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REVIEW: The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day One...

Dear Mr. Rothfuss,

By February I had heard enough people mention how eagerly they were awaiting the sequel to your first novel, 2007's The Name of the Wind, that I was intrigued and decided to pick up the first book in the series.

The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day One by Patrick RothfussThe Name of the Wind begins this way: "It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts." The following paragraphs go on to describe all three parts of the silence. The first is "a hollow, echoing quiet," the second the silence of two customers at the bar who "drank with quiet determination, avoiding serious discussions of troubling news." But it's the third silence that is most unsettling, the silence of a red-haired man polishing the bar. It was, the third person omniscient narrator tells us, "the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die. "

The red-haired man is an innkeeper who goes by the name of Kote, but he is also more than an innkeeper, and more than Kote. When a terrifying, spider-like being nearly kills one of the inn's few customers, Kote is the only one who knows what to watch out for and what to do.

Later, a man referred to as Chronicler comes to the inn, and Kote admits to Chronicler that he is Kvothe (pronounced like the word "quothe"), a famous, heroic figure now in hiding. But Kvothe doesn't see himself as others see him, and only agrees to tell Chronicler his story if Chronicler will stay at the Waystone for three days and record Kvothe's tale word for word, without altering anything.

Kvothe's story, told to Chronicler in first person, begins when Kvothe is eleven. Kvothe is one of the Edema Ruh, a highly-regarded troupe of actors and other performers. From his father Kvothe begins to soak up acting and music. From his mother, a noblewoman who left her family to be with his father, Kvothe learns etiquette.

One day the troupe takes in Abenthy, an arcanist (magic user) who helps them with lighting and special effects. Abenthy, or Ben as Kvothe calls him, was educated at the University and teaches Kvothe much of what he knows, including Sympathy, a system of magic that helps Kvothe redirect energy from one object to another. But what Kvothe most wants to learn is how Ben did something Kvothe once saw him do — call the wind so that the wind came and did Ben's bidding.

Ben refuses to teach Kvothe the name of the wind, but he does tell Kvothe's parents that Kvothe is a child prodigy, able to absorb nearly any skill with almost no mistakes. He will be the best at whatever he chooses to be, Ben informs them, so they should think carefully about what opportunities to give their son. Kvothe overhears this conversation and dreams of attending the University, but at age eleven, he does not know what lies ahead of him.

The troupe parts from Ben around the time Kvothe turns twelve, and on that occasion, Kvothe's father performs the first verse of a song he is working on. It is a song about the Chandrian, a group of legendary demons. Kvothe's father is collecting legends about them because he wants to write the definitive song, the one that hearkens back to the root of these legends.

The Chandrian are believed to be nothing more than a superstition, but one night Kvothe returns from gathering firewood to find his entire troupe dead, and the surrounding fires burning blue, a sign of the mythical Chandrian's presence. And indeed, the Chandrian are in front of him for a few moments, before they disappear.

Kvothe is left grieving and utterly alone in the world at age twelve. He forages in the forest and teaches himself to play his father's lute even better. A fateful trip to the nearby city of Tarbean in order to replace a lute string turns Kvothe into an urchin. He lives on Tarbean's streets for three years, until something reopens the memories he has shut away. Memories of his parents and of the Chandrian, of his dreams of attending the University and acquiring knowledge.

Eventually fifteen year old Kvothe arrives at the University and it is here that he makes dear friends and dangerous enemies, here that he learns greater magic, and here that he falls in love. He also cannot let go of his need to get to the bottom of the truth about the beings who killed his parents, even though it places him at great risk.

I enjoyed The Name of the Wind a great deal. One of the things I really appreciated was the device of having Kvothe's tale told by his older self, and the occasional interludes which allow us to see Kvothe in a different place in his life, and to sense danger lurking around the Waystone Inn.

This story-within-a-story structure, known in literary terms as a frame device, gave the book extra richness due to the age gap between the teenage Kvothe and the more mature and weary Kvothe who was telling the story. We got both the younger Kvothe's viewpoint and the perspective of his older, wiser self, who knows things the teenage Kvothe does not.

Alternated with these viewpoints is the third person narration of the frame story, so even though the book is mostly written in first person, there is more variety of voice, perspective and texture than in many first person books.

