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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Bought this yesterday. Over 600 pages, and I breezed through it in the night. The main character really reminds me of Severian from Book of the New Sun, especially in the way he almost flaunts his talents around. But I don't think I've really been that emotionally invested in a book before. There are cliches, like the beauty who dates a lot of guys where the main character is her friend and has romantic encounters with her that don't end up as a relationship. Also, it took practically forever for anything to happen, though it didn't drag per se. And Patrick Rothfuss did use a few little literary cliches (Little did he know...).

Still, this is one of the very few novels that I've actually laughed at the jokes, felt a stirring of pride in my chest when the character succeeds at something, and I sometimes mimicked a character's strange smile to myself when reading to get a personal experience of what the face looked like. Good thing I was alone, or I'd have a few stares directed at me.

The problem is that the book just came out (only in hardback, and it was almost $25...I can remember the exact Canadian price for some reason ---31---but not the American). And the book does a lot of foreshadowing to events I would love to see described in detail. For instance, [SPOILERS] there's a mention of a great fight scene where the main character and his opponent crack the cobblestones of the streets and no one since then has been able to repair them, and thousands of grand exploits sung throughout the land.

Anyway, as for the plot, I haven't given that out yet, now have I?

There'll be spoilers, but I won't make them too massive.

It begins with Kote, the innkeeper of the Waystone in pretty much the middle of no where. He meets up with a Chronicler, who recognizes him, and is revealed to be the legendary Kvothe. And he's ready to tell the Chronicler his amazing story, with no embellishments, trying to dispel all the ridiculous rumors surrounding his exploits. The rest of the story is divided with some interludes, revealing a set up for a plot involving strange spider 'demons' who are coming into the the middle of no where, possibly searching for Kvothe.

The flashback begins with Kvothe as a young boy (around ten), member of the Edema Ruh, which are pretty much the elite traveling musicians of the world. He meets up with an old man who goes around peddling his wares, and Kvothe believes that he is just another phony arcanist peddler. That is, until the old man, like out of the fairy tales, calls the name of the wind.

The arcanist, Abenthy, teaches Kvothe, realizing his potential (Kvothe being 'not just your ordinary run of the mill brilliance, but an extraordinary brilliance), in the ways of the arcanists. Kvothe dreams of going to the University, the magician's academy.

Kvothe's mother and father are writing a song. Tragedy strikes. I don't want to give out too many spoilers, but I'll just say it reveals the major villians of the trilogy.

Kvothe, roughly eleven, lives on his own playing his lute for almost half a year before losing too many strings on his lute until too many strings break. He wanders off into a massive city and lives as a pickpocket and thief for almost three years before heading off to the University.

He reaches it, meeting a girl in the process. He is able to enroll. He gets into a lot of trouble, loses what he had dreamed about indefinitely , makes a dangerous enemy who isn't so dangerous compared to the denizens of the backwater slums Kvothe used to live in. He pisses off one of the Masters majorly. And most of all, he looks for the Name of the Wind.

In conclusion, really an amazing book. It has cliches, but it really is forgivable in light of the many pros of the story. I especially enjoyed a few of the 'fables' told throughout the book that apply to the backdrop of the story. The story of the creator of the world is very similiar to the Christian story of Jesus and his birth, though it's about the god Telhu being born in human form to the most devout woman of the wicked times and destroying all the demons infesting the world---but one, the greatest of all, who manages to evade the God and still destroy the Major Cities of the world.

I will definitely pick up the sequels and any other stories by Patrick Rothfuss (this being his debut). Kvothe, as a main character, is up there with Severian the Torturer from The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolf and FitzChivalry Farseer from the Realm of the Elderlings saga by Robin Hobb in terms of coming-of-age fantasies that, somewhat remarkably, don't suck.

But gottdam. You might want to wait until it's out in paperback, because it's pricey.

The good news is that the entire trilogy was written ahead of time, and it was originally one book, but it would be too long (perhaps around 1800 pages, if you use the length of the first book as a judge). Patrick Rothfuss (who seems like a very chill guy in his interviews) has said he plans on publishing each book a year after the other.
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