20 March 2010 @ 06:35 pm
Book Review: "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss  
Book cover for The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Contains man in cloak walking towards tree in distance.Paperback: 722 pages
Publisher: DAW (March 27, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0756404079

Back Cover Synopsis:

'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.'


So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature - the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

My Review:
Rothfuss made his first book one that would truly stand out. It was destined to be a three part series, which Kvothe sets up himself by telling Chronicler that it will take three days to tell his story. Kvothe lives in a world similar to our own in earlier times, yet it's magic system, Sympathy, is a combination of magic and science. At times this magic system can be confusing to readers, making it sometimes frustrating. The money system is also frustrating, at least to me, because there are multiple coins that equal one another (such as America's own ten pennies = a dime). Rothfuss also does something I personally haven't witnessed in many books: he let's the character tell his own story. It's a mix of first and third person for that reason.

This may also be why Denna, or the Character with Many Names that Begin with D, is described in such a flawless way. We are seeing her solely through Kvothe's eyes rather than an author who must give flaws to his characters.

The novel's universe also has it's own sense of fairy tales, which makes it more realistic. Kvothe may learn things pretty quickly, making some judge him as an unrounded character, but I think his curiosity and anger often get the better of him, which help knock him off the pedestal of Great Characters With No Flaws to Mention Because They Are AWESOME.

Kvothe's tale contains enough mystery, trouble, and wonder to keep readers going despite the novels length. He also keeps readers hooked long enough to wait out the long process of revision that Rothfuss' second book is currently undergoing.

Overall: 4.5/5

(Note: I will be rereading the story and reviewing it immediately after because I admit that the story's flaws and pros are currently a little hazy to me since I waited so long to review it.)
 
 
 
 
( Post a new comment )
[identity profile] thorarosebird.livejournal.com on March 21st, 2010 12:01 pm (UTC)
o.o Never heard of this before, but it sounds intriguing, like how it's told. I think I might have to keep my eyes peeled for this!!
[identity profile] chibikelzafox.livejournal.com on March 21st, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, you should. It's a fantastic book. I recommend it to everyone I know. xD
[identity profile] chibikelzafox.livejournal.com on March 21st, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
'yet it's magic system, Sympathy, is a combination of magic and science.' - This has gotta be one of the best aspects of the book (of which there are many). I love how Rothfuss devised a magic system that was both fantastical (fantasy element) and believable (scientific element). Also, I think that parts of it are rooted in folklore. I remember watching a documentary about Native American culture and seeing some connections there regarding Sympathy... no doubt there are other links in ancient culture and mythology lying around. :)

'his curiosity and anger often get the better of him' - Definitely. Once or twice I began to get a sort-of Sueish vibe from him but his curiosity and anger were certainly flaws. Also, I'd note that he was just a bit arrogant and reckless. This, paired with the curiosity and anger, was a recipe for disaster.

'Kvothe's tale contains enough mystery, trouble, and wonder to keep readers going despite the novels length. ' - Another great aspect. You nailed that one. :)

Also, there's something else that needs special mention: Rothfuss's writing style. His prose is simply beautiful. I can't think of any writers to liken it to, but I haven't read much fantasy that has been written as poetically as TNoTW. I think I'll have to read it again to lose myself in the writing. It's simply stunning. :)
[identity profile] darkspirited1.livejournal.com on March 21st, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Also, I'd note that he was just a bit arrogant and reckless.
YES! I was thinking of the words when I wrote it, but I couldn't get them off my tongue and onto the paper!

Rothfuss's writing style. His prose is simply beautiful.
Yes! I'd definitely agree. I love how he ended where he started too but changed it slightly. I need to reread it again as well! I think it's one of those books you appreciate more and more as you read.