Still, and although we meet his family, his friends and the woman he loved, there is no question that the focus of the novel is Kvothe himself, and one of the things that kept me reading was the desire to see how he had evolved from the boy he had been to the man telling the story of his youth. Another was Kvothe's voice – witty, opinionated, and as a boy, often unwise.

I think that Kvothe could fairly be described as a Marty Stu (male equivalent of a Mary Sue) character because he is not only a child prodigy, but by age fifteen he is endowed with so many gifts – near perfect recall, a quick and strategic mind, lively curiosity, a talent for verbal sparring, a gorgeous voice and a breathtaking musicianship with the lute, to say nothing of his command of magic.

Normally so many talents in one character would be a sure way to turn me off, so Kvothe's saving grace is his propensity to making big mistakes. He takes chances that most people would not, and while some of them pay off, others land him in trouble. It is this quality, along with his witty opinions, and his vulnerability, that make the younger Kvothe so engaging and make it possible to believe in his genius.

There when many times during the reading of this book that I found myself thinking, "No Kvothe, no! Don't do it!" And he went ahead and did whatever impulsive, courageous yet unwise thing it was I wished he wouldn't do. I see my desire to spare Kvothe from pain and punishments as a sign of my huge investment in this character and his fate. His failings made him real and endearing to me.

One of other endearing things about Kvothe is that he judges people based on their behavior rather than their social status, and doesn't see himself as particularly better than anyone else. He is willing to do some shady things on occasion, but there are other moral lines which he would never in a million years cross. There is a great exchange between Kvothe and Ambrose, the university student who later becomes his nemesis.

Kvothe walks into the University's Archives to see Ambrose and a female student, Fela, at the front desk. Ambrose is sexually harassing Fela, but his family is so powerful that she can't protest, and Kvothe cannot bear to stand by and do nothing. He sees Ambrose's attempt at a poem on the desk, and sets about rescuing Fela by eviscerating Ambrose's writing.

Ambrose looked over his shoulder, scowling. "You have damnable timing, E'lir. Come back later." He turned away again, dismissing me.

I snorted and leaned over the desk, craning my neck to look at the sheet of paper he'd left lying there. "I have damnable timing? Please, you have thirteen syllables in a line here." I tapped a finger onto the page. "It's not iambic either. I don't know if it's anything metrical at all."

He turned to look at me again, his expression irritated. "Mind your tongue, E'lir. The day I come to you for help with poetry is the day–"

"- is the day you have two hours to spare," I said. "Two long hours, and that's just for getting started. "So same can the humble thrush well know its north?' I mean, I don't even know how to begin to criticize that. It practically mocks itself."

"What do you know of poetry?" Ambrose said without bothering to turn around.

"I know a limping verse when I hear it," I said. "But this isn't even limping. A limp has rhythm. This is more like someone falling down a set of stairs. Uneven stairs. With a midden at the bottom."

"It is a sprung rhythm," he said, his voice stiff and offended. "I wouldn't expect you to understand."

"Sprung?" I burst out with an incredulous laugh. "I understand that if I saw a horse with a leg this badly "sprung,' I'd kill it out of mercy, then burn its poor corpse for fear the local dogs might gnaw on it and die."

How can you not love a character like Kvothe? I couldn't help loving him. A lot of the charm of this book is Kvothe's charm, his indelible appeal, as well as the human scale of his personal story. If he isn't the hero others think he is, he is still more heroic than he gives himself credit for.

The Name of the Wind clocks in at 726 Kindle pages, or 13,459 locations. That is one long book, a huge investment of time, especially when you consider that it is only the first of the three parts of Kvothe's story. The early parts of the book, especially the beginning at the Waystone Inn and then the time Kvothe spends on the streets of Tarbean, dragged a little for me. But the vast majority of the book was greatly involving and entertaining, and there was an artistry to the narration and the dialogue that makes this book stand out among many others.

Even though I'm not usually one to embark on such long tomes, much less series that follow the same protagonists, I find myself anticipating book two. As for The Name of the Wind, it is a terrific novel and one I can easily see myself rereading. A-/A.

