Heidi's Reviews > The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
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's review
Mar 17, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, series, owned, reviewed
Recommended for: Fantasy fans who don't care much about wand waving and like detailed world building
Read from February 16 to March 18, 2012

I'm not exactly a fan of fantasy. After countless disappointments I pretty much gave up on this genre, except for humorous fantasy (Fforde, Pratchett) and Tolkien.
I don't even remember why exactly I bought "The Name of the Wind". It sounded vaguely interesting and it was cheap, so no harm done if I didn't like it.

I was pleasantly surprised. Rothfuss takes his time to create a world and its characters which might make the plot seem slow to some, but I appreciated all the details and seemingly minor events which made everything appear surprisingly real.
Magic is approached matter-of-factly, almost scientificly, and there's a pleasant lack of explicit sex or violence (though rumour has it this changes rather drastically in The Wise Man's Fear, and that extenuates my excitement significantly).
While Rothfuss's writing style isn't flawless (he tends to repeat himself a tad too often), I still loved his colourful, lively prose, one of the main reasons why I had a hard time putting the book down.

So why not a 5 stars rating?

The novel's hero Kvothe is too 'perfect'. I've seen him described as a Gary Stu character repeatedly, and I can understand where this perception comes from. It might be nice for an author to bring the kind of man to life he always wanted to be, but someone should have told Rothfuss that too much perfection can get tedious after a while.
Kvothe's only notable flaws are his people skills, or rather the lack thereof, and a tendency towards arrogance and condescending behaviour.
No, he's not the most likeable guy, but there was something quite interesting about him nonetheless.

Denna, the obligatory love interest, was a much bigger problem. She's elusive, bland even, manipulative, capricious and pretty much everything a thoroughly clichéd female character requires. Is she supposed to be enigmatic, strong, independent? If so, it didn't work for me at all, except for some rare and short moments. She's barely more than a worn out plot device.

Despite these shortcomings, "The Name of the Wind" restored my faith that there's fantasy out there which might even appeal to me. And that's pretty close to a miracle.
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Reading Progress

02/24/2012 page 130
03/02/2012 page 302
46.0% "I had to start all over with this book, and now I'm really getting into it, though Kvothe, the main character, is a wee bit too 'perfect' for my taste."
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Meathiel (new)

Meathiel Let me know what you think about it - it's on my to-read list as well ...

Heidi Ich glaube, unser Buchgeschmack ist sehr unterschiedlich (ich lese ansonsten kaum Fantasy), deshalb dürfte meine Meinung nicht sonderlich interessant für dich sein. Ich werde aber trotzdem versuchen, daran zu denken, was allerdings noch eine ganze Weile dauern kann. Ich bin derzeit nicht in Lesestimmung.

Heidi Ich habe "The Name of the Wind" fertig gelesen und mich zu einer kurzen Besprechung durchgerungen, falls es dich noch interesieren sollte. :o)

Apatt Great review! I just bought The Wise Man's Fear a couple days ago. Hope it's as good as this 1st volume.

message 5: by elizabeth (new)

elizabeth I just had this recommended to me, and I'm normally reticient on fantasy because I just can't immerse myself in it when reading, unlike watching. My usual stumbling block is if there are dragons, because I cannot buy them in books. Are there dragons? Knowing me, do you think I would like this?

Heidi Yes, there is a dragon, and no, there isn't, not really. It's not your typical 'magical' dragon, but essentially just a huge reptile-like creature that can spit fire. Here's some info on it. The book actually mocks people who mistake it for a dragon, so if you can deal with that...

I'm terrible at judging whether someone will enjoy a book or not, and I have to know their readings habit very, very well. Otherwise my recommendations are far more miss than hit. I don't have the slightest idea whether this one might appeal to you. Sorry.

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