One thing I also appreciated is how simple the magic system is. It's pretty easy to understand the basics so there isn't a ton of info-dumping. I also listened to the audiobook part of the time and really really enjoyed it! It's just great and you should read it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    I really disliked the main character, to the extent that I couldn't get more than 1/3rd through it. The other problem I had was the language: Kvothe's eyes are described as shards of ice just a sentence before his voice is likened to a sharp steel blade. Ah well--there's lots of other high fantasy in the world.

  23. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    a review of three parts it was night again. the keys of a laptop lay in wait to create a review, and it was a review of three parts. the most obvious part was a full, echoing story, made by the letters that were written on a page. if the words came to life it would have done so in the form of a young man name kvothe, eager to know the answers to lifes greatest questions, thirsty for any knowledge he could get his hands on. if the story was written in music, it would have been composed to a review of three parts it was night again. the keys of a laptop lay in wait to create a review, and it was a review of three parts. the most obvious part was a full, echoing story, made by the letters that were written on a page. if the words came to life it would have done so in the form of a young man name kvothe, eager to know the answers to lifes greatest questions, thirsty for any knowledge he could get his hands on. if the story was written in music, it would have been composed to the sweet melody of a lute, strings plucked by gentle, but sure, fingers. if the book had the power to transport, you would find yourself in a world of magic, university lessons, travelling troupes, and dragons. in fact, the book contained all of these, and so the review grew. on goodreads, hundreds of people shared their own opinions. they posted with quiet determination, avoiding serious spoilers of troubling plots. in doing this they added a small, quiet part to the larger, fuller one. it made an alloy of sorts, a counterpoint. the third part was not an easy thing to notice. if you waited for an hour, you might begin to feel it the smoothness of the cover beneath your hands and the rough, crisp turn of each page. it was the weight of knowing that the person you were before reading this book became someone new and improved at the end of it. it was the slow back and forth of trying to remember any semblance of life you had before this story became intwined into the very fabric of your being. and it was in the hands of the girl who sat on her bed, tapping away at the black keys under her fingers that gleamed in the soft glow of the laptop screen. the girl had true brown hair, brown as a mouse. her eyes were alight and focused, and she typed with the subtle certainty that comes from reviewing many books. the laptop was hers, just as the third part was hers. this was appropriate, as it was the greatest part of the three, wrapping the others inside itself. it was deep and wide as autumns ending. it was heavy as a great river-smooth stone. it was the patient, cut-flower sound of a girl in love with a story. ↠ 5 stars

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

    I don't have words adequate enough to express how much I enjoyed this book. Kvothe is now one of my all-time favorite characters. The world Patrick Rothfuss has created is so vivid and rich and well-imagined. I ate this book up because it was SO DARN GOOD!!! Seriously, no coherent and structured review here because I am just gushing over how fantastic this book is. If you even remotely enjoy fantasy books (and especially if you don't think you like fantasy) go read this book now! 5/5 stars and a I don't have words adequate enough to express how much I enjoyed this book. Kvothe is now one of my all-time favorite characters. The world Patrick Rothfuss has created is so vivid and rich and well-imagined. I ate this book up because it was SO DARN GOOD!!! Seriously, no coherent and structured review here because I am just gushing over how fantastic this book is. If you even remotely enjoy fantasy books (and especially if you don't think you like fantasy) go read this book now! 5/5 stars and a contender for my favorite read of 2015.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Xu

    I heard a lot of hype and great things about this book from just about everyone and their mom in order to tell everyone else and their mom who has not read the book to read it so they can fall in love and rate it five stars. So I took a shot and check this book out of the library, ending up hating the book mostly because of the main character, Kovthe. Everything that he does to me might as well be a flaw, the flaw of being rational , not thinking of the consequences or the emotional effect it wo I heard a lot of hype and great things about this book from just about everyone and their mom in order to tell everyone else and their mom who has not read the book to read it so they can fall in love and rate it five stars. So I took a shot and check this book out of the library, ending up hating the book mostly because of the main character, Kovthe. Everything that he does to