My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I first heard about The Name of the Wind maybe six months ago and since then I’ve continuously heard almost nothing but praise for the novel. At some point, I even came across Patrick Rothfuss’ blog and started following it regularly. Needless to say, by the time I finally came to reading the novel, I had hyped it up quite a great deal and, somehow, it managed to live up.
The Name of the Wind is a story about Kvothe, an incredibly intelligent and multilayered character that reminded me a lot of Ender from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. Kvothe is a bit older than Ender as the story begins, but we’re still seeing the world through the eyes of child and then a teenager for most of the novel. I tend to enjoy novels where the protagonist is a kid or a teen, especially if they are particularly gifted, and this was no exception.
The novel is often classified as epic fantasy and I expect something dark and bleak. That wasn’t really the case. It probably reminded me more of Harry Potter than A Game of Thrones, though it wasn’t all that much like either.
One of the coolest aspects of the novel is the story within a story concept. It begins with Kvothe as an adult, but then he basically becomes the narrator for vast majority of the book. Maybe it’s not the newest concept ever, but I really liked how the past continuously introduced more questions about the present. It added a little extra intrigue to the story. It was also interesting to see how different Kvothe was as a child than as an adult.
All in all, I think my favorite part of the book was the University. First of all, the concept of a school where you can learn magic (even if they teach a bunch of other stuff too) is not a new one, but this definitely had much more of an American college feel to it. It certainly brought back some not so distant memories from my college years and you can tell that Rothfuss was very fond of that time of his own life.
One thing I did not expect was the humor. No, it wasn’t Hitchhiker’s Guide caliber hilarity, but there was a number of rather amusing (and crude) jokes that made me chuckle.
Overall, I thought the novel was fantastic, an easy 5 star rating in my mind. I could barely set the book down once I started reading. I literally took the book everywhere until I was finished. I was reading during lunch, at the gym, and I stayed way too late several nights in a row because I just couldn’t bring myself to stop.
Once I did finish, I rushed over to Amazon.com to buy the next in the series, Wise Man’s Fear, and I can’t wait for it to come so I can dig in.