Sincerely,

Janine

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Janine Ballard loves well-paced, character driven novels in historical romance, fantasy, YA, and the occasional outlier genre. Recent examples include novels by Katherine Addison, Meljean Brook, Kristin Cashore, Cecilia Grant, Rachel Hartman, Ann Leckie, Jeannie Lin, Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, Miranda Neville, and Nalini Singh. Janine also writes fiction. Her critique partners are Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran and Bettie Sharpe. Her erotic short story, “Kiss of Life,” appears in the Berkley anthology AGONY/ECSTASY under the pen name Lily Daniels. You can email Janine at janineballard at gmail dot com or find her on Twitter @janine_ballard.

46 Comments

  1. Edith
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 15:52:25

    Apart from his book, which I also enjoyed, I was fortunate enough to go to one of his signings last week. It was lots of fun, a lot like his blog. If he’s anywhere near you, GO!

    The prologue to the second book also starts with three silences. He read it to us and said he knew that it was “arty” and “pretentious” and made sure it was no more than a page so people wouldn’t be put off by it.

    He did say that third book would be the last in the trilogy. He says he believes in endings. Which is a relief, since the books are doorstoppers.

    And to those who judge an author by his deeds, Rothfuss has raised thousands of dollars for Heifer by raffling off prizes and matching donations.

  2. KMont
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 15:55:28

    I’m currently reading book two, The Wise Man’s Fear, and I’m loving it just as much as I did book one. The Name of the Wind is one of THE most memorable and wonderful fantasy books I’ve ever read. Oh, and book 2 is an even bigger time investment at 994 pages. If I could I’d read straight through with no stopping.

  3. orannia
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 16:33:28

    I’ve had this book on my TBR list ever since I read a review at The Book Smugglers last year. But…its size has been putting me off. (I’m currently working my way through Janny Wurts’ War of Light and Shadow [I’m near the end of the seventh book] and tackling another big book fills with me dread – I feel like they engulf me.) So, I’ve recommended it to three people (yup, I recommended a book I haven’t read :) and they all devoured and loved it.

    So, taking into consideration my friends’ responses and and your review and the quotes…I’m just going to have to fit it in…among all the other large books – Cold Magic, The Archer’s Heart, etc. Is it just me or are books getting bigger?

    Fantastic review Janine – thank you!

  4. Carolyn Jewel
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 16:50:48

    I’m a total Rothfuss fangirl. The Name of the Wind is one of the finest Fantasy books I’ve ever read, on a par, and possibly better than George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Ice series. I have the 2nd installment (which I bought in hardback AND on Kindle — because of its size) and only need to carve out an day and a half to read it, likely in one setting.

    Thanks for reviewing one of my favorite books!

  5. Tina
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 17:17:32

    Hands down my favorite book I read this year. Rothfuss’ writing is very lyrical.

    I do agree young Kvothe was a bit of a Marty Stu but as you point out it is bearable because he is always just one step ahead of utter disaster. And really, I can’t help but enjoy someone who is just so brilliant. At one point, I had to give him a fist pump right after he aced his ‘SATs’ and invented financial aid. Sorry, I work in a college so that part really resonated with me. LOL.

  6. Marg
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 17:39:04

    Another fan girl here! I can’t wait to get my hands on The Wise Man’s Fear, although my heart jumped into my mouth when I read the comment that it is 994 pages long. How the heck am I going to fit that in? I can guarantee that I will be though!

    Great review!

  7. Jia
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 17:59:01

    The Wise Man’s Fear is enormous. I have it sitting on my table downstairs. It seriously could double as a weapon. The only book in recent memory that’s longer is the latest (non-Wheel of Time) Brandon Sanderson. (Yes, longer than 994 pages!)

  8. SonomaLass
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 19:17:36

    I LOVE long epic fantasy, when it’s good. I always know it when I read it, because on reaching the last page, I want to go back and read it again right away. The Name of the Wind was like that for me. One of the finest fantasy novels I have ever read, and that was my main genre for many years. I’m making myself wait until spring break to read the sequel (ten days!) so that I can immerse myself in it.

  9. Jennie
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 19:54:09

    Hmm, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the series or author. Epic fantasy, with a few exceptions, is not really my thing. On the other hand, Janine and I align very closely in tastes; I find it hard to believe I wouldn’t like it based on the review. I may have to hunt it down…

  10. Courtney Milan
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 20:08:38

    I loved both!

    I have to say, what saves Kvothe from the pain of being a Marty Stu is that the Marty Stu character not only has the perfect abilities, but never does anything wrong with him.

