Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss -- Review

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is a fantasy tome. It is the first book in a series. The book is 653 pages long. The book is the story of Kvothe a singer and musician. It is a story which combones legends, naming, magic, and music in a somewhat traditional fantasy setting. The main character Kvothe is a musician and mage.

The book starts out slowly. A person comes to chronicle Kvoth's life, a wandering scholar. The account of Kvothe's life follows in a linear fashion. This book will be part of a series. On the title page are the words The Name of the Wind: The King Killer Chronicle Day One.

The story is a tragedy and the main character suffers. There are few happy endings. Kvothe leads a nice life until his family looks into the wrong tales and is killed. He is forced to live on the streets as an orphan. Using his wits and talents he gets into the Arcanum.

Kvothe is arrogant, impetuous, poor, and brilliant at a young age. This creates many enemies for him. He develops a variety of enemies at the universities including some of the teachers and a nobleman student. He is punished regularly for his actions and sometimes nasty wit. Characters develop deep passiona for and against him. Ironically, one of his teachers leaves him a copy of Rhetoric and Logic, a book which Kvothe hates which might have helped him out of many of the troubles that he is in.

Kvothe also takes incredible risks. In one part of the story he follows a firebreathing, tree eating dragon around. In another section, he sneaks into the archives at the risk of being expelled. He was caught with open flame earlier and banned from them.

The book is 653 pages long. Throughout the book there are short poems and songs:

"When the hearthfire turns to blue
What to do, What to do,
Run Outside, Run and hide"

People have more than one distinct nationality and there are snippets of foreign languages. Also there are religious legends that provide a backdrop to the story about good and evil, demons and angels.

This is a very well written book. It is quite harsh in places. It is not a swashbuckling tale, but a story of wits, music, cunning, and magic. I enjoyed the book and look forward to the next installment in the series.


Anonymous said...


I saw your note to Orna Ross on BlogCatalog about wanting to find an "entertaining grammar book." I didn't read what preceded that, but if that request was what it seemed, then I might have just the book for you. (Please pardon me for butting into your "conversation" with her if I'm wrong.)

I'm currently reading "East, Shoots and Leaves," which is actually more about punctuation than grammar, but it's definitely amusing. It's a fun -- and educational -- read that's definitely worth a look. :-)

Anonymous said...

I've never been so engrossed in a book that I've missed my train station, but that's probably more due to paranoia than the quality of my train reads.

This sounds as though it could be interesting, but does every fantasy book now have to be part of a trilogy or series? It's so rare to find one that stands alone.

Unknown said...

I will try Eats, Shoots and Leaves. It sounds entertaining.

Promised trilogies bring in more money, they ensure a continuation of cash flow after the first book in a series is published. Standalone books often don't make as much money. Also, if a person reads a book in a series, they are likely to purchase the other books in the series if they like it.

So, from a business perspective series work quite well.