It feels wonderful to get blown away by book. And when the title matches up perfectly to turn that into a pun, it’s even better.
Like some of the better novels I’ve read, The Name of the Wind is told mostly as a story. In a small town, an unassuming innkeeper is hiding an impressive secret: he’s the most famous man in the land. Some might say infamous. Hero, lover, poet, magician, murderer, killer, he is all these things at once. Kvothe is his name and the Chronicler is here to take down his story for posterity.
Surprisingly, this book only covers Kvothe up to age 17. We learn his backstory, as a traveling actor with his ‘gypsy’-esque family. His training by an aged Arcanist, his years living on the streets and finally his acceptance and entry into the university.
The plot is wonderfully disjointed. When you read enough books or see enough movies like I do, you can start to predict when things will occur. The Name of the Wind defies that as often as it can. For every success, there is a failure. For every failure, there is another failure. And every “dull” moment is so well-written, you find yourself enraptured by the description of leaves blowing in a courtyard. Very few authors can force their reader’s to fall in love. With Patrick Rothfuss, it takes a real effort not to.
This is advanced fantasy. Fantasy at it’s best. A completely realized world, with the smart, worthy protagonist to boot. Part Lord of the Rings, part Harry Potter, and entirely original: The Name of the Wind might be the best book I read all year. I dare you to try it and not love the hell out of it.
4 out of 4 stars.
P.S. am I the only one who constantly pronounces “Kvothe” as “Covfefe”?