Victoria's Reviews > The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
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Mar 04, 10

bookshelves: fantasy-scifi, favorites
Read in March, 2010 — I own a copy

I cannot rave about this book enough. It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase during a visit to a local independent bookseller. The salesperson had pressed this book on me like a used car salesman and I figure he at least deserved the commission, or it might actually be as good as he said.

I must say, as I began reading the book aloud to a friend on the way home, I began to be a little skeptical. The book was all right, sure, but the first fifty pages or so were far from fantastic. It read like every other run-of-the-mill fantasy novel. When it picked up around page 100, however, I was completely hooked. My hands literally shook during some intense passages of the book, and at certain points I was sobbing so hard I had to put the book down, something I hadn't done in response to a book since I started college.

The book was everything the bookseller had said it would be. He described it as Harry Potter with a new, adult and physics-based magic system. He also stated that it was particularly good because unlike most fantasy novels, where the heroes magically come by everything they need unless their poverty is necessary for a plot point, the readers are constantly aware of precisely how much Kvothe, the main character, owes and has in his pockets. This is a comforting element that poor college kids can certainly relate to.

Perhaps my favorite element of the book, however, is its focus on words and story. Without saying too much, the book is written as if it were the main character telling his own story back, and both the magic system and the narrative itself focus on the power of stories and words, as well as the truths or deceptions that lie within them. This self-awareness of the story turned what I thought were some of the more heavy-handed, cliche fantasy moments (such as the first 50 pages, or Kvothe's relationship with his love interest) into parts that fit. It causes the reader to reminisce on other tales of valor and heroics, thus giving cohesion to this hero's tale.

Ultimately, this was an exciting, fun book to read, and one of the best fantasy novels I've read it in a long time. I'd recommend it to anyone who has the slightest tolerance for fantasy, and I cannot wait for the sequel!
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Reading Progress

03/04/2010 page 621
86.01%

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Kathy Wheeler I keep starting to buy this -- what keeps me from it is that I will then be involved in another series.


Victoria Well, in line with what I said in my review, I absolutely think you should. Moreover, the author is taking his sweet time with the sequels, which actually makes me happy. I like them to put effort, rather than speed, into them.


Kathy Wheeler Victoria wrote: "Well, in line with what I said in my review, I absolutely think you should. Moreover, the author is taking his sweet time with the sequels, which actually makes me happy. I like them to put effort,..."

I couldn't help myself. I was at Barnes & Noble last night and I bought it. I've been picking it up and putting it down for a long time. Your review tipped me over the edge! :)


Kathy Wheeler I started this book last night and I know you said it took you about 100 pages or so to get into it -- I've liked it from the beginning! I'm glad I bought it.


Victoria I'm really glad! I suppose my mistake may have been that I read the first 100 or so pages aloud to a friend on the way home, and I might have been overly critical since I wasn't sure what he might be thinking of it.

I like it when I rave about books that people also like. I hate it if I recommend a book and the person doesn't like it, even if it can't be helped.


Kathy Wheeler Me too -- if I recommend a book, I really want people to like it and I somehow feel it's my fault if they don't. (I can make anything into my fault -- it's the Catholic guilt thing.)


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