Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and Questions Answered

Book: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: A
For: Fun (and counts for the Once Upon a Time Challenge)
From: Amazon

After Ibeeeg's glowing review awhile back, I was so very much looking forward to this book. I had heard about it from several other places too.. only good things. So it was with much anticipation that I finally dug into it!

And it did not disappoint. It was one of those books that all I could think about was reading it. I haven't read a book for quite awhile now that kept my eyes open even when I was dreadfully sleepy, or that I wanted to truly drop all responsibility for and read. Or one that made me sad to see the end coming, even after 600 plus pages! 

This is the story of a unique man named Kvothe. We meet him in the beginning as he is running a humble inn, even though we know from the narration that there is more to him than just an innkeeper. We get a  bunch of other clues when a strange creature makes an appearance and he saves the day. Then another guy with Chronicler as his title, shows up and talks Kvothe into telling his story. Most of the book is then told in first person after that, with Kvothe telling about his life, starting when he was about 11.... and then only making it through his 15th year. There is a LOT left to tell! This boy has been through some interesting things and we know from much foreshadowing that we have really just began. So, yes, another trilogy ( I think.) And the second book has just come out.

Man, I didn't even do that summary a bit of justice.  But let's just go ahead and move onto the questions that I begged for a few days ago:

Questions by Ibeeeg from Polishing Mud Balls:

Kvothe has been known to lie which has made it difficult for some readers to believe or trust his story. Has this been difficult for you? Do you have to have complete trust in your protagonist in order to enjoy the story and their perspective?
You know, there's something about Kvothe that makes me totally and I mean TOTALLY trust him. If I find out something otherwise, I'm going to freak! Yes, I think it is important to have quite a bit of trust in a protagonist to be immersed in their story. Maybe not complete trust, I think it's okay to be a bit wary of them if something doesn't make sense to you, but you need to be sympathetic at least. But as far as Kvothe goes, I don't have a problem at all at this point. 

Another question: How do you rank Patrick Rothfuss as compared to your favorite authors? Beyond that question; how do you feel about Rothfuss's wordsmith ability? 

Oh, I loved the words! Yes, I really did. Perfect balance between description and simplicity. It was a pleasure to read. As far as ranking him with my favorites? Hmmmm... not sure on that one yet. I need to read more before I can do that. He has nothing on Markus Zusak yet anyway! But I can admit that it's possible he has a chance to make a big impression on me still.

I have asked several questions; answer one, answer them all, answer none because ultimately, all I really want to know...
How much did you love this story? blown away? amazing author? Fantastic storyline? Kvothe rank up there as one amazing character? Do you not think Rothfuss is an incredible author; world-builder/wordsmith? Yes...all those questions are really one...are you gushing over this story? 

Loved it! Pretty much blown away! Yes, amazing! Wonderfully fantastic storyline! Oh for sure on Kvothe! Love him! Yes, I loved the world and the writing! Yes, I am gushing!!! :)

Questions by Kimberly from Roquine Reads:

1. Explain the book to me! As well as your motivation to pick it up and read it please!

Well, as I said, my motivation was Ibeeeg's review found here. And I've come to know her enough to trust her judgement and that we like a lot of the same things. So I knew there was no question I had to read this book. As for explaining the book... let's just say it's a traditional fantasy, set in a different world from ours. Magic is very much explained in logic terms that I loved. The people seem real, yet different enough to make it feel fantasy-ish. There are interesting creatures, but not a TON like some fantasies have. The book is the story of this character, Kvothe, who we are led to believe is a legend of sorts. Stories are being told about him that seem far out and now he has sat down to tell the "real" story. How it all happened so to speak. 

2. Also, I doubt the wind is actually given a name in this book...but I have to ask, what is the name of the wind?
The wind does have a name. Yes very much so. And if you know it, you have much power. But of course, WE don't know the name! Much of Kvothe's motivation in the story is to learn this name. But it's not quite that easy.

Questions by Jenny from Alternate Readality:

What book would you compare this too? What did it remind you of? I ask because I have it on my TBR list but I'm wondering what it's like. Maybe I shouldn't know! Sorry, I'm all over the place.

Are there any random poems or songs in this book? That ones weird too and you don't have to answer it. I've just noticed that sometimes in a certain type of fantasy there are theses random poems or songs and I tend to get annoyed.
Oh boy. Yes there are some poems and songs! But not long hard complicated ones. They are simple and short and have to do with the story in fact. Kvothe is very musical. That's one thing I love about him. And so he talks about songs a bit, but doesn't list them in all their lyrical detail. Only a few small ones and only when it is relevant  Make sense? Also, there are quite a bit of "stories within the story" bits. Legends being told, etc. Sometimes this makes me crazy but I always find that when I just jump into it, before I know it, I'm enjoying even THAT story too, and think to myself, now see, that wasn't so bad!