me might as well be a flaw, the flaw of being rational , not thinking of the consequences or the emotional effect it would have on others. I was wondering how many things that he does right then there is a flaw to follow right afterwards. I know he is still learning in this book, but where is his common sense or emotions (other than anger), I felt like he had it and throw it out the window. The main point is I felt that me as a reader does not fell sympathetic for his action, but hating it instead. He is like everything that a parent does not want their kid to become friends with or their daughters to even date. He is no gentleman. Overall, he is a very arrogant character that think he is better than everyone in everyone way possible, and he would do anything to get ahead, even if means killing you. So he is not a person to be trusted. He is my version of Sword of Truth's Richard Rahl, Soldier's Son's Nevare Burvelle or Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Thomas Covenant, which I know a lot of people hate these three characters to death by wanting to destroy those books, but I loved those three characters. I understood where and why Terry Goodkind, Robin Hobb, and Stephen R. Donaldson was coming from. Hey, at least the book is well written and readable, which made me actually finish the book. Also many compare this book to The Lies of Locke Lamora, which even the two authors acknowledge that, and have become good friends, appearing together at signings with two of the highest ratings and loyal fan followings. For me, The Lies of Locke Lamora is a book that I quite enjoyed after many tries of finally able to read the book. Also the book is like Lev Grossman's The Magicians. One is Kvothe is a mixed character just like the main character of The Magicians, Quentin, where both characters are in a love or hate relationship. Also both of those books are really hyped, but the difference is that The Magician is hyped up by all the literature crowd, while The Name of the Wind is more of fans/readers of fantasy all time favorite. The biggest difference between the two books is that The Magicians is not as well like, having an almost a star less in the ratings. Lastly, this book has the highest rating of any book I have ever seen on Goodreads. It has even a higher rating and likes than any of the Song of Ice and Fire books, which is saying something, even though it is a lot more popular. It makes me feel like I am not ever going to understand the what is so great about the book, and Partick Rothfuss. I'm not a big fan of Partick Rothfuss himself as a person just like many who hate Orson Scott Card or Terry Goodkind, but that is another story for another time. P.S. I am also not a fan of John Scalzi personal or for his books as his books for me directly mimics well known books. P.S.S. If anyone that knows me, two of my favorite characters are Drizzt and Ender, who are both the opposite as a character to Kvothe, even though the first time I heard of Kvothe, even though I had the seen the book when it came out in the bookstore, was really the first and best SUVUDU cage match 2010. It had all the top characters from Science Fiction and Fantasy up against each other. Kvothe and Drizzt was fighting it out for the third and fourth place, and I could not believe that Drizzt lost. I had to check him out. Personally I think Drizzt would have won just because he is over infinite times better of character than Kvothe ever will ever be.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kirstine

    So many of my favourite reviewers on Goodreads have praised this book to high heaven, so obviously I jumped at it without a second thought, just to end up feeling "meh" about it. It would seem, sadly, I expected too much. Something I'm not wont to do, but even the best slip up, I suppose. Still, I really hate not loving this book. However, it isn't all bad. Let me tell you the good things first, like why it's getting 3 stars: 1. The idea I love the switching back and forth between present time and t So many of my favourite reviewers on Goodreads have praised this book to high heaven, so obviously I jumped at it without a second thought, just to end up feeling "meh" about it. It would seem, sadly, I expected too much. Something I'm not wont to do, but even the best slip up, I suppose. Still, I really hate not loving this book. However, it isn't all bad. Let me tell you the good things first, like why it's getting 3 stars: 1. The idea I love the switching back and forth between present time and the past. Having Kvothe tell his life story (aka 'the story of how I became a hero and a legend') is very intriguing, and it's well executed. 