The Name of the Wind Hardcover – Mar 27 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The originality of Rothfuss's outstanding debut fantasy, the first of a trilogy, lies less in its unnamed imaginary world than in its precise execution. Kvothe ("pronounced nearly the same as 'Quothe' "), the hero and villain of a thousand tales who's presumed dead, lives as the simple proprietor of the Waystone Inn under an assumed name. Prompted by a biographer called Chronicler who realizes his true identity, Kvothe starts to tell his life story. From his upbringing as an actor in his family's traveling troupe of magicians, jugglers and jesters, the Edema Ruh, to feral child on the streets of the vast port city of Tarbean, then his education at "the University," Kvothe is driven by twin imperatives—his desire to learn the higher magic of naming and his need to discover as much as possible about the Chandrian, the demons of legend who murdered his family. As absorbing on a second reading as it is on the first, this is the type of assured, rich first novel most writers can only dream of producing. The fantasy world has a new star. (Apr.)
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Travelers to the village where Kote runs an inn are rare, but those who've shown up lately have brought bad news. A sort of demonic spider attacks a local, and then Kote rescues a wandering scholar, bringing him to the inn to recover. The man recognizes Kote as the legendary hero Kvothe and begs him to reveal the reality behind all the legends. Most of the novel is Kvothe's autobiography, that of a young genius growing up in a troupe of elite traveling players, tutored by an old arcanist, until marauders (mere marauders?) destroyed it, after which he made his way to the great university and petitioned for admission. Rothfuss skillfully handles the change of Kvothe's voice from child to youth to student, and the voice of the mature Kvothe in retrospective interjections. Hints of further adventures are strewn about in this series opener, whose one problem lies in its naturally slow, unfortunately sometimes draggy pacing. Not exactly a page-turner, but fanciers of long, intricate plots will be pleased. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
The author comes in as a relative unknown in the fantasy genre with this stunning debut. I was browsing message boards on the best (recent) fantasy novels and this was recommended to me. One of the best parts about the book is the ease of the reading. I couldn't book this book down. The prose was tight, and I think every chapter adds something to greater understanding of one of the main characters, or the interesting but still relatively unexplored setting. Despite its length, you will devour this novel if you like fantasy and character driven action.
A few other reviews point out that this book is LONG. That is most certainly the case, but I absolutely believe that the book is still well-paced and eminently readable. Full of love and loss and music, this book should not be missed by anyone who calls themselves a fan of fantasy.
As mentioned by other reviewers, the story pace is on the slow side without being too slow or too long in my view. I was never bored at any point while reading this novel. There is one thing that has bothered me however and it is the fact that there is no proper ending to this novel. I know and understand that this is only the first part of a trilogy, but there is no climax near the end of the novel or any form of conclusion to any of the main story plots. I was left with a "now what?" kind of feeling. I would have preferred a more defined separation between this first tome and the next one. I will be the first to admit that this is a small issue.
Of course, when a debut comes with such high praise on its front cover, it's impossible to treat it as just another debut. For obvious reasons, all of a sudden you find yourself judging it against works such as Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World, Tad Williams' The Dragonbone Chair, George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones, Stephen R. Donaldson's Lord Foul's Bane, and other opening chapters of superior series. Understandably, this can have positive as well as negative repercussions.
In a nutshell, The Name of the Wind recounts the tale of Kvothe, a young man destined to become the most powerful wizard the world has ever seen. It begins with Kvothe's childhood years, first as a member of a traveling troupe of musicians and artists, and then as a street urchin forced to fend for himself in a violent environment. Later, the story shifts to his adolescence, at a time when he is admitted to the University, renowned school of magic.
Reading along, I found the structure of the story a little odd.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A most excellent read! Totally enthralling and entertaining! Highly recommended.Published 1 day ago by Patrick Murray
I found this to be an entertaining and thought provoking book. Characters are interesting and action sequences well written The narrative style and pace are great. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Jurgen K Deagle
The more I read this story the harder it is to put down. Makes you hope the end never happens. Can't wait for next book.Published 26 days ago by DANIEL L.
Very interesting book. Reminded me a bit of the harry potter series, which I also enjoyed. I was lost a bit a the beginning, but after a few chapters, I found myself wanting more... Read morePublished 1 month ago by ---
Great book, reminds me of a more mature Harry Potter, with more emphasis on the characters and the reality of things like feelings and emotions. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Patrick-Jeffrey Pollo Guilbert
Excellent book, very well written. English is not my first language and I still found this book fairly easy to understand. I definitely recommend!Published 1 month ago by Jonathan Hamelin