Book Review: The Name of the Wind

tuesday

notwThe Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss (2007)

Goodreads rating 4.56

‘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.

My name is Kvothe.

You may have heard of me.’

So begins the tale of Kvothe – currently known as Kote, the unassuming innkeepter – from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, through his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe the notorious magician, the accomplished thief, the masterful musician, the dragon-slayer, the legend-hunter, the lover, the thief and the infamous assassin.

Interestingly, The Name of the Wind is the highest rated book on my Goodreads (of books I have read, am currently reading, and want to read), and fair enough, too; it is pretty damn cool.

So, it started off kind of slowly, but I was intrigued by the life of the Ruh, and then by Kvothe’s life in Tarbean, so I kept reading.  Life really picked up once Kvothe was admitted to the university, his admissions interview alone sold me, and the Masters are all so grand, and cool, and mysterious.

But then I got kind of bored.  The whole Denna storyline with the Draccus… I just… I’m not a fan.  I feel like it could have been a lot more exciting than it was.  I mean, it’s a fire breathing Draccus.  And I get that she’s something of an enigma, and has a voice like a nightingale, and is a total babe but I don’t get it.  I don’t like her.  And especially not when Fela is right there for Kvothe.  But you know, this could all change in the next book.  I do like that she is her own person though, doing whatever she needs to survive.  Even if she is in love with Kvothe, he can’t exactly keep her in the fashion (*cough*fabulous riches*cough*) that she so clearly wants.  And I like that she doesn’t come running when he calls.  But I still don’t like her.

I kind of love Kvothe.  I love his curiosity, and his determination, and his smart-arsedness.  But it’s mostly the curiosity.  I love that, even as the main character of the story, things don’t come easy to him.  Think just because he’s the plucky young hero he won’t really be banned from the Archives?  Wrong.  Think that his Chosen One status will allow him to study Naming despite only having attended the University for a handful of terms?  Nope.  Think again.  And while I didn’t mind the INTERLUDES, I did find it hard to reconcile the lively and witty 15 year old Kvothe with the moody and distant barman Kote.  That said, I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not dying to find out what happened to change Kvothe so remarkably in only a handful of years.

lss

fourstars

It was great, so great, and I am excited to see how the story continues, but unfortunately, The Name of the Wind didn’t quite make it to my Number 1 Fantasy spot.

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Name of the Wind

    • It was so great, wasn’t it? I loved the NAMES of things, the thought that you can control something if you know it’s true name? Amazing. And yes, the bookend-ing of Kvothe’s three silences was just lovely.

  1. Glad you liked it! The first chapter is one of my very favorite opening chapters EVER. The writing is so lyrical and thoughtful.

    I agree that the part with the Drakkus was just … flat. Dragons are supposed to be interesting and intense, and instead, if I remember correctly, they mostly sat on a plateau and watched it burn a city or something? (My memory could be off. I haven’t read it in a year or so.) Still, this is one that I have reread several times. The Wise Man’s Fear retained a lot of the same character and strengths, and I still love the series, but it had some weaknesses. I still liked it, but Rothfuss got a little too into maturing Kvothe and abandoned the main storyline for a couple of chunks.

    • Oh, I know! The writing is so pretty and you just find yourself wanting to know more about these amazing characters, right?
      Urgh. That Draccus bit. Yeah, they pretty much sat on a rock for way too long.
      I’m excited to see where the story goes in the sequel, and I do love Kvothe (and his friends! I need more scenes with his friends!) so I’ll definitely be getting on the the next book soon.

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