Book Review: The Name of the Wind

A few weeks ago, we published an article that listed five books on our wishlist. Last week, we reviewed a book on the list, LexiconThis week The Motley Experience reviews another book on the list, one that we were very excited to read. The Name of the Wind is the first in a three book saga by Patrick Rothfuss called, The Kingkiller Chronicle.

name of the wind

The Name of the Wind is the debut novel by fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss. As stated earlier, it is the first in a series of three books that make up the saga of The Kingkiller Chronicle. The plot of the story revolves around the main character, Kvothe, telling the true story of how he came to be known as the legendary figure known across the lands. He tells his life story to a scriv, or storyteller/reporter, that has come looking for him. For when the book begins, Kvothe goes by the name of Kote, an innkeeper in a small village.

As if the mystery of how the son of a wandering troupe became both a famous and infamous figure and then a quiet innkeeper in a peaceful village isn’t enough to grab your interest, then the world the story is set in will be. The time period and setting is similar to that found in Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings, more so the former. As it is a fantasy series, there does exist magic and unbelievable stories and mythology. However, Rothfuss crafts the world in such a way that, although still fantasy, the “fantasy elements” are more believable than most cookie-cutter fantasy novels. There is magic in the story, however not the kind of fantastical magic seen in Harry Potter. This magic is more routed in science and in transfers of energy and of knowing the true names of things that those knowledgeable in the field want to control. There is a similarity, thought, to Harry Potter in that to gain this knowledge, one must be accepted into the University where they are taught math, science, reasoning and logic, and sympathy (“magic”). The most experienced are then taught how to call upon the names of elements around them.

Without giving away too many spoilers, young Kvothe dreams of attending the University to learn the name of the wind and how to wield the powers of sympathy. Although extremely talented and exceptionally bright, Kvothe must endure unimaginable obstacles and setbacks. It is through these trial and tribulations that, together with his natural abilities, Kvothe becomes a man, and a legend.

I spent the past few days reading this book and had trouble putting it down once I became invested. It may be a slow start for some, however once all the important characters and setting have been introduced  you become swept away. There are not many action scenes in the sense of battles and war. Instead, what captures your attention is the story of a young boy growing into adulthood, with all the troubles that brings in addition to all the other aforementioned obstacles Kvothe must overcome. The writing style is also what captivated me as it is simply wonderful. The Name of the Wind was a true joy to read and I will definitely be picking up the sequel, A Wise Man’s Fear, very soon.

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