    Rothfuss rendered Kvothe with all of the detriments of a too-clever young man: someone who can out-think himself by half, and does it in painful, painful ways.

    Elodin (the master Namer at the University) is the best at bringing out the total abject horror of a brilliant, smart-ass teenager. He does it in THE NAME OF THE WIND when Kvothe does something Really Utterly Recklessly Overthought, and possibly makes himself the only protagonist to be Too Smart Too Live.

    He also does it in WISE MAN’S FEAR, too, with one of the most hilarious scenes that I have ever read. When you see Elodin say that Kvothe is not remotely asking the right questions, you’ll know what scene I mean. Kvothe is so smart that he trips over his own mind.

    His intelligence is every bit as much a character flaw as it is a lovable benefit.

    Add to all that–Rothfuss is just a mensch.

  11. ritu
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 20:57:34

    This book’s in my TBR list for what seems forever. I was waiting for the second book to come out. Did I mention I hating waiting for the books to come out? Now I have the second book waiting for me to start. And I love me a good epic fantasy.

    Anyway, does this book have a theme about war and/or features a military character? If so, I’d be able to fit it into a GoodReads challenge and I can start reading NOW as opposed to reading it a week later! And I really want to avoid spoilers/hints before reading the book!

  12. Laura Kinsale
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 20:58:00

    THE NAME OF THE WIND…Great book! (“Great title!”)

    I love it that it’s long, and longer and then longer than that. Reading vol 2 now, and looking forward to lying in bed soaking it up. Kvothe is just fun to ride along with.

  13. Janine
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 21:10:59

    @Edith:

    The prologue to the second book also starts with three silences. He read it to us and said he knew that it was “arty” and “pretentious” and made sure it was no more than a page so people wouldn't be put off by it.

    I don’t mind that kind of thing at all (there are few things I like better than an arty genre novel), and I found that his opening resonated with me even much more once I reached the epilogue.

    I had heard about his fundraising and I find it very admirable.

    @KMont: It really is a wonderful book, and I think it’s because Kvothe’s story is so personal. You come to care deeply about the him; his characterization trumps every other aspect of the book, including the worldbuilding, even though that is very well executed too.

    @orannia: You’re welcome! I doubt you will regret reading it because it is so worth reading.

    I don’t know if books in general are getting longer, but paranormal and urban fantasy are being published more, and those genres, like fantasy, have traditionally made for longer books because writers have to portray settings the reader is unfamiliar with in addition to everything else.

    @Carolyn Jewel: No, I have to thank you, because you are one of the people whose raves got me to try this book.

    @Tina:

    Hands down my favorite book I read this year. Rothfuss' writing is very lyrical.

    Oh, I agree about his writing. I read this book shortly after reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy where the prose was also immensely satisfying, and it was a treat in both cases (though I liked The Name of the Wind even better than the Pullman books).

    At one point, I had to give him a fist pump right after he aced his ‘SATs' and invented financial aid. Sorry, I work in a college so that part really resonated with me. LOL.

    Yes, that was a terrific scene and I also loved the other scenes where he had to go “on the horns” before the masters.

  14. Janine
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 21:33:27

    @Marg: Thanks. I know how you feel about the length. My husband and I are reading books aloud together in the evenings, and that is how we read this book. As you can imagine it took us quite a while.

    At one point my husband made the comment that even though Kvothe is supposedly telling this part of his tale in a day, there is no way anyone could narrate a story that long in the daylight hours of one day. But of course, it was so good that neither of us really minded.

    @Jia: I have a repetitive strain injury in my wrists and can’t even imagine holding a book that heavy for the time it would take me to read it. Thank goodness for ebook readers!

    @SonomaLass:

    I LOVE long epic fantasy, when it's good. I always know it when I read it, because on reaching the last page, I want to go back and read it again right away. The Name of the Wind was like that for me. One of the finest fantasy novels I have ever read, and that was my main genre for many years. I'm making myself wait until spring break to read the sequel (ten days!) so that I can immerse myself in it.

    I love almost any kind of book when it’s good. But I have to admit epic fantasy isn’t usually my cappuccino cup, partly because the huge casts and the emphasis on the worlds in many of the books can be distancing. When it comes to Tolkien, for example, I loved The Hobbit but (blasphemy, I know) couldn’t even finish The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    Anyhow, Kvothe’s story felt so intimate and personal that I didn’t feel any of that sense of distance I can have with epic fantasy.

