The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) The Name of the Wind question

For all those who don't like this book
Prachi Prachi Sep 16, 2013 12:49PM
Although the general consensus is that this book is amazing, I've come across a few people who don't like it because of the character of Kvothe. Personally, I couldn't disagree more.
Kvothe has wonderful character details. The author has shown what a young, talented boy with power will do. Every other novel shows the protagonist hating his fame & power, which is a major cliche. Kvothe may be a bit arrogant, he may be proud of his abilities, but he's not evil.
Another thing I loved was how legends have been shown in this book.How simple incidents exaggerate to become the legends and tales of Kvothe "the Bloodless". That was truly amazing.
Many people like to compare the Kingkiller Chronicles with the Harry Potter series. I admit it, nothing can ever be better than Harry Potter (except Naruto), but that doesn't mean this series is a failure. There's bound to be a difference between a 7-book & a 3-book series. But there are many things in NOTW which HP lacks, & vice-versa.
I just don't think that people should criticise such a gemstone of a book without comparing it with the general stuff available in the fantasy genre.

The whole thing was boring, it was like reading a novel of nothing but filler.

The Kvothe that runs the bar is fascinating to me. I love his reserved stoicism, leading me to wonder what lies beneath the facade. I loved Bast and wondered how he fits into the overall story. A+ for an extremely interesting set up.

Then we started in with the young Kvothe. Overall, I thought he was charming in that fresh, RPG, "young boy who takes up arms against evil" sort of way. His arrogance didn't even bother me. And I think the author does show that there were consequences to his arrogance. I laughed out loud when the professor got him to step off the roof and he fell flat on the ground.

For me, the problem is that Kvothe is not gaining any experience from his travails. He doesn't seem to be making any progress on anything he sets out to do, like finding who killed his family. Where is this king he supposedly killed? Why is he so feared or loathed or whatever that he had to go into seclusion? How did he meet Bast? We never get any answers to these important plot questions. He just keeps swimming in circles, picking up little "side quests" here and there that don't amount to anything.

Denna bugs me to distraction. Why does she keep showing up all over the place? His reactions to girls are nauseating!

I have actually read the second book also, and hoped that it would start to pick up but it just made my sense of impatience with Kvothe has only grown exponentially.

I like the book, but Kvothe seems too perfect in anything he touches. It gets on my nerves sometimes, mainly in the second book. Honestly, if it wasn't for "happening right now" episodes I would give it lower rating.

most boring book on the planet!!! could only read 167 pages, and almost killed me!

On one hand, it's a masterpiece. On the other hand, I fucking hate Kvothe.

Oh no, Patrick Rothfuss has created an amazing world. It's filled with mysteries, dangers, and all that stuff that you see in a great epic fantasy novel. Although "The name of the wind" was bearable, it was practically impossible to read "A wise man's fear". Yes, because of Kvothe. He is - The most handsome person, the best lute player, has the voice of a God, is the smartest, the most intelligent, the most talented person in the world. He's so handsome he can have sexual intercourse with a Fae that kind of kills everyone she fucks and stay alive.

That's generally what I disliked. He is basically a human manifestation of God. He is cliche, boring and with all his powers narrow minded character, whose philosophical thoughts are absolutely rubbish, and he isn't confident enough with girls. Even though you do see some hints of Kvothe's sexism.

Nah, that character just ruins everything.

My problem with this book is that it is too long. I felt like it dragged on and on. There were parts were nothing happens and when something happened it was drawn out.

Hi all! I'm conducting a survey about fan and critical receptions of The Name of the Wind, and reader communities. I'd love to investigate why this book appeals/ does not appeal so strongly to different groups of people. If you'd like to offer your thoughts, I've put together a short, fun survey here!

Honestly, I’m just bored. I’m about 30% in and I really just don’t care about this character. The writing is good, I can tell that. But there is no tension, no pull through, no story hook. I don’t feel the compulsion to read on and find out what happens next.

Rak Nay Yeah! The poety prose is not enough to maintain a whole book to me too.
Give me a story, not just cute descriptions.

Dec 26, 2019 11:12AM

I read this years ago. When I look back, I think I gave it a bit too much praise.

Kvothe is THE BIGGEST MARY SUE EVER!!! He's intolerable!!

Rak (last edited Dec 26, 2019 11:14AM ) Jul 21, 2019 02:01PM   0 votes
Prachi wrote: "Although the general consensus is that this book is amazing, I've come across a few people who don't like it because of the character of Kvothe. Personally, I couldn't disagree more.
Kvothe has won..."

