THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss
Publisher: DAW Books
Publication Date: March 27th, 2007
Pages: 662
Song I Played While Reading: Pray 4 Love by Travis Scott
Rating: 3 stars

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 University at a younger age than most people are allowed in, I treat 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 mans search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend. 

Where do I begin with this monstrosity? This is like Harry Potter on crack. I've heard soooOOOOO many good things about this trilogy, so my expectations were off the charts. Fantasy is my favorite genre, and this is a staple in it. Sadly, I was disappointed.
YES. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. I seem to be the only person that wasn't absolutely enthralled with this story. It had it moments, and I have to give Rothfuss a shit ton of credit for creating this incredible world, but it also didn't have it's moments.
To begin, I want to put out there that I love books rich with history. I'm nosy. I want to know the entire backstory of our main characters, the town and country they live in, endless descriptions of people and places and things. A prime example would be The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. If you've read that, and found it boring at times and didn't like the multiple narrations, know that's exactly why I loved it. I love seeing things from different perspectives. Sadly, we didnt get that in THE NAME OF THE WIND. We did, however, get a detailed description of our main character's life. That's good, right? We got all the mundane things thrown in there, and endless descriptions of people and places and things.
But Kvothe's story didn't do it for me. For many reasons.

The Writing
Rothfuss has some intense, eloquent, sophisticated writing. It took a while for me to adjust to it. But even with the adjusting, at some points everything would go over my head since it's so much information. Keeping track of characters, the names of the towns, the items he was handling, the currency, the buildings at the university, sympathy... it was a lot. And then throw in his writing style and it was like my head was exploding. And then occasionally I would come across a word I wouldn't even know. So it was a lot to take in at points.

I can count on one hand how many times I've disliked a love interest. And I'm pretty sure it was an instant dislike that slowly burned out until I adored them. But somehow Denna was the opposite; when we first met her, I thought she was okay, a little bland. But as we got to know her, she started getting on my nerves. I don't understand why everyone is so obsessed with her, especially Kvothe. Being pretty is not a legitimate excuse. I think her personality is as exciting as a potato sack, and honestly, she's kind of a bitch. She uses guys to get money, dresses, jewelry, etc, and then dumps them and wanders off. She complains that she has nothing, no family, friends, husband, money, blah blah blah, yet refuses to stick with a guy so she could build all of that. And most of them are very nice and handsome! So I don't understand. Either be with Kvothe or not, god damnit. Stop toying with him.

I knew there was a sequel. This kind of story is impossible to fit in just one book. But what I failed to realize was that the sequel, THE WISE MAN'S FEAR, was a continuation of his story. That may sound weird, but hear me out. The summary above makes it seem like Kvothe will do all of that in this one book. Why else would it be in the summary? Misleading summaries tick me off, and I was constantly trying to figure out how this plot was going to end. So once I finished it, I was mildly annoyed that we weren't even a quarter of the way done with his story. That probably sounds really dumb to you, but it's just the way I am. I wish I had known that this was a trilogy and that his story is broken up the way it is. I don't like being caught off guard like that.
Now, for being as smart as Kvothe is, he did some really stupid and reckless shit. Maybe it's because of his age, but I swear, sometimes his brain just shut off and he did things without even thinking about the consequences. The age thing could also be contributed to his overly-cocky attitude at some points, which annoyed me and made me want to smack him around a little so his head wouldn't get too big. There was this one part where Kvothe does something really reckless, and it ends with him burning down Trebon. There was no correlation with that scene and the actual plot of the story, except to boost his ego and give him even more of a reputation. That was the part where I almost DNF'd this, since it was soooooooo pointless and boring and annoying. Plus Denna was with him and I just wanted to smack her.

BUT. Even with all of that (which sounds like a lot) I really did enjoy THE NAME OF THE WIND. Enough so that I'm ordering the sequel ASAP. Rothfuss creates a fantastic magical world with characters that jump out of the pages. I was reminded a lot of Harry Potter, which is always a fun time, so if you enjoyed that and are ready take on a much more complex and adult version of that, than I highly recommend reading this.

"And then there was Ambrose. To deem us simply enemies is to lose the true flavor of our relationship. It was more like the two of us entered into a business partnership in order to more efficiently pursue our mutual interest of hating each other.

"It'll be a lot longer if you keep missing passes like that," Wilem said frankly. "She was doing everything but taking down another button for you."
Sim leaned over and lay his hand on my shoulder, the very picture of the concerned friend. "Kvothe, I've been meaning to talk to you about this very problem. If you honestly couldn't tell that she was interested in you, you might want to admit the possibility that you're impossibly thick when it comes to woman. You may want to consider the priesthood."

"Yes, since I am forced to pick, I would choose selas."
She looked at me. Looked away. "You think too much of me."
I smiled. "Perhaps you think too little of yourself."

"Was Fenton mad?"
"Furious," Willem said calmly, finally entering the conversation. "Said he was going to box your ears next time he saw you."
Sims grin widened. "He called you a fluff-headed E'lir with no respect for his betters."
"Made claims about your parentage and sexual tendency towards animals," Wilem said with a straight face."


  1. I'm sorry to see that you were disappointed. I may still give it a chance because the hype almost makes me want to read it more.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. I definitely recommend checking it out! Like I said, even with the bad stuff, it still managed to hook me in. Hopefully the next installment will be more enjoyable :)

  2. I own this one but I haven't picked it up yet. I'm so intimidated by epic fantasy. (I also have The Final Empire and The Way of Kings, both by Brandon Sanderson, both of which I haven't read.) I think that it's not just the size of the book, but also the sophistication of the writing, too. It definitely takes some getting used to. I stopped reading Game of Thrones about 100 pages in, but I plan to pick it up again one day. I loved The Queen of the Tearling for the same reasons that you did, so it's a little disappointing to know that such a dense book doesn't include the kind of backstory one would expect. I think I'll still pick this up eventually, and I hope I don't regret it. Great review, Mariah!

    1. Thank you, Teisha!!<3 Yeah, it definitely can be intimidating, though I rarely let that stop me from reading epic fantasy. Game of Thrones is the one exception though, holy COW DOES IT SCARE ME. Hahaha, I can't even read the names, so I'm not sure how I would do with the rest of the world. I recommend picking up TNOFT! You may love it :)

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