2. The world-building Okay, I don't mean the entire world our cast find themselves in. It's very believable and comes to life rather effortlessly in my head, but what I really love is the university. It's awesome. It's a stroke of near-genius how Rothfuss has taken normal, real studies and given them a breath of fantasy to make them entirely different, but recognisable and endlessly cool. 3. The supporting characters Simmon, Willem, Fela, Bast, ELODIN. Especially Elodin, what a crazy, brilliant bastard with the greatest sense of humour - or, eh, well, maybe it's not a sense, per se, but he is hilarious- The readers probably appreciate it more than anyone else. I like almost all of the supporting cast (even Ambrose, he's a massive dick but he's very good at it), and that is perhaps the biggest plus in all of this. The sad fact is that, each of these points have their problems. The problem with the idea is that, despite what you may think, the beginning of Kvothe's hero career is a mess and not very interesting. The world-building is well done, and overall satisfying, but there are very few details. Rothfuss is very imaginative - he shows this often - so I refuse to believe he couldn't tell me a little bit more about how, let's say, "Heart of Stone" really works. Without this information I can't picture it very well in my head, so it loses its value and makes the whole thing a little less believable. Which is a shame, because there are so many cool concepts and I just want to know more about them. And lastly, give me all the most perfect supporting characters you can (and this is a close one), but when I don't like the main character or his love interest, we're not left in the most attractive position. All of that, though, would mean absolutely nothing (okay, maybe still a little) if the story had any sense of purpose or direction. In a vague sense it does, we know it's the story of how Kvothe became the legend he is, but the red thread, the guiding light that's supposed to show us how and why these events are important and reassure us it all leads up to something, it isn't there. It's a bit like reading a biography of someone you have never heard of, wondering why all these stories are included, and hoping they all carry some purpose, but knowing, deep inside, they probably don't. I don't want to know everything Kvothe ever did that was significant to him, I want to know everything that was significant in making him the person he became, and I feel a bit as if I'm wasting my time. WHY did you include THIS event, why choose to tell THIS, that's what I want to know, but older Kvothe provides no comments and thus, I am left in the dark, bored and frustrated. I want to trust that we're going somewhere, and rationally I know we are, but it feels like we're just moving on to move and not to get anywhere. At this pace we'll never get to see anything beyond his college years (and that would be fucking sad). It doesn't help that nothing particularly mindblowing or game changing happened in this book (view spoiler)[he doesn't even learn the name of the wind. Are you kidding me? (hide spoiler)] . Mind you, it was never truly boring, but I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere either. And that is perhaps the worst enemy of storytelling: lack of progress. Rothfuss breaks the one rule of storytelling: Make you character want something. Kvothe seems to not really know what he wants and thus the story lacks direction. I think the "climax" might have been Kvothe killing a draccus (while learning very little about the Chandrian) and wanting to be a hero, because it felt good. To be honest, the guy's a little pretentious and idiotic. Older Kvothe is much better; he might be sadder, but he's a more fulfilled (and interesting) character. I hope the next book is better with all of this, because the story has potential. And I'm dying to see Kvothe the Bloodless; Hero, Kingkiller and Namer. The story of how he was named bloodless is kind of dull and disappointing though - and perhaps this is the entire problem. Rothfuss takes a guy who's clouded in mystery, in myth and impressive tales, and makes him and his story trivial. I get that a hero can be somewhat ordinary, but please, for the love of god, let him not be boring. Seriously. Please. In all fairness let me mention it only took me a week to read it, and these darn feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration mostly happened to me afterwards. It's a fun book, very well written and the good things in it aren't simply good, they're very, very good. I'll most likely also recommend it to people, but mostly so they can get to the second, and because everyone else is head over heels with this series and who am I to deprive anyone of the possibility of such an experience?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    1.) The Name of the Wind ★★★★★ 2.) The Wise Man's Fear ★★★★★ 2.4) The Lightning Tree ★★★★★ 2.5) The Slow Regard of Silent Things ★★★★★ 3.) Doors of Stone n/a I always feel like when I write a review for a five star book I'm not doing the book justice. It's easy for me to write what worked or what didn't work, but it's hard for me to describe magic. The book even touches on this and how it's impossible to describe some things. It would be easier for me just to call this book blue fantastic and move on 1.) The Name of the Wind ★★★★★ 2.) The Wise Man's Fear ★★★★★ 2.4) The Lightning Tree ★★★★★ 2.5) The Slow Regard of Silent Things ★★★★★ 3.) Doors of Stone n/a I always feel like when I write a review for a five star book I'm not doing the book justice. It's easy for me to write what worked or what didn't work, but it's hard for me to describe magic. The book even touches on this and how it's impossible to describe some things. It would be easier for me just to call this book blue fantastic and move on. But where is the fun in that? So I'll try and probably do a mediocre attempt of explaining why the biggest regret I've made in my