Interesting that you pointed Naruto, because my only "problem" with this book is that is very similar with some light novels I read.
The whole thing about a supertalented and powerfull teenager in a fantasy world going to a magic school and doing in minutes what other people take years to learn.

Even that thing about "Is this was a story I would be doing that" is filled in light novels, "If I was in a novel I would having this or that stuff".

I like this kind of character and story,
Is very good, but I saw better in some Japanese novels.

The interesting is that the Japanese version od this book is also a light novel.
With anime-style illustrations.

I stopped reading when Kvothe was done with his university admissions interview. I dont like the main character, the last thing he did was be ungrateful for the tuition laid on him, pretty entitled. Some here argue that its because he is arrogant and/or kind of a Gary Stu. I don’t necessarily disagree but the main reason I stopped reading is because I dont root for him and dont care about his plight. So why continue the story? Damn shame since the world building is interesting. If the end of the whole story turns out to be amazing, I still wont bother with this journey with the character.

I'm being late to the thread but whatever. Did this have to be a vote topic? It makes it hard to follow.

Despite the author following a generic Hero's Journey plot it's paced in a good way and easy to read. What I liked was the world around the story. That was interesting and so was the magic. I was a bit sceptic at first about the whole thing with the names but it's a bit different than the magic of the Earthsea series, so it's fine. Kvothe is a bit overwhelming as a character.

Err. Also, OP: Maybe Naruto is better than anything in YOUR opinion, but that doesn't make it so for everyone else. Same for Harry Potter.

Xdyj (last edited Nov 09, 2013 01:58PM ) Nov 09, 2013 01:47PM   0 votes
I neither like it nor hate it, & I don't really mind that Kvothe being a Gary Stu. It's just that I don't find it better written, or having more depth, than "the general stuff available in the fantasy genre" that offers little more than some mediocre power fantasy.

I like the book and it flows very fast and is easy to read. Even though I dislike the main character Kvothe it didn't put me off reading the second book.

I think my biggest gripes though are that the story is being told from the safety of the tavern and therefore you know whatever happens he is in no danger until they have moments in the present and you miss out on being involved in that journey with the character.
Then there was the problem that I couldn't visualise any of the characters in the book. There wasn't much said about them and few details to build up a picture of them.
I'll be reading the next book, but hoping it is set in the present. I prefer the Kvothe that is stood behind the bar and also want to know more about what is going to happen than what has happened.

At first I thought OP was just joking. Then, after reading OP's justifications I thought he was just "special". Then, when I got to this part "I admit it, nothing can ever be better than Harry Potter (except Naruto)" I realized he's just trolling.

This book is so over the top it's a caricature.

Patrick (last edited Sep 17, 2013 11:24AM ) Sep 17, 2013 11:22AM   0 votes
I thought the first book in the series was just ok in terms of ideas (not execution, it was pretty bad in that regard), but I liked it for the other characters. Kvothe is the epitome of a Mary Sue (or is Gary Stu since he's male?). The fact that nothing ever goes seriously wrong for him except that he can't get with the object of his desire (Denna, who also happens to be the most annoying female character I have ever read) just turned me off. What's the point if the author goes out of his way to make the story never really impact his protagonist? Now, I'm not a big fan of the first book, but the second book is seriously one of the worst books I have ever read.

Prachi wrote: "I just don't think that people should criticise such a gemstone of a book without comparing it with the general stuff available in the fantasy genre."

i bought this at the same time as The Lies of Locke Lamora in a 241 deal. I loved locke and didnt like NoTW or Kvothe whatsoever...

lets just be glad we have different opinions or messageboards would be dull.

Naiya (last edited Sep 16, 2013 02:16PM ) Sep 16, 2013 02:10PM   0 votes
I compared it to everything else I've read, and it came up short.

It sounds like your post is suggesting that the people who don't like the book just don't know any better.

I admit it, nothing can ever be better than Harry Potter (except Naruto), but that doesn't mean this series is a failure.

Wow, now that I can't take your opinions seriously, I liked the book, was surprised it was good even though Kvothe was such a cliched character. I guess there are likenesses to Harry Potter but that is because every freaking fantasy novel seems to have an orphaned chosen one that must learn to use their power/abilities in order to defeat that which caused them to be an orphan. Potter didn't invent it, it just cashed in on writing it at a low enough level that every 4th grader could read it. Rowlings ability to write improved and she could wind a good yarn, but, technically, the series is not great. It is very formulaic. I guess both Rowling and Rothfus are good story tellers that can use cliches without it detracting from their stories, that is the comparison that I will make.