    @Jennie: I hadn’t heard about it when it came out either, but apparently it was a big bestseller and hit the New York Times list, which I believe doesn’t happen that often with fantasy novels. Not that that’s always an indication of quality, but in this case, it’s great to see a well-written book find such success.

    I would be surprised if you didn’t enjoy it. As I was just saying above, the story doesn’t have that “cast of thousands” feel that many epic fantasy novels do, and also doesn’t focus on traditional fantasy tropes like a quest, a journey or a huge battle.

    Instead it’s one man’s story which happens to take place in a fantasy setting but even then, they’re not the most common fantasy settings — the backstage life of a troupe of traveling actors, a hardscrabble existence on the streets, and the demands of being a university student. I really think you would enjoy it.

  15. Janine
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 21:42:46

    @Courtney Milan:

    I have to say, what saves Kvothe from the pain of being a Marty Stu is that the Marty Stu character not only has the perfect abilities, but never does anything wrong with him.

    Rothfuss rendered Kvothe with all of the detriments of a too-clever young man: someone who can out-think himself by half, and does it in painful, painful ways.

    That’s what I tried to get at in my review but you said it far more eloquently.

    I should add that I think intelligence is one of the most difficult characteristics to portray in fiction. So many authors tell us their hero or heroine is brilliant, a genius, but few of them show the character’s brilliance in their behavior and thought process. Rothfuss did that so impressively well.

    He also does it in WISE MAN'S FEAR, too, with one of the most hilarious scenes that I have ever read.

    I can’t wait to read it. The humor was great in The Name of the Wind.

    BTW you were another of the people I saw recommending this book, so thanks for turning me on to such a great read.

    @ritu:

    Anyway, does this book have a theme about war and/or features a military character? If so, I'd be able to fit it into a GoodReads challenge and I can start reading NOW as opposed to reading it a week later! And I really want to avoid spoilers/hints before reading the book!

    Okay, without spoilers, I would say that no, it doesn’t fit that theme. Forget Goodreads and read it NOW anyway! That’s what I’d do.

    @Laura Kinsale: Glad you to hear you liked it too. “Just fun to ride along with” is a great way to put it, at least about the younger Kvothe. As for the older Kvothe… I really want to know what changed.

  16. BlueRose
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 21:47:34

    I have been raving about this book for AGES and keep loaning it to people who promptly then go and buy their own copy :)

    It *is* a huge book and a huge read but TOTALLY worth the investment in time. I have Wise Mans Fear sitting waiting, but have been so involved in dealing with earthquake drama that I havent had the mental resources left over. But soon……

  17. Janine
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 22:28:49

    @BlueRose: So sorry to hear you have been dealing with an earthquake! I hope you and all your loved ones are well.

    Agree the book is totally worth the investment in time, but I think some sections could have been a bit tighter.

  18. Jo
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 02:26:54

    *Sold* Just what I have been looking for. As someone who reads very quickly I have been looking for an epic fantasy to keep me enthralled, this looks like its right up my alley. Thanks!

  19. BlueRose
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 03:15:02

    @Jo – if you are looking for enthralling epic fantasy then I can also recommend a few by Brandon Sanderson

    Elantris
    Warbreaker

    (both standalones)

    The Way of Kings – is HUGE and the beginning of a 10 book series and I really liked it

    I also recommend Janny Wurts “War of Light and Shadow’ also huge epic fantasy

    @Janine thankyou, yes me and the house and cats and all my people are safe. Christchurch has been hit hard this time round.

  20. Estara
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 05:30:09

    I’d like to plug Michelle (Sagara) West overlooked epic fantasy – The Sun Sword (also from DAW).

    This is epic fantasy that centres around character’s relationships and various ways of dealing with an old evil AND it has the bonus that most of the characters who shape the events are women, except for two male characters I would say that all the other men in some way react and act on things that have been done by women.
    All this and we get a view of an egalitarian AND a patriarchal society through the people – men and women who live there.
    Most of the books are around 800 pages long, they only came out in paperback at the time and have the usual gorgeous Jody Lee covers.

    Re: Rothfuss – I think I wait until the last book is out, considering there were four years between book 1 and 2.

