Commentary: The Name of the Wind

Posted 28 August, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicles #1)
By: Patrick Rothfuss
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
My first review of the novel

MY NAME IS KVOTHE

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature–the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

I read this book years ago (see review) but with The Wise Man’s Fear sitting on my TBR pile gathering dust for how many years, I figured it was time to revisit this book before diving into the second novel. And so here we are (mind you it took me how many months to re-read it as other books got in the way and I had read parts of it during break at work) 😛

Like the first time around, the world-building in this novel still strikes me as amazing; it feels familiar but then there’s just so much to discover and so much that’s a mystery–from the storytelling that colours this world and the society in which these characters live in, the mysteries that lurk in this world, the University, the power in names, etc. It’s still my favourite part of the story, perhaps moreso this time around.

Having said that, the story did move a lot slower than I remembered. I mean, it’s important to get a sense of Kvothe’s backstory and how he became the person he was, the experiences that defined him and the important people who shaped his early years, but wow, it took almost 300 pages for him to get to the University? lol imagine my sigh of relief when he finally gained admittance to the University. But reading his years at the University, I feel as though I’ve personally outgrown reading books set in a magical school; it’s just a personal realisation, I think I’ve just read so many books in the last few years set in a camp or a school where the main character develops his or her abilities that I think I’m just done with it for now. That’s not to say that that segment of the book–which is most of this book, really–wasn’t important or anything, they were some of the most formative moments of Kvothe’s life (the people he met, the skills he developed, the enemies he made).

I guess part of my impatience in getting through his University experiences–and my hope for the next book–is because I’m curious about the Chandrian and Kvothe’s pursuit of it. Much of what he does is in order to chase the Chandrian and confront it for what it had done to his family, so I’m eager to see how that unfolds. I’m also curious to see how things go down between the Chronicler and Bast as I totally forgot about that twist (if you could all it that) at the end.

Overall I’m glad I had gotten around to re-reading The Name of the Wind and re-acquainting myself with the world and the characters. Didn’t quite hold up as the first time around, but I still enjoyed delving back into the story. Now I can dive into reading The Wise Man’s Fear without being completely lost about the developments to date 😛

Rating: ★★★★☆

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