Personally, I find it difficult to rate a book until the entire story is told. The Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Tower are largely deadly until they are in context.

I am withholding judgement until the third book comes out. If it does.

But I agree on the arrogance of Kvothe, and the inconsistencies of the Deanna relationship....

I broke a rule when I read the first book when all three were not published. I haven't read the second, because, I don't want to make any more investment of time until I have access to the entire story.

The trouble with NOTW is not that Kvothe is arrogant and talented--as the OP wrote, that is refreshingly cliche-busting. The problem is that he is presented as arrogant mostly uncritically. The author offers tacit approval for Kvothe's negative character traits by presenting them as fun, honorable, and reliable.

Fortunately the frame portion and the second book show that Kvothe may be brought low at some point.

For myself, I disliked the book mainly because I felt it was shoddily written.

Oh, and Amber, there are several kings mentioned throughout the novels, so hopefully there will be lots of opportunities for Kvothe to earn his most interesting nickname :)

Childish story , irritating main character , boring and cliche. I feel cheated , reading these books . Its far the worst fantasy series ever read

I actually like Kvothe's arrogance and perfectness. It's a refreshing change from the usual "naïve young boy who isn't sure about anything" stock character who we usually have as a fantasy protagonist.

As for the third book... Well, we are going to need revelations per page to make up for the pile of questions that have been building up for the last two books.

The characters are fine, the writing is superb, but the story telling makes me want to put a bullet through my skull. Seriously, read the first 200 pages, the last 200 pages, and you're better for it without missing a thing.

Ian (last edited Oct 24, 2013 04:09AM ) Oct 23, 2013 09:23PM   0 votes
Prachi wrote: "I just don't think that people should criticise such a gemstone of a book without comparing it with the general stuff available in the fantasy genre."

I think this is the core problem - comparing this book to fantasy it is quite great. Comparing it to most other literature, it's just average.

It rambles, obsesses over useless details, and has a very unsatisfying conclusion that has no relation to the rest of the book.

It really doesn't have to do with the Kvothe character.

Every other novel shows the protagonist hating his fame & power, which is a major cliche. Kvothe may be a bit arrogant, he may be proud of his abilities, but he's not evil.

I'll be up front and admit that I greatly enjoy this series, but I think Prachi makes a good point. Kvothe is interesting because he's not your typical put-upon protagonist who had to grow out of his shyness. He's already got guts and ego. Does this mean he's annoying sometimes? Sure. Does this mean he makes choices I would not have done, or would not have expected? Sure. But I kept reading anyway because there were plenty of scenes were he charmed me and because the plot was less-predictable than if Kvothe were humble. Also, because of the framework of the story, we know a great deal of time will pass along with a great deal of sadness or fear, since Kvothe is living a lonely incognito life in a small village. I'm curious exactly how show-boat Kvothe ends up making choices that lead him there.

I'm still undecisive as to whether I liked this book series or not. I enjoyed the first book, it was a good introduction into how the character's story may have started. I liked the introduction of music into the characters personality. But there were already few hints that made me question the plausability of the story. Such as Kvothe, the innkeeper, being extremely young (mid 30s I recall) to expect a really deep story behind his "whole live of adventures". Instead I started to feel being just the description of a single major event that lead to his current situation. The young Kvothe, although not appealing to me with his know-it-all/best-at-everything attitude, it seemed to be getting brought down to his feet when he arrives to the university. Irritating later on when he does not seem to learn the lesson, or have learned the lesson as old Kvothe as he brags like the worst when opening his mouth to tell his story to Chronicle, not consistent personality. Even if all those things where true I would expect the innkeeper Kvothe to be less show-off than what's being told. the constant bragging about his relationship with women makes me dislike both young and "old" Kvothe.
A part from the character, this being just a three book story, I'd expect more advancement towards the main story line. I'd liked to see a young mature man instead of wasting time talking about sex stories of a 17 year old with his sparring teacher, so far almost finishing second book, as we know as much about the Chandrian as in the beginning of first book. Magic the same, he seems as capable as he was in first book, i do not see major advancement and getting tired of what seems to be only a teenager story about how good he is at everything.