Hmmm... what would I compare this too? Not Lord of the Rings. It's very different from that. It reminded me a bit of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn only in that the magic system is cool and explained to the point that you think "yeah, you could do this for real!" but not in so much detail that your eyes glaze over in confusion. It reminds me a bit of The Thief because you have this main guy, a unique interesting very multi-dimensional guy, that the story completely revolves around. Nothing else is coming to mind at the moment.

Questions by L from omphaloskepsis:
did you feel like there was any resolution to even a small story line? or is that important to you at all in the first book of any series?

Interesting question! Hmmm... was there resolution?  We are left hanging with lots of different story lines!That's why I didn't want it to end, when I could see I was running out of pages! Even though I felt like it wasn't a cliff hanger ending, I felt like the story truly had just started. Maybe one or two small side stories had a bit of a resolution, but I still feel like there's more to come with even those. 

Still I think even a first book in a series should have a conclusion. And did this one have one? Not really sure it did.... but there was that feeling of coming full circle with the whole "silence in three parts" thing. Poor Kvothe.

Questions by Melissa from One Librarian's Book Reviews:

What characters did you relate to and why? 

I'm not sure there's a particular character I related to. Maybe one girl, Fela. She likes Kvothe, but of course, he's got his eye on someone else. So she appears to be on the road to being his sidekick of sorts. If I was a character in a fantasy, I could see being a sidekick and not having their hero's full attention!

Did anything they do/experience make you think of something you did/experienced?
I'm not sure I'm asking these well, but I want to know what on a personal level do you like about this book - how do you relate to it?

The thing I relate to the most in this book is the absolute obsession Kvothe has to get into the archives... or the massive library! But what does he do the minute he gets there? Gets himself banned of course! He wants to read every single book there! And he thinks he can even. Yes, I've had that thought once or twice.. to read every book in the library. Start at the A's and go forward! I also related to the love of music talked about much. He has a voice that brings people to tears. Yes, I know a voice like that! :) When he sings and plays his lute, he makes people forget about life's stresses. I can relate. (Not to the playing of course, but to the listening!)

But as far as things he does or experiences? Not a whole lot there that I can relate too! There's crazy stuff going on and my life is very boring and ordinary!

How successful did you find the pacing? how did Rothfuss compel you to keep reading?

The pacing was wonderful. I think the biggest thing that made me want to keep reading was simply just being wrapped up in the story. And feeling a connection to Kvothe. You have this need to know what happens next... all the time... every chapter ending. It's hard to put down. I haven't read truly so late into the night, and all morning long, and all evening long like I did this past weekend, for quite some time! 

Thanks for the fun questions everyone! Makes me want to do this every review!

Bottom line: I LOVED IT! :) Now, do I buy the next book, which is hardback when I have this first one in paperback? Oh the dilemmas we face.


  1. Yay! I am so glad that you are gushing over this book! If you ever get a chance to see Patrick Rothfuss, you really should drop all your doing and go. He is a fun, fun and interseting author.

    The story reminds you of The Thief in regards to the main character. I must say, I never thought of Gen, but I agree with you. The intrigue I had with Gen is fairly close the vast amount of intrigue I have with Kvothe. I have more intrigue with Kvothe mostly because I think there is far more depth with him and his story which really is not a negative towards Gen (you know, The Thief being for the YA range whereas this one was not written specfic for that audience).

    Like you said in response to L's question, I too did not view the book with a conclusion, but I also did not feel like I was left on a cliff. It felt full circle to the extent a first book in a trilogy can.

    I hear you about the sidekick thing, but my dream would be his full attention, for sure. LOL LOL

    My question for you is; can you wait at least one year before reading the next book? I cannot so I have the hardcover. I plan on starting that book next week or so.

    This was a fun, fun review to read. I really like your idea for asking questions from your readers to answer. Fun.

  2. this was a fun review idea. I loved the questions and then hearing your answers.

    ~L (omphaloskepsis)

  3. I like the question and answer review! That was fun! Oh dear, the song and poem thing worries me. I'll still read it, though, don't worry. ;)

  4. I loved this book. So glad you enjoyed it too! I haven't yet tackled book 2, though. The size is intimidating at the moment....

  5. I just finished this one about a week ago, and I loved the musical element to it. I also liked that it was fairly unpredictable. It kept the pages turning. And there were so many kind things being done, and it balanced out the evil quite nicely. I've got book 2 on hold, but it's over 900 pages!



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