“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” (53).
The quote above immediately convinced me to buy The Name of the Wind. This book did not let me down. From the moment I read the opening with “a silence of three parts” I was hooked (1). Not many fantasy books have left an impression on me as Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind. If I could only use one word to describe this book ‘epic’ would do nicely. I read this book many years ago when it was just published. I recently reread it, since rumours about the third instalment of this series popped up and I wanted to refresh my memory.
The Name of the Wind is not just a book about a magician. It tells the life of Kvothe: from travelling with his family’s troupe to attending the University. The novel is focused on Kvothe’s music, studies, romances and search for a mysterious and evil group. Magic is only a small part of Kvothe’s world; still it is always subtly present. This book is well-thought-out, unpredictable and never boring. Things I hope will happen do happen, but often not in the way I expected.
What strikes me most in Patrick Rothfuss’ novels is the storytelling. The Name of the Wind is a story in a story. Kvothe himself is the narrator of the legend of Kvothe. When reading this book it is not hard to imagine yourself sitting at a campfire listening to this storyteller. It is the kind of story that gets you to tears, puts a smile on your face and leaves you feeling abandoned when you reach the last page.
Before you decide to pick up this book I must warn you: Patrick Rothfuss is without a doubt a slower writer than George R.R. Martin. The Name of the Wind was published in 2007. Its sequel The Wise Man’s Fear was published in 2011. I’ve been patiently waiting for the next part of the Kingkiller Chronicle. If this amount of time is needed to deliver an excellent book I don’t mind the wait. I am hoping for a release date soon though.
Rothfuss, Patrick. The Name of the Wind. London: Gollancz, 2007.