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The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1) Paperback – June 12, 2008
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- ASIN : 0575081406
- Publisher : Gollancz; New Ed edition (June 12, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 661 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0756404746
- ISBN-13 : 978-0575081406
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Dimensions : 7.8 x 1.57 x 5.16 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #67,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I went into it optimistic: I like fantasy, I’m intrigued by magic systems in books, and I had heard good things. I especially heard good things about Rothfuss’s prose.
The story lacks narrative tension; the breaking up of chapters is inconsistent and distracting; the main character is poorly developed; the prose is obtuse. I truly believe that there is almost nothing of redeeming value in this book.
The story follows Kvothe, a fabulously talented musician, accomplished actor, master magician, and astute fighter. He is also handsome, has a great baritone, and knows how to survive in the woods. He is romantic, fierce, brilliant, and wise. Kvothe is not bad at anything. Kvothe excels at whatever he does. And it is not just that he does well --- he does well quickly, much to amazement of others, and he does well with little effort. There is no real struggle for just about anything. Even tragedy is essentially just a stepping stone to Kvothe's brilliance. When he falls in love, it is not just with a beautiful woman. It is with the most beautiful, most brilliant woman. He is clever to the extreme, and all others can recognize this. As a reader, you start wondering what the point is -- why should I care about this character? Why him? What flaws make him relatable? What does he accomplish, if everything is so easy?
Rothfuss is described as a poet by some reviewers. Maybe this is true, but it is very bad poetry. Adding modifiers doesn't make a sentence beautiful, and not every scene deserves an extended description.
Rothfuss relies on a number of odd plot devices. I counted at least four instances of a character falling, hitting his head, blacking out, and waking up a few hours later to then be filled in about what happened. The world of The Name of the Wind is populated by people with chronic head trauma.
I do not usually tend to read books such as "The Name Of The Wind". I am more of a historical romance kinda gal. My husband happened to be browsing ebooks and the last thing I knew, this gem was popping up as "based on your shopping history" type thing. I started reading the reviews and debated... for a couple days. I LOVE to read but don't rarely get the chance with young children these days. I decided I was going to buy the book. I then splurged for the audible narration as well!!!
That said, many reviews debate over which narrator they preferred. The version I got was with Nick Podehl. I thought he did a wonderful job with this story. He uses different voices for different characters and is consistent. I enjoyed listening to him narrate Rothfuss' masterpiece.
The story itself took me a little bit to get into... about the first 6-7 chapters. I actually ended up re-reading them to make sure I was following along. This book contains MANY details and characters to follow (worth paying attention to). After I was able to grasp the beginning the rest of the story unfolded beautifully! I already had the second purchased and downloaded (audible narration included) before I was finished.
This book is LONG! I not ONCE lost interest. At places I (almost) teared up, I got angry and I actually laughed out loud... many times! I am truly pleased with this purchase and look forward to reading more from Patrick! Well done and thank you for the greatest story I've read in years! BRAVO P. Rothfuss!
Top reviews from other countries
- Well written, mainly.
- Fascinating magic system, and interesting world building
- bits set in university, with the education of a wizard are great. there are a lot of similarities with Harry Potter, which many will point out, but there are enough differences to keep it a very different book
- Lots of mystery: the author cleverly sets up a lot of mysteries, which keeps the pages turning. There is plenty of suspense and it is an engaging read.
- This book needs a good edit. Many incidents or story sections are repetitive - how many times will the character not have enough money for tuition and have to go and find money? How many times will he meet his lady love and just have a chat with her (more later)
- Framing story: the whole story is recounted in a pub by the main character in the first person. I don't think this framing adds much to the narrative, and just makes it longer and more difficult to get into.
- Poorly drawn characters: although NOTW is well written in general, many characters seem sketchy. Willem and Simmon are good examples. The masters in the university are better drawn. The physical descriptions are usually poor, or non-existent, and few characters have strong enough traits to be memorable.
- The love interest: creating a love interest and then putting off the characters getting together is a staple of most fictional genres. I don't think it has ever been spun out like this, and with such an unlikeable love interest. There are several identical chapters where the character looks for the boring, self-centred, but (yawn) incredibly beautiful Denna, finds her, they have a great chat, but once again, nothing happens. This quickly becomes boring, and I wish she would get killed off so we didn't have to read this.
Overall, I would recommend fans of Harry Potter, or fantasy genre to read the book. I think the sequel, which I am currently reading, compounds many of the weaknesses of the first book, so I may not make it until the third book.
So you have 2 main threads ... what's going on with the barkeep and the village he is in "The present" and then the story of how he ended up where he is "His past". Frustratingly the story in both present and past is slow ... it just doesn't move with pace and there's not enough happening over what is a fairly large book. When you finally get to the end you realise you're probably less than a quarter of the way through the Barkeep's life. The writing is good and the idea's are good but it's just too damn slow and I didn't want to run off and buy the next instalment because of this. It's not like one of Feists page turners. Shame because like I said the writing is good and so are the idea's.