This series is obviously strong. I read both books and enjoyed them. Many of you also read the first two books as evidenced by your comments; both good and bad. Having said that, the series so far does not compare to most of the groundbreaking and paradigm shifting novels I have read in the past. For me there have been no "oh my god! What did I just read!" moments in this series. It is just to close to a real autobiography, or what a real autobiography in a fantasy world would be. We have scenes at the school, then a little adventure away from the school, then back to the school, then away, then back, and so forth. Hints of the larger world are sprinkled in here and there, but in the end the story sticks to the daily grind of student life, almost like a television series, 'Adventures at Arcanum U.'

Having said that, the books are very easy to read. The dialogue is good and the characters are interesting. The magic system is well thought out, if a bit anti-climatic in execution. What is missing to me is the EPIC part of the Epic Fantasy. It may well go epic in book 3, or in other series he chooses to write, but as of book two I find no Epic events. No big climax is to be found, no set of events pop off the page and smack your sense of wonder, the promise is there for sure...but I am still waiting as of now.

Okay, I have read both of the books in the series that have come out so far and I can say this. The first....was not TERRIBLE but had many, many flaws. The second one is pure, unadulterated nothing. The biggest and most glaring problem with this book is that the main character is not likable. At all. He is an annoying, smug idiot who pretty much causes all his own trouble. The mainish girl he keeps running into is a chore to deal with every time she's featured. "oh, I change my name and go with different men all the time to feel wanted and have them buy me stuff, but i'm really tortured inside and blahdy blahdy blah." it wasn't endearing the 1st time she showed up and it wasn't the 10th time.
2nd. This guy's supposed to be a grizzled "i've seen some stuff in my day" but he's like...24. He's WAY too young to be one of those characters.
3rd. For recollecting stuff that happened years ago, he is WAYYY too detailed when recollecting this stuff. The way he talks to this chronicler, i couldn't even explain what I did this MORNING with that much detail. It's a bit far fetched that he can do that.
4th. The second book is more guilty of this, but oh my god the tangents. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph the tangents. This guy has a main plot going on, then abandons it to do something. Then he abandons THAT to do something else. Then he gets sidetracked going back to the second thing he was doing. He goes through at least 400 pages of nothing side tracking stories.
I could go off on further tangents myself on why I don't enjoy these two books, but I think i've made my point that it is FAR from a gem. I believe it's an overhyped bore fest. It isn't the worst thing I ever read, but it is NOT that great. I just found no enjoyment reading these two.

I liked the books, but you bring up a great point Alexandra. We have been told there is only one more book, and we know something major must happen in order for him to isolate himself in the inn. And where is the king? How is he a king-killer without a king? In fact we haven't heard much about the political structure of the "town, country, village, world" he lives in, and I don't remember any reference to a king. Unless its just another nickname he has been given based on rumors. I'm just wondering if its possible to end in one more book...

Most of what bothered me in this book and its sequel were the moments that took us out of the true narrative. The present-day segments just didn't have the same charm, and they felt contrived compared to the engaging story of young Kvothe. During these moments, we're expected just to accept the older Kvothe's arrogance, along with everyone's admiration of his persona, while waiting on affirmation of WHY we should care.

Unfortunately, I just couldn't care less while I was reading. Older Kvothe felt flat, and like a completely different character from his younger self. The other characters during these moments were similarly one-dimensional. Bast was over the top with everything he said, and as of yet has not added anything to the story by being present. We know he's Fae and is training under Kvothe, but what are his motivations? He goes on and on about getting Kvothe back to the man he used to be, but why does Bast care so much? Chronicler (I genuinely rolled my eyes when that turned out to be the name he went by) is only present as a prompt for Kvothe's story to be told. He's a means to an end and has little substance of his own.

The simple fact is that all three of these characters exist for the sole purpose of relaying the story of younger Kvothe. If you removed all of the present-day material of the books, you wouldn't miss much. The scenes with the scrael and the skinwalker are not expounded on enough for them to matter, so it feels like they're just present to add drama to otherwise boring breaks in the story. This inconsistency in the narrative is jarring, especially when the author skips over genuinely interesting material (the hardly touched shipwreck in the second novel, for instance) for humdrum filler like people coming to Chronicler to have wills written.

Michael (last edited Dec 30, 2013 08:34AM ) Nov 18, 2013 02:09PM   -1 votes
I enjoyed this book, but not as an epic fantasy. It felt more like a grittier adult take on Harry Potter to me. I do like it much better than Harry Potter, though. The characters are very interesting and memorable.