  21. Angela
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 06:33:17

    Between the awesome review, and the great comments following, I can’t wait to read this book. I’ve just downloaded it to my Kindle :D

    Thank you!

  22. Lynnd
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 07:57:23

    @Estara: I’ll second Estara’s recommendation of Michelle West’s fantasy series. She has now written prequels to the Sun Sword series (starting with Hidden City) which are excellent and a good lead in to the actual Sun Sword novels and the rest of the story is to follow.

    I’m moving The Name of the Wind up to the top of my TBR pile.

  23. Shaheen
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 08:46:30

    @ Estara “I think I wait until the last book is out, considering there were four years between book 1 and 2.”
    Me too. I tend not to read epic fantasy unless all the books are out. Then I glom for a week or so. I still haven’t read more than the first two books in Janny Wurts’ Light and Shadow series, because I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for her to finally finish it. Such a shame, I loved everything else she wrote to that point and now I don’t even look for her books anymore. Having said that, Rothfuss’ statement that he likes endings is encouraging.

  24. becca
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 09:12:20

    we bought this from Audible to listen to on a long car trip we’ll be taking shortly. I was a bit nervous about it… 27 hours for the first book, 47 hours for the second… but this review has reassured me greatly. I can hardly wait to begin!

  25. Lorenda
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 11:33:39

    Tina, this totally made me laugh.

    “I had to give him a fist pump right after he aced his ‘SATs' and invented financial aid.”

  26. loreen
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 11:44:25

    Is this a pure fantasy novel, or is there an element of romance as well? I am generally not a fan of the lengthy world-building in fantasy, but as this got a great review, I might give it a try.

  27. Janine
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 13:09:57

    @Jo, @Angela, @becca and Lynnd: I hope you all enjoy it. Please feel welcome to return and post your thoughts once you’ve read (or listened to) the book.

    @BlueRose, @Estara & @Lynnd: Thank you for the recs. And BlueRose, I’m glad everyone is safe in your house.

    @Shaheen & Estara, I understand waiting but I’m the opposite, in that I can tire of a writer’s voice if I read several of his or her books back to back. I actually prefer some spacing between books and the new trend of publishing related books close together sometimes means I have to wait a while to read a sequel that has just been published.

    @loreen: There is definitely an element of romance in the first book. Not having read the second I’m not sure how it progresses and I don’t know whether or not it will end happily.

  28. Courtney Milan
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 17:29:48

    @loreen: There’s definitely an element of romance. And I love, love, love Deena, so much harder at the end of Book #2 than Book #1.

    I have doubts as to whether there will be a happy ending to the romance. We’re stuck in a frame story in which Kvothe’s only companion is a dude.

    And for timing of Book #3, I went to a signing for WMF, and someone asked him when Book 3 would be out. Rothfuss said, “One hundred years from now. If it’s out any sooner, take it as a blessing.”

  29. Jan
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 17:48:23

    I adore this book. It was easily the best book I read in 2010. (And I read it in january, and still felt that way in december)

    Like someone else said here, it’s one of those book you want to reread the moment you finish it.

  30. dwndrgn
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 19:12:02

    There is more romance in book 2 as well. I won’t spoil it and just say that.

  31. Janine
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 19:58:00

    @Courtney Milan & dwndrgn: Thanks for letting us know about book 2. I want to read it even more now.

    @Jan: Glad you enjoyed The Name of the Wind as well.

  32. SitkaSpruce
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 00:30:35

    I love, love LOVE Name of the Wind – by far one of the best epic fantasy novels I have ever read, and Wise Man’s Fear (book 2) is no slouch either. The language, the imagery, the sheer guts of this series – I tell you what, no book in the last 20 years has managed to make me laugh out loud and yet weep like a baby AND then have the hair on my arms stand on end from horror as book 1 (& now 2). Obviously I am a big raving fangirl, but I have recommended it to many friends (of varied reading interests) and it’s been an instant hit with all of them too. For me, Rothfuss is right up there with Lois McMaster Bujold, Tolkien, Robin Hobb, George RR Martin, McKinley etc.

  33. Janine
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 11:54:12

    @SitkaSpruce:

    The language, the imagery, the sheer guts of this series – I tell you what, no book in the last 20 years has managed to make me laugh out loud and yet weep like a baby AND then have the hair on my arms stand on end from horror as book 1 (& now 2).

