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The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle) Paperback – 12 Jun 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 815 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (12 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575081406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575081406
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 4.4 x 15.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (815 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Patrick Rothfuss' debut is set in an unnamed but fully realised fantasy world, and his characters are detailed and convincing. (WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY)

"Patrick Rothfuss' debut is set in an unnamed but fully realised fantasy world, and his characters are detailed and convincing." (WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY)

Book Description

The Name of the Wind is fantasy at its very best, and an astounding must-read title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book really surprised me. Entirely gripping, well written and original. Mixes the world of fairy tales with modern day fantasy. It's a love story, a coming of age tale, and an epic novel. The end leaves the reader with many questions left unanswered, and that in part is the power of this book. As you read, you are always seeking to know more, to understand who Kvote is and how he has come to be in the role of simple pub landlord. Everytime you get more information, further questions arise as the author skillfully teases and pulls the reader along a rollercoaster of a journey.

Looking back at the book, there actually weren't any adventures I'd describe as epic (they are surely to come in the sequels), yet it felt as though they were epic. This is becuase the author doesn't overplay his hand - scenes that some authors might rush through as they are too ordinary for a fantasy novel, Patrick Rothus takes much more seriously, giving the scenes realism. Simple street fights feel real and significant; there are painful realities of not having money or food and living on the street. Everything feels real and important, and the book is that much more readable and believable for it.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. The only downside is that once you've read it, you'll want to read the sequel which is not due out for at least another year.
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Format: Paperback
My preferred light reading is hard Science Fiction, but I do occasionally look at fantasy literature.
However, the moment I see the words "Book One of the Random Whatever saga" I put the book straight back on the shelf. Far too many would-be Tolkiens stretch a run-of-the mill story to two thousand pages and more.
I made an exception for George RR Martin (!) and Joe Abercrombie because they are mould breakers within the genre.
I put "The Name of the Wind" down as I finished reading, and I was thinking, 'that is the best, original fantasy novel I've read since...well what?'
So maybe it's the best ever.
There is a consistent and mystically coherent mythology, and it is not cobbled together from LOTR and D&D. It's a post golden-age story, but the first person POV means that history and mythology are as confused for Kothe as they are for anyone in the real world. There are no deus ex machina characters, and while the main character is an exceptionally gifted boy/man, he has no superpowers to get him out of trouble reliably.
He is as imperfect as the rest of us.
I shall be reading the rest as soon as they are available.
I love this book.
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Format: Paperback
Every now and then I hear on the grapevine about a new superstar of fantasy. Someone the critics rave about and say they are the next Tolkien, the next Gemmell, the next George RR Martin. This instantly makes me nervous. So I stayed away for while. I should not have waited. In my opinion, the hype is true and he is going to be a giant of the genre.

This is his first book and I am not going to say it is perfect in every single way, because that would be untrue. But it is one hell of a damn good debut and is miles better than some who have been at it a lot longer. Over the years Rothfuss will grow and improve, and as a relatively young man in his mid 30s, I hope he has many decades of writing ahead of him. By the time he is George RR Martin's age, I expect him to have produced some of the most unforgettable fantasy books seen in the last 30 years.

As it stands, The Name of the Wind is one of the most memorable fantasy books I've read in several years. There are some rough edges and it took me a little while to get into the story as it was slow at first. Also, at first glance it bears all the familiar hallmarks of a fantasy story that would normally send me running for the hills as if pursued by an angry mob. The book chronicles part of the life of the main character, Kvothe, and it focuses on his early and teenage years as a young boy growing into a man and going out to challenge the world. Without spoiling it the main character has suffered a tragedy and seeks to better understand who or what was responsible and why it happened.

In Rothfuss' novel, which is told in first person by an adult Kvothe to a scribe known as the Chronicler, I see glimpses of an epic story and epic character.
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Format: Hardcover
In a nutshell, The Name of the Wind recounts the tale of Kvothe, a young man destined to become the most powerful wizard the world has ever seen. It begins with Kvothe's childhood years, first as a member of a traveling troupe of musicians and artists, and then as a street urchin forced to fend for himself in a violent environment. Later, the story shifts to his adolescence, at a time when he is admitted to the University, renowned school of magic.

Reading along, I found the structure of the story a little odd. The better part of the novel is comprised of Kvothe's back story, with only a few scenes occurring in "real time." Having never encountered something like it, I discussed it with Betsy Wollheim. She did shine some light on the matter, and it turns out that Rothfuss' first trilogy will focus on the main character's past, with occasional tantalizing hints of things to come. A second trilogy will then recount Kvothe's "present" tale.

The Name of the Wind is told in a first person narrative. Hence, other than those "real time" segments told in the third person, most of the book is told from Kvothe's perspective. Those who have a problem with single-POV narratives similar to that of Robin Hobb's The Farseer and The Tawny Man trilogies, consider yourselves warned. The main danger in using the first person narrative is that the entire story rests on the shoulder of a single character. If you like Kvothe, terrific. If you don't, that's where it gets tricky. I had no problem with that facet of the novel, but I'm acutely aware that some readers don't care much for the first person perspective.

The worldbuilding doesn't play a big role in this debut. And yet, Rothfuss hints at a much vaster depth, hopefully to be explored in future sequels.
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