Renee's Reviews > The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
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Sep 25, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: coming-of-age, fantasy, favorites

Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant.

I finished this right around midnight and spent about a half an hour ruminating on its remarkable genius. Finally I fell asleep and was treated with some interesting dreams. This morning I woke up, checked Amazon, and realized to my chagrin that the next installment does not come out until March.

But this is the nuances of my time with the book. As for the book itself:

It is a fantasy novel, to be sure, but it is one of those epic fantasies that even individuals who generally dislike the genre will enjoy. It has been likened to Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I have to say I had only a few moments in which I was even vaguely reminded of other stories. And a few moments of similarity out of a 700+ page novel (in the mass market version) is nothing to sneeze at. Rothfuss managed to avoid cliched characters, include numerous original lyrics and sayings without sounding trite, and develop an entire world complete with its own history, socioeconomic strata, religion, and infrastructure.

Kvothe, the main character, has flaws. And not the run-of-the-mill flaws that authors tend to throw in a novel in order to avoid having a caricature (but just barely). No, Kvothe has serious flaws, and more to the point, admits this freely. He is also in equal parts heroic. This creates a situation in which the reader is ready to love him all the more...he could be the regular Joe you meet in the corner store, with an insane IQ, a mischievous humor, and a penchant for trouble. He could also be the man who hiked twenty miles into the middle of nowhere to rescue a stranded kid. Other characters are also fleshed out very well - I won't go into each one for the sake of time, but I can't think of a single one that is one-dimensional.

I loved the conversations he had with Auri. You will have to read it to see what I mean.

As for his writing, Rothfuss clearly spent a lot of time developing his style (or he is a prodigy on the level of Mozart in book form), which is layered and hard to describe without thrusting the book in someone's hand and commanding them to read. This book manages to have both the feel of hot tea and the warm blanket - and the cold, scary storm that is raging outside while you enjoy them.

I imagine that if this generates a large enough following Rothfuss will find himself approached with several movie deals (if he has not been already). I can't imagine a single screen writer, however clever they are, who would do justice to this plot without ending up with a movie 21 hours long, not including the two yet-to-come books in the trilogy.

Sigh...March is so far away...
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