The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
“Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.
The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.
A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.”
What I thought:
Oh my word, you guys. This book? You guys, this book! This is the book my books want to be when they grow up! I have so much love for The Name of the Wind-
which makes this review difficult to write. Do you know what happens when you see nothing but the highest praise for a book, and then you buy it with the highest expectations? It falls flat. You’re disappointed.
I don’t want this to happen here, but I worry I’ll gush and do nothing but gush. I hope that, should you chose to buy it and read it yourselves, you’ll share my love for it and enjoy it just as much as I did. I don’t want to over-hype it for you, so I’ll be careful to keep this simple. (not that I think this book can be over-hyped…)
It’s a story within a story. Kvothe tells the story of his life in beautiful, honest detail, and I’d be one happy kitten if I did nothing but listen to him talk for the rest of my life. Having a day job and other responsibilities meant that I couldn’t read this book and do nothing but read this book, as much as I wanted to. (and believe me, I really wanted to)
So, how do I keep it simple? Kvothe’s voice is a very honest one. Him telling his own story is personal, and it feels more like he’s telling it to me rather me reading about it. His voice has got magic, and he’s got a way with words due to his childhood as a trouper. He knows how to string a few words together for maximum effect, and it reflects in the writing. When you give someone a background like that you really need to nail the character’s voice, and Rothfuss has done that.
The night he played at the Eolian to earn his pipes was stunning and beautifully written, and had me holding my breath when things went wrong – and then again when he somehow recovered. It was tense, and I applaud Rothfuss for making someone playing an instrument exciting.
I love Master Elodin, who’s somewhat mad as you will see.
If there’s one thing I didn’t expect when I started this book it’s that my Irish accent would come along so nicely – you’ll see why should you choose to read it. It was a bit difficult at first, but if you let it happen it gets difficult after a while to drop the accent.
I love his relationship with Denna, and the way they dance around each other. They have this special bond which is very true and very real, and Rothfuss has done a beautiful job showing it.
Before I gush any more allow me to try something new, and include a quote! It’s fairly late in the book, and stood out to me when I read it:
“The answer is that each of us has two minds: a waking mind and a sleeping mind. Our waking mind is what thinks and talks and reasons. But the sleeping mind is more powerful. It sees deeply to the heart of things. It is the part of us that dreams. It remembers everything. It gives us intuition. Your waking mind does not understand the nature of names. Your sleeping mind does. It already knows many things that your waking mind does not.”
With just over 660 pages, I was intimidated by its size. People told me that it’s a fast read despite its length, but I didn’t really believe it. When I started reading I thought I’d appreciate something shorter afterwards, but to be honest The Name of the Wind could have had a thousand pages, and I wouldn’t have minded. By the time I was around two thirds through I knew that it wasn’t long enough and that I wanted more, so instead of reading something shorter next I ordered the sequel – which, as it happens, has just under a thousand pages. So I guess I got my wish ^^
Have you read The Name of the Wind? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Amazon listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.
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