literary life is not reading this book sooner. “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” The Name of the Wind has been on my "to-read" list forever, but what made me push it to the top was that I've been watching Pat stream Fallout 4 for a charity he runs, Worldbuilders (which I cannot stress enough how wonderful this cause is and how you should check it out). I always have some stream running in the background when I'm home and I figured I'd give him a chance, but I didn't expect to completely fall in love with his personality. Seriously, the man has more charisma than any of the Twitch streamers out there. He's very entertaining, passionate (about this charity, books, and his post-apocalyptic city), and a natural born storyteller (much like Kvothe). I liked Mr. Rothfuss so much that I knew I had to read his book immediately and, to know surprise, it completely enthralled me. In fact, it's the best fantasy book I've ever read. The story starts in The Waystone Inn, in Neware. The owner, Kvothe/Kote, is going to tell his life's story to a scribe named Chronicler after the town has had a couple run-ins with "demons". I know the sound of an innkeeper telling a story of his past in his inn sounds a little cliché, but the story itself is so unique and good you will soon forget this is a tale being told from an inn at all. Kvothe is a very gifted child and picks up everything he does with ease. His family's troupe (traveling performance artists) is one of the best in the world. Therefore, Kvothe has dipped in many different pools to excel at. His family accepts an arcanist named Abenthy (Ben) into their troupe and Kvothe soon finds a new best friend in him. He teaches Kvothe many different abilities, most including tricks with his mind. He also teaches him more about the world and a place called The University, which could help shape Kvothe's very gifted mind. unfortunately, Ben leaves the troupe to settle down and Kvothe, his wonderful parents, and all the other performers move on with their travels. Disaster strikes and poor Kvothe soon learns the meaning of really being alone. His talented father is obsessed with writing a song about The Chandrian, who are a group of seven known in myth and folklore as bad or evil. Many people in this world fear different things, but everyone throughout Termerant fears The Chandrian. Soon, Kvothe understands why. “My parents danced together, her head on his chest. Both had their eyes closed. They seemed so perfectly content. If you can find someone like that, someone who you can hold and close your eyes to the world with, then you're lucky. Even if it only lasts for a minute or a day.” The rest is Kvothe's journey and what has made him become the man he is today, in The Waystone Inn, telling his story. I really don't want to say much more, I just hope I've swayed you into giving this series a shot if you were like me and haven't done so yet. The story is fantastic, the writing is amazing, and if you have a heart the main character will capture it. Oh, and the goose bumps I got when reading the epilogue and blissfully being connected to the very beginning for a full circle. I don't really have words, just a whole lot of feelings that I'm not sure what to do with. I cannot wait to start The Wise Man's Fear after reading this first masterpiece. “Go out in the early days of winter, after the first cold snap of the season. Find a pool of water with a sheet of ice across the top, still fresh and new and clear as glass. Near the shore the ice will hold you. Slide out farther. Farther. Eventually you'll find the place where the surface just barely bears your weight. There you will feel what I felt. The ice splinters under your feet. Look down and you can see the white cracks darting through the ice like mad, elaborate spiderwebs. It is perfectly silent, but you can feel the sudden sharp vibrations through the bottoms of your feet. That is what happened when Denna smiled at me.” Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Twitch

  28. 5 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    I just caved and bought this book, even though my birthday is in less than a month... IT'S JUST SO BEAUTIFUL I COULD NOT WAIT.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    They say writers should write what they love, what they're passionate about, and Patrick Rothfuss loves stories. The Name of the Wind introduces us to Kvothe, a legendary figure now living a quiet life as an innkeeper. This is the first book in a trilogy, and takes us through the first day of Kvothe telling his story to The Chronicler, a wandering scribe and collector of stories. Rothfuss also shows us the power of stories. Kvothe is shaped both by the stories others tell about him as he grows u They say writers should write what they love, what they're passionate about, and Patrick Rothfuss loves stories. The Name of the Wind introduces us to Kvothe, a legendary figure now living a quiet life as an innkeeper. This is the first book in a trilogy, and takes us through the first day of Kvothe telling his story to The Chronicler, a wandering scribe and collector of stories. Rothfuss also shows us the power of stories. Kvothe is shaped both by the stories others tell about him as he grows up, and eventually by the stories he tells about himself. Stories define