    I don’t know if my response to the story was as potent as yours (maybe because we read it out loud?) but obviously, I enjoyed it very much too.

  34. Auraya
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 13:22:53

    I loved this book. Since I also commute to work, I bought the ebook March 1. I found it even better, but like others right now I want to know what changed the boy into the man. Because the ‘frame’ story really makes me wonder if this doorstopper will have a happy ending.

  35. Janine
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 16:42:31

    @Auraya: I haven’t read the second book yet, but I was wondering that too.

  36. Tasha
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 16:14:33

    Fantastic book. And I’m happy to hear that the second book is worth the long (but thankfully not GRRM long) wait!

  37. K
    Mar 21, 2011 @ 19:05:40

    Courtney writes: “We're stuck in a frame story in which Kvothe's only companion is a dude.”

    I’m only partway through book 1 (just past where Kvothe tells of his parents’ death), but find myself sort of hoping that the companion’s being a dude is another layer of the companion’s disguise.

    See, the dearth of female characters has been common in the genre, so I’d have thought I’d be used to it, but in this book it’s bothering me: not an intellectual reaction, even, but more of a niggling sense that something’s missing, something’s been left out. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to romance novels? :) Maybe part of it is that the book has been such an enjoyable read otherwise, so I’ve developed higher expectations. In any case, it’s distracting.

    Rothfuss does such a wonderful job with Kvothe’s mother, and with briefly sketching characters such as Ben’s widow. I like to think that things will change, and this won’t stop me from finishing… but I can’t help but think that if Bujold or Pierce were telling the story, I’d feel more at home.

  38. BlueRose
    Mar 21, 2011 @ 19:21:18

    K I am now half way thru Wise Mans Fear – and I can tell you there is a strong female character with a lead role as well as several supporting ones that come along once he gets to the University and you see a reasonable amount of them.

    And I am just at the bit where he finally loses his virginity LOL

  39. Janine
    Mar 21, 2011 @ 20:28:36

    @K: Keep reading. You haven’t reached the part of the story where the love of Kovthe’s life has appeared, but she plays an important part in The Name of the Wind and from what I hear she is an even stronger presence in The Wise Man’s Fear. I won’t spoil the story for you by revealing her name, there is a lot of build up and it is a surprise.

  40. becca
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 13:11:27

    just back from a long car trip (Florida to Michigan) and we made it in record time, driving really long days because we didn’t want to stop listening. DH is listening to book 2 on his commute: I’m reading it on the kindle.

  41. Janine
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 13:21:14

    Oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Isn’t Kvothe wonderful? Thanks for coming back and letting me know.

  42. KalenaV
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 11:27:47

    @dwndrgn:

    Thank you for that! I just finished the audiobook of #1 and wasn’t sure about #2. I’m a bit of a relationship-addict and his interactions with Deena fell flat for me. Heart? Hormones? Anything? Perhaps its just me. I can buy their fears of intimacy and closeness but it leaves me feeling sad and empty for them. And he ends up with a fae dude and no magic in his grown-up life. Hmmmm. SHall I go on to book #2?

  43. The Name of the Wind | Susan Hated Literature
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 09:12:11

    […] reviews: Stainless Steel Droppings ; Neth Space ; Librum Incurso ; Dear author ; This entry was posted in Books and tagged 10 Stars, debut novel, ebook, epic fantasy, […]

  44. redhead
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 20:13:40

    Ahhh, The Name of the Wind, one of my top favorite ever books. There is nothing about this book I didn’t like, and it was a gateway book for me for other fantasy novels as well. It’s just so bloody fun!

    I imagine it would be a killer long audiobook, but if i could find a version narrated by David Tennant, life would be good indeed.

    Having read the 2nd book, and a few spoilery discussion threads on the TOR site, I’ve come to believe that Rothfuss does have every little detail planned out. Denna keeps coming back to Kvothe for a reason. Bast does what he does for a reason. The village where Kote/Kvothe runs his Inn isn’t on the map, for a reason. This is a story about details, and everything is a detail. It’s just incredible.

  45. andrea
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 01:12:27

    ah, it sounds amazing! adding to my reading list right now.. thanks ;)

  46. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss | Capricious Reader
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 04:45:01

    […] Steel Droppings | Dear Author | Literary Omnivore | It’s All About the Books | Have you subscribed to my RSS feed […]

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