I'm editing this as I read The second book, now. I was hoping for a refreshing new realization of Kvothe and an expansion on his abilities (let us see more of his naming of the wind magic) or some different kind of story than the previous. But so far its looking very much like NOTW again, but only slightly different. I am bored now with his lute playing and his college life experiences, and completely bored with Denna who wasn't that appealing in the first story. I like young Kvothe, Elodin & Auri. Hope the plot thickens, because I am not caring much who has earned their pipe pin or how amazing Kvothe is at playing his lute. He's a mage more or less, I wanna see more of him using his abilities to get him out of bad situations.

Prachi wrote: "Although the general consensus is that this book is amazing, I've come across a few people who don't like it because of the character of Kvothe. Personally, I couldn't disagree more.
Kvothe has won..."

I agree with you on this. I really enjoyed the books as well and like the fact that the protagonist is different than the rest we are accustomed to read about.

I've just read the first comment.

I just don't think that people should criticise such a gemstone of a book without comparing it with the general stuff available in the fantasy genre.

You're kidding right? There are absolute gems of high fantasy. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, The lost world (Conan Doyle). you could even bring up Naruto. And that's just High fantasy that I know of. If you consider magic realism too then there's Gabriel Garcia Marquez who just owns the market. If you take sci-fi too then there's Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells, Ray Bradburry.

No, seriously. Ideas in the "Name of the wind" were not that bad, but Denna and Kvothe ruin everything. The execution is mediocre at the best estimate. "A wise man's fear" - Well that was one of the worst books that I have read or tried reading. And that means a lot because I've tried "Twilight".

Lisa Wonderfully stated.
Jun 21, 2019 12:07PM

Everyone who complains that Kvothe is too perfect: this story is being told by Kvothe himself, and he is making himself look a little better than he actually was. He either remembers things a little differently from how they happened, or he is lying about how awesome he was (probably a little of both). Bast says things a couple of times that strongly imply that he does not believe Kvothe--or even that he was actually there and knows that what he's saying isn't true. That's part of the point of the story.

I liked these books, but I do agree with what people are saying: the characters (especially Kvothe) are annoying, and the story does drag. Book two done, and he's still at school... Hmm. I wouldn't put the Rothfuss books up there with the epic fantasy greats (not sure I would include Harry Potter in the greats, even though I enjoyed those!) but they're definitely good reads.

I'm waaaay late to this interesting convo,

@ Vahagn & those who dislike KKC I can totally understand on many fronts, a simple one brought up regarding Kvothe getting annoying when he's perfect at everything & perhaps is the manifestation of 'God'. From a literature standpoint IMO Roth doesn't have the same success over time as Rowlings cuz it takes him a decade to write a friggin book, & he also doesn't target multiple demographics of readers, when Johnny down the block is raving about his new Potter book & he's 12, I classify Harry Potter as fun & entertaining.

BUT, are u seriously comparing either of the 2 books with 'Twilight'?

The examples u gave earlier also baffle me because u talk about high fantasy which u include Rowling with the likes of Tolkein? a Pioneer of fantasy? why not put C.S. Lewis in as well? Lord of the rings is NOT a GEM its a MUSE & MILESTONE most authors try to attain in fantasy.

I think the point is to compare authors in our current time, I see u love the classics which is great so do I when I'm in the mood, but they are in a diff. class.

I scratch my head if u can't read the differences between GRRM or Sanderson with Rowlings (essentially a 'PG' book, but can bridge generational gaps due to literary interpretation by the reader), Potter is fun but from a magical standout how about Steven Erikson? Someone also mentioned Scott Lynch, NOT the same as Rowlings, I think the 3 CURRENT authors I mentioned are just a bit more complex.

Then u mention Marquez who once again is a Pioneer, when was his last contribution? 1985 with 'Cholera'? Once again, not a GEM, a literary MILESTONE for a genre he defined with '100 Years of Solitude', he owns it because he helped create it! Not to mention he wrote a lot of Non-fiction as well, authors in THAT genre strive to be as good. I'm skipping the Sci-Fi cuz its moot for a KKC discussion?

I dunno, like peeps said, its fun to hear others opinions but bashing current authors with those that probably influenced their writing seems a bit trite.

Harry Potter and Naruto? Okay, If I ignore that part of the original post, I might be able to address it without snide remarks of disdain.

Detractors who cite the protagonist's general faultlessness in his successes are correct in their assessment that this harms the story as a whole. However, the writing quality is high enough and the story original enough that this element can be overlooked, for those who appreciate the series. That is not to say that the detractors are wrong, or that fans are blind to the criticism. The good outweighs the bad. Kvothe is certainly too perfect and a personification of what Pat probably imagines his hero-self to be, but the story is good regardless.

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