The Name of the Wind: Read or Avoid?

Woo hoo! I’m FINALLY finished The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss! I was beginning to think this day would never come and my massive to-read pile of books was feeling very neglected. With some long books you don’t really  notice it and you skip through the story in no time but with this one I felt every single one of the 660 plus pages!

It’s the story of Kvothe, a legendary figure known as a thief, assassin, hero, dragon-slayer, genius and talented musician. You name it he’s supposedly done it. When we meet him he is hiding away in a backwater town (no one knows why) passing himself off as a simple innkeeper. When some nasty spidery type creatures start attacking travellers on the road, he recognises this as a portent of doom – (as you would) – and in dealing with them rescues a renound Chronicler. For reasons that are never made clear, rather than continue to investigate these creatures and potentially save lives, he decides take time out to tell the true story of his life to the Chronicler.

My friend recommended this book to me as Game of Thrones meets Harry Potter goes to University and she was actually spot on. There were definite Game of Thrones elements – along with the nasty spidery creatures there were the Chandrian, demonic creatures who killed his parents and ignited a lifelong quest for revenge. Which takes us nicely into Harry Potter territory.

After living on the streets as a ragamuffin thief he manages to get into the University which is basically a grown-up Hogwarts, to learn sympathy aka magic. There are so many HP elements – he’s a naturally talented student, he has a loyal group of two friends, you’ve got your eccentric professors, his quest for revenge and of course there is a Draco Malfoy type arch-nemisis in the form of a spoiled rotten rich boy with a grudge.

It might not sound like it but overall I did enjoy this book – who wouldn’t enjoy Harry Potter, the University Years? There was magic, demonic creatures, vengeance and in general the characters were great. It was just waaaay longer than it needed to be. It took a long time to get started and there was too much time spent on little details rather than keeping the overarching story – his quest to find out about the Chandrian and what happened to his parents – going. There was also lot of repetition including Kvothe continually doing such stupid things I wanted to reach into the book and smack him upside the head!

It is worth reading but not if, like me, you have a huge pile of other books you’re dying to read and not if you don’t have the time to commit to it!

 

What are you all reading?

Have you read The Name of the Wind? Did you like it?

 

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10 thoughts on “The Name of the Wind: Read or Avoid?

  1. For me, the best thing about The Name of the Wind (besides the great characters, beginning but definitely not ending with Kvothe) is the sheer awesomeness of Rothfuss’s writing. His prose is amazing, and always perfectly attuned to the needs and mood of the scene. The prologue alone is breathtaking.

    Of course, there are also those terrific characters, and the way Rothfuss can veer from heartbreaking to laugh-out-loud to chilling and make all of them feel true and real. And the incredible depth of his world-building. And — although this is something you may not pick up on during a first reading (I had the advantage of discussions with a fan who had read it several times) — the clues he drops throughout his books. There is a larger story arc, one which poses a lot of questions, and there are clues to this in the myths, the songs, the rhymes, even the children’s stories.

    The length can be intimidating, and I agree that it gets off to a slow (and initially confusing) start. But it’s worth it, as you pointed out! As for being longer than it needs to be… well, it’s a picaresque novel, and one which, while admittedly in the fantasy genre, in some ways calls to mind the longer, slower-paced, but richly satisfying literature of the 18th and 19th centuries.

    One final suggestion for those worried about the time required by what is, admittedly, a massive tome: Narrator Nicholas Podehl does an excellent job on the audiobooks. That frees your reading time for your TBR pile. I listened to the novels while driving, but you can also listen while doing housework, laundry, or anything else where your hands and eyes are busy but your mind isn’t.

    • Very good point about the audiobooks. Overall I did enjoy spending time in Kvothe’s world and I will be getting the sequel. He’s definitely an interesting character. For me it just was a little long.

      • I know a lot of people have that reaction, and I will admit that the audiobooks took us quite a while to get through, at upwards of 30 hours each! But I’m glad you enjoyed it. I can’t wait for book 3, but I plan to re-read the first two before I read it. BTW, there’s a re-read on Tor.com for each of the first 2 books, with good discussions that help with all the subtle clues Rothfuss puts in. Probably best for diehard fans, but it might be useful.

      • 30 hours? Wow! Thanks for letting me know about the re-read on Tor.com. I’ll definitely check that out and I’ll let my friend know too as she’s a big Kvothe fan!

  2. Till now there has not been any game of thrones element yet in the story, although i was also recommended to read this novel by someone who said this was a confluence of harry potter and game of thrones

  3. I remember really enjoying the writing in this one, but it’s been a while. I think I’ll eventually do a re-read before starting on the second in the series. I’ve seen a few mentions lately of how much longer this is than it needed to be, so I’ll have to see if I find it more of a drag this time around 🙂

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