Paul 'Pezski' Perry's Reviews > The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
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's review
Mar 20, 11

bookshelves: fantasy, fiction, read-in-2011, male-author
Read from February 12 to March 19, 2011

4.5 stars

I confess that there were times reading this book when I thought it dragged a little, and I did occasionally feel as though that Rothfuss had included a lot of stuff in the story that perhaps should have been backstory. However, the writing was so very good that these things are forgivable. There are points where the prose positively scintillates. Writers are often warned away from an over-use of metaphor, but this book is an example of how it can be used to superb effect; not only does Rothfuss have a poet's ear for metaphor, the use of it is always appropriate because of the way the tale is being told, as a direct first-person narrative in a tavern, but also because myth and story play such an important role in the tale and in the world he has created.

And that is another part of the bedrock that makes the book so strong. Rothfuss' world seems wonderfully complete – not so much in the references to places and peoples and languages – although they are there, often as part of the characters' everyday conversation – but in the myths and folktales and beliefs that permeate the world. This, more than anything, gives the story a solid foundation on which to rise. It is a favourite game of mine to spot which fantasy and SF authors are (or have been) roleplaying gamers; there tend to be giveaways, little hints of story construction or even references to or influences from specific games or milieux, and even before hearing an interview with Rothfuss where he talked about this the story's genesis in gaming is apparent. However, as with many gamers this was obviously an outlet and spur for his creativity, and he has used it to create both a solidly imagined world and a compelling tale.

The characterisation is broad-brush but effective. Sometimes the hero, Kvothe, comes across as a bit too perfectly heroic – too talented, too good at everything he does – and his flaws of obsession and overconfidence and occasional youthful insecurity aren't quite played on enough for my tastes; I like my heroes to be flawed. As I wrote earlier, the framed story of Kvothe's past, especially at university, does drag a little, and I wanted to be back in the current goings on more. There is a also perhaps a little too much of the triumph followed by disaster motif, until the reader is almost rolling their eyes thinking “okay, what's going to go wrong to spoil things this time?”

However, even with these minor quibbles it is a stunning first novel, along with NK Jemisin's The hundred Thousand Kingdoms the second excellent fantasy debut I've read this year. About half way through I did opine that I doubted I'd be continuing with the second volume, but even if I don't especially care about the characters I find that I am so gripped by the story and the plot that after a break for something a little different I am avid to know what becomes of Kvothe's tale.
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Reading Progress

02/12/2011 page 7
1.0% "Fabulous writing. The way Rothfuss creates character voice and builds the layers of superstition of his world is superb."
37.0% "aaargh! the earphone socket on my phone has died! as my venerable creative zen mp3 player kicked the bucket a few weeks ago i'm going to be audiobook-less until i get it fixed"
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Stewart Celani You'll love this one. =)
Can't wait for number 2!

(You read a lot of books haha!)

Paul 'Pezski' Perry You were right Stewart, i did.

and yes, I am an addict :D

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