Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss


I can't even tell you how long it's been since I read any epic fantasy. Probably 2001! I've seen an abundance of positive BookTube reviews of The Name of the Wind, the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss, and when Heather bought it for me as a wedding gift, I was off and running!
Told in Kvothe's--pronounced kind of like "quothe"--own voice, this is the tale of a gifted, observant, and cunning 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 university form a gripping coming-of-age story.  -Modified from Goodreads
Before you start making Harry Potter connections, just stop it! Very different world, very different tone, very different books. This is a chunk at 600+ pages, but it was also one of the most thoroughly immersive stories I've read in a long time. Patrick Rothfuss has a deep and abiding reverence for stories and storytelling, and that love saturates every page of this novel.

The story opens with Kvothe the innkeeper and some strange happenings in the nothing town where he lives. Demons of a sort are attacking people. Shortly after, he begins to tell his story to a scribe, and we're transported to his childhood, itself imbued with stories.  His days as a player with his parents, his love of music and performance, and his ability to put on a persona to skate through university admissions--all of it ties Kvothe to story, performance. 

It's also readily apparent that Rothfuss has an appreciation for the jack-of-all-trades, intensely curious character. I watched a video interview with him before I read the book, and I see this aspect of Rothfuss's personality play out in this book in wonderful ways. The university is a playground for Kvothe, full of knowledge and its own brand of adventure. 

As for the writing, I loved it. Chapters are short which fosters a sense of "just a little more" before bed. I was absolutely gripped, and I left my office at lunch every day to sit in my car in a parking lot and read away from distractions. I sucked it down as quickly as I possibly could and was really perturbed on a couple of nights when I could not pick it up because of extenuating circumstances. 

All this to say that I went out and bought the second book, The Wise Man's Fear, before I turned the last page of the The Name of the Wind. It's that good, and I can't wait to continue with the series. 

Pub. Date: March 2007
Publisher: Penguin Group
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 075640407X 
Source: Gift!





26 comments:

  1. I've seen so much about these books that I think I will have to break down and read them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are really good! Well, the first one is, anyway. I can't imagine that the second book is not. :)

      Delete
  2. I just know I'm going to love this but I've been putting it off as I only have the first in the series and I know I won't be able to stop at just one if I do start it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really tough waiting, but I'm not going to be able to hold off on the second book for long. I am really itching to dive into it, even though it's LONGER than the first one!

      Delete
  3. Is it weird if I say this review made me cry? There just something so happy making about having your best friend love your favorite book. I'm so happy!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AWWWWW! I love that. And your favorite favorite? LIKE ALL TIME? That's serious.

      Delete
    2. Pretty close! It might be number two. Depends on when you ask me. lol

      Delete
  4. My sister would probably love this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so! Give it to her and enable real good. :)

      Delete
  5. I've heard great things about this one. I hope you love the sequel just as much!

    I wonder why our impulse is to immediately compare books to others. As I was reading your review, my first thought was "Have you read the Magicians series by Lev Grosman?" Why is that?!?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so, too, Lindsey. Thanks! And I do the same thing. lol Now I know I need to read The Magicians series!

      Delete
  6. On my way out the door to buy this! Just what I need to kick off my summer reading after all the brain strain of the school year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY YAY YAY! I hope you eat it up!

      Delete
  7. One of my former co-workers raved about this, but until now, I've never been tempted. It's been ages since I've read any sci-fi/fantasy, so I'm due. Lovely review, Andi. And I love that it moved Heather. You two are so cute. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Les! I think this is one you could really sink your teeth into!

      Delete
  8. Saw Rothfuss at Phoenix Comicon this weekend. He was pretty hilarious and confessed to being a total geek for Gaiman. I enjoyed him a lot. Apparently he has a Kingkiller novella coming out in November: The Slow Revenge of Silent Things: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/03/a-new-novella-from-patrick-rothfuss-kingkiller-chronicles-series-arrives-november-2014

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DUDETTE! He is at the Granada Theatre in Dallas tonight and I just found out today. Totally can't go, but I WISH I COULD! Gah!

      Delete
  9. I've wanted to read this for the longest time, but it is never, and I mean never, available at the library. I'll have to buy my own copy because I definitely want to escape this heat.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't remember much about this one, but that's fine because I know I'll have to re-read it. I didn't even bother reading the second book, not when we have no clue when the final book is coming out. (This is also the reason I've never even attempted getting into A Song of Ice and Fire.)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm so glad you liked this one! I read it 6 or 7 months ago and I was pleasantly surprised. I have not yet gone for the sequel, I'm holding off until the final installment is released!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hve been so curious about this one. I guess I officially need to read it!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Totally loved it. I am not much of an 'epic fantasy' reader but I feel Rothfuss tells his tale so well it is easy to read. I am curious what you will think of the second book!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am officially convinced. Have you read the Obernewton series or the Chronicles of Lumatere by chance? Also amazing fantasy worlds.

    http://theunironicnerd.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  15. This was one of my favourite reads of last year! I will say though that book two was perhaps not as wonderful. But I am still eagerly awaiting whatever else he writes next!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm glad you liked this one. I almost started reading this 2 weeks ago, but then I remembered about the arcs I have. I'll pick it up someday

    ReplyDelete
  17. I read this book quite some time ago and really liked it, but I still haven't gotten to reading the sequel! If you get to it, I'll be interested to hear what you think :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I respond to comments individually by e-mail and/or here on the site. I value community above all else in blogging, and talking with you all is the highlight of my blogging day!