Magic, music, and much more: “The Name of the Wind” book review

Kvothe, the main character in The Name of the Wind practices music with his favorite instrument, the lute.

used with permission from tumblr user hogwartshorror (Sarah), (link to blog)

Kvothe, the main character in “The Name of the Wind” practices music with his favorite instrument, the lute.

Within the vast piles of the various fantasy novels and series, it can sometimes be a daunting task to choose a new novel to read that stands out as something new and exciting. With Patrick Rothfuss’s debut novel, The Name of the Wind, published in 2007, readers can enjoy a truly spectacular and constantly enticing epic fantasy story that is sure to impress. Though it is difficult to describe the plot while doing the novel justice, I will try my best.

Following a man named Kvothe, now with an alias and working as an innkeeper, a man referred to as the Chronicler seeks him out in order to find the truth behind the famous and mysterious legends told of him. The story begins with Kvothe when he is part of a travelling performing troupe alongside his parents and the other members of the Edema Ruh. This is when he is first introduced to the art of sympathy, this novel’s most prominent form of magic. When disaster strikes with his troupe, he begins his journey to the University, where a variety of subjects, including sympathy, are taught. Part of his drive to attend the University spawns from his lifelong dream to simply go there and the other part is because he is hoping to gain answers to his questions about who attacked his troupe, and more specifically, his parents.

For anyone thinking that this plot sounds familiar to that of the famed Harry Potter series- that idea is very far from the truth. Though they both feature a school that teaches magic and deceased parents, it is not like anything that has been seen in the Harry Potter series before. Though both amazing in their own respect, The Name of the Wind has a more adult tone and has characters, plot, and motives that differ from the story of The Boy who Lived.

The Name of the Wind has a very unique and enticing plot combined with beautiful writing and a small cast of characters that the reader just cannot help but fall in love with. One of the best characters within the story is the main character himself. As opposed to other fantasy and dystopian stories, Kvothe manages to be impressive and important without being defined by common character clichés and without going on seemingly random quests and missions just to prove how impressive and important he actually is. Nothing within this story feels forced or unbelievable and it did not feel cluttered or bogged down with common fantasy tropes. Typically when a character manages to worm their way out of sticky situations, it can feel fake, too easy, or just plain annoying. However, with Kvothe, these instances feel fresh and exciting. He is a character a reader will want to root for.

Also, since Kvothe is the main character and is telling the story of his own life in a single, first person point of view, an enjoyable main character is very vital to propel the story forward and maintain the reader’s interest throughout the pages of this hefty book (the mass market paperback edition being 722 pages). Though the page count is up there, the commitment and size is definitely worth the reward a reader will get from reading this story. Though some online reviews found the novel to be a little too long and drawn out in some points personally, I found the story to be just right in terms of pacing, as I was hooked the entire time.

Thankfully, the story does not end in this one book. The sequel in the Kingkiller Chronicles, The Wise Man’s Fear, was published in 2011 and the third book, “The Doors of Stone”, is currently without a release date. Though for those anxiously awaiting the continuation of the story, there is a novella, The Slow Regard of Silent Things, released regarding one of the minor characters of the story, Auri.

In short, I have not been able to stop telling everyone around me about this book and so now I will tell the internet: Everyone, please do yourself a favor and read this book.