us, just as they define the world around us. Kvothe spends much of his time seeking stories of the Chandrian. It's quite clear that Rothfuss loves this stuff. If the book isn't evidence enough for his love of story, check out the many interviews he's done and notice how often he responds by saying, "Let me tell you a story about that...." On many levels, the story of Kvothe is a familiar one. Gifted orphan goes off to magical school and becomes a hero. I know I've heard that plotline before. And some of the events of the book were a bit predictable as a result. But it doesn't matter. This isn't a book you read to discover what's going to happen; you read to discover how things will happen, and to appreciate Rothfuss' storytelling. This is both a strength and a weakness. On the one hand, though this book doesn't end so much as it simply stops, I don't feel a powerful urge to run out and grab the second book. Oh, I plan to read it, but there isn't the same urgency with which I've awaited other books. Action and plot aren't used as a blatant hook to force you to keep reading.* But when you read this book, you're immersed in Kvothe's world. The cultures and geography and characters and details, everything is amazingly well developed. According to one interview, Rothfuss spent 14 years working on this trilogy, and it shows. He knows his society, every detail from the exchange rates for various coins to the mathematical formula for calculating the power of different kinds of magic to the exact level of medical skill Kvothe receives from both your average townsperson and from the University medic. If you're a worldbuilding junkie, you should enjoy this one. While the book is basically one big flashback, we do get bits of an approaching crisis in the present day. (Rothfuss seems to enjoy this layering of stories. Fortunately, so do I.) These glimpses, brief though they are, help show us how much Kvothe has changed, how different he is from the young Kvothe of his own story. I wish I had seen a little more of the present, but I'm assuming I'll get more answers in the next books. While there's a fair amount of action, at it's heart The Name of the Wind is simply the story of Kvothe. And it's a good story. It's also a long story -- 600+ pages in book one, and we've got two more on the way. While some reviewers have complained of slow pacing, I had no problem at all. If I had to point to a weakness, it would be that some of Rothfuss' antagonists feel a bit two-dimensional. Kvothe's foes at the University are nasty, petty, and often a little dim. The Chandrian are a more interesting antagonist, but we don't really see enough of them in this book for them to feel completely real yet. (Which is appropriate, since they're creatures of legend.) Overall, this is a very good book. The fact that it's Rothfuss' first novel is even more impressive. ARCs** of The Name of the Wind included a note from Rothfuss' editor, describing the book as the best first fantasy novel she's seen in 30 years as an editor. I haven't read enough first fantasies to say the same, but for me, the book is definitely worth picking up, reading, and assuming you have time, reading again. --- *Not that there's anything wrong with that, Jim said self-consciously. **Advance Review Copy. Being a DAW author does have the occasional advantage :-)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    You can now find this review and more at Novel Notions. There are very few books that combine both plot and prose in a way that burrows into my soul and becomes part of me. The Name of the Wind is one of those few. “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.” Plenty of books touch me and move me. There are stories that enchant me and carry me away from reality. There are wri You can now find this review and more at Novel Notions. There are very few books that combine both plot and prose in a way that burrows into my soul and becomes part of me. The Name of the Wind is one of those few. “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.” Plenty of books touch me and move me. There are stories that enchant me and carry me away from reality. There are writers whose prose I meditate upon as I read, choosing a handful of sentences to store within myself like a private lyrical bouquet so that I can recall the beauty of said prose always. There are authors whose creativity and craftsmanship I trust so much that I will purchase anything they write and consume it with pleasure. But books that actually become part of me because I love them with such depth and vibrancy that I’ll still remember them on my death bed? Books that I actually yearn to reread over and over and over again? Books that I purchase again and again because I can’t help but give them away because I desire so deeply to share the experience of them with those I love or even those who are little more than strangers? Books that I would choose to cling to if I was only able to keep a handful in my possession? There just aren’t many books of that caliber or quality. As much as I love Nora Roberts, her books wouldn’t make it onto a list that limited. While I dearly love Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives, I wouldn’t haul them with me if I had mere moments to clear out of my house. I would mourn their loss, sure, but they wouldn’t be the first books I instinctually protected. The Stand. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The Emperor’s Soul. Ender’s Game. A Little Princess. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby. A Wrinkle in Time. Till We Have Faces. Jane Eyre. The Chronicles of Narnia. Watership Down. Harry Potter. The Hobbit. My tattered Bible, the copy that has seen me through good times and bad. And The Name of the Wind. These are the books I would save from a fire. These are the books that, if informed that there was a law going into effect that only allowed for the ownership of a dozen books, I would be struggling to choose between while sobbing in the middle of my shelves. And I can guarantee that one of the others would lose their spot to The Name of the Wind. Why do I love this book so much? It’s book one of a supposed trilogy that might never be completed. The author has been known to be less than gracious to his fans. In the scheme of things, not a whole lot happens plot-wise in the book. There’s a magic school, but we don’t learn an awful lot about the magic itself. The financial aspect of the book is far larger and more important than I usually enjoy. And yet. Kvothe is one of the most compelling characters I’ve ever come across in literature.. This is how an unreliable narrator is supposed to be crafted. I have no idea how much of his story I’m supposed to believe, but I choose to believe the vast majority because he’s just so convincing. Kvothe is insanely intelligent and innately talented and able to develop any skill he puts his mind to. Or, at least, so the stories say. I’m desperate to know what happened to turn Kvothe into Kote, and I will indeed mourn if Rothfuss never finishes his tale. And yet. The prose is exquisite. I’ve read some books that were beautifully written, so lovely that I read them through a sheen of tears. This is one of those books for me. There are entire sections that I will underline or highlight or type into my phone as a note or jot down in a journal, just to ensure that I don’t forget them. Some of these lines or sections are profound. Some are simply lovely. But Rothfuss is working with the same twenty-six letters that serve as the building blocks for every other author who has ever published a book in the English language. He can’t be doing anything that remarkably different, right? And yet. I think the reason this book resonates so strongly with me is how it presents the power of music. Music has always been a huge part of me life. It’s a huge part of me, and possibly the best part. Nothing speaks to my soul like music, and there is no way I express myself more fully or passionately than through music. And Rothfuss understands music, or at least understands how to write about music, better than any other author I’ve come across in my life. His descriptions of music, and Kvothe’s passion for his instrument, ring so true to me that it makes my heart ache. There have been times in my life when nothing could touch the pain I was in; nothing, that is, but music. I have played guitar until my fingers were flayed and bruised, with tears streaming down my cheeks not from the pain in my fingers but from the relief playing the music brought. I have sang until I had no voice left, and I have sobbed in front of audiences because the music moved me so deeply. Music is the language of my heart. It is also the language of Kvothe’s heart. How can I help but love him and his story? There are so many things to love about this book. The framework tale of Kote and Bast at the Waystone Inn, of the Chronicler on his journey for the story of the Kingkiller, is a wonderful tale in its own right. Kvothe’s childhood, and witnessing his trials and his growth, is a fascinating experience. The friends (and enemies) Kvothe makes along the way are well developed and interesting. I know a lot of people dislike the character of Denna, But I find her intriguing and sympathetic and I understand Kvothe’s obsession with her. The Arcanum is a vibrant setting, well conceptualized and easy to see in your mind’s eye as you read. The portrayal of music is impeccable. And as I stated earlier, the prose is beyond reproach; Rothfuss has a beautiful way with words, and his style manages to be unique while also harkening back to classical writings. I’ve read this book three times, and have owned four copies. I still have two of them, and I never collect more than one copy of a book. I buy books for the stories they hold, not for the beauty of the cover. But I made an exception for the tenth anniversary edition, because the illustrations within simply add so much to the story. I don’t have the words to express just how deeply I love this book, but I’ve made my best attempt through this review. If you haven’t read it, maybe because you’ve heard that the series has no completion date in sight or that the author can be a jerk, please don’t let those things deter you. This is a gorgeous tale exquisitely told, and it deserves to be read regardless of the notoriety surround it and its author. “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts… But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.” You can purchase this absolutely stunning anniversary edition of the book here, with free shipping worldwide!

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