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The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1) Hardcover – March 27, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 5,678 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon.com's Best of the Year...So Far Pick for 2007: Harry Potter fans craving a new mind-blowing series should look no further than The Name of the Wind--the first book in a trilogy about an orphan boy who becomes a legend. Full of music, magic, love, and loss, Patrick Rothfuss's vivid and engaging debut fantasy knocked our socks off. --Daphne Durham

10 Second Interview: A Few Words with Patrick Rothfuss

Q: Were you always a fan of fantasy novels?
A: Always. My first non-picture books were the Narnia Chronicles. After that my mom gave me Ihe Hobbit and Dragonriders. I grew up reading about every fantasy and sci-fi book I could find. I used to go to the local bookstore and look at the paperbacks on the shelf. I read non-fantasy stuff too, of course. But fantasy is where my heart lies. Wait... Should that be "where my heart lays?" I always screw that up.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors? Favorite books?
A: Hmmm.... How about I post that up as a list?

Q: What are you reading now?
A: Right now I'm reading Capacity, by Tony Balantyne. He was nominated for the Philip K Dick award this last year. I heard him read a piece of the first novel, Recursion, out at Norwescon. I picked it up and got pulled right in. Capacity is the second book in the series. Good writing and cool ideas. Everything I've like best.

Q: How did Kvothe's story come to you? Did you always plan on a trilogy?
A: This story started with Kvothe's character. I knew it was going to be about him from the very beginning. In some ways it's the simplest story possible: it's the story of a man's life. It's the myth of the Hero seen from backstage. It's about the exploration and revelation of a world, but it's also about Kvothe's desire to uncover the truth hidden underneath the stories in his world. The story is a lot of things, I guess. As you can tell, I'm not very good at describing it. I always tell people, "If I could sum it up in 50 words, I wouldn't have needed to write a whole novel about it." I didn't plan it as a trilogy though. I just wrote it and it got to be so long that it had to be broken up into pieces. There were three natural breaking points in the story.... Hence the Trilogy.

Q: What is next for our hero?
A: Hmm..... I don't really believe in spoilers. But I think it's safe to say that Kvothe grows up a little in the second book. He learns more about magic. He learns how to fight, gets tangled up in some court politics, and starts to figure unravel some of the mysteries of romance and relationships, which is really just magic of a different kind, in a way.

Patrick Rothfuss's Books You Should Read

The Last Unicorn



Beatrice's Goat


See more recommendations (with comments) from Patrick Rothfuss

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The originality of Rothfuss's outstanding debut fantasy, the first of a trilogy, lies less in its unnamed imaginary world than in its precise execution. Kvothe ("pronounced nearly the same as 'Quothe' "), the hero and villain of a thousand tales who's presumed dead, lives as the simple proprietor of the Waystone Inn under an assumed name. Prompted by a biographer called Chronicler who realizes his true identity, Kvothe starts to tell his life story. From his upbringing as an actor in his family's traveling troupe of magicians, jugglers and jesters, the Edema Ruh, to feral child on the streets of the vast port city of Tarbean, then his education at "the University," Kvothe is driven by twin imperatives—his desire to learn the higher magic of naming and his need to discover as much as possible about the Chandrian, the demons of legend who murdered his family. As absorbing on a second reading as it is on the first, this is the type of assured, rich first novel most writers can only dream of producing. The fantasy world has a new star. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 662 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (March 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075640407X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756404079
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,678 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It seems to me that every year there are more books I want to read and less time for me to read them. Because my time is limited, I'm guilty of picking up the books by my favorite authors first, and fitting in new authors only when it's convenient.

Due to a stroke of luck, I've had an advance copy of The Name of the Wind by my bedside for over six months, just waiting for me to open it. Unfortunately, deadlines of my own kept getting in the way. But in a way, it's lucky that I didn't crack this book until just a few days ago. If I'd had this tale to distract me, I'd have been even later getting my work done.

I loathe spoilers, so I'm not going to discuss the plot of this book. I will say it has all the things that I demand of a book. The characters are real, the action is convincing and it has a compelling story to tell.

One of the things I like best about this book is that the magic is absolutely rooted in the book's world. Nothing seems contrived; the consistency is excellent.

The characters are very well realized. That means that when the protagonist does something clever, it's believable. And when he does something youthfully dumb, it rings just as authentically true. Because the characters are real and the magic is true to its own world, I closed this book feeling as if I'd been on a journey with an entertaining new friend, rather than sitting alone looking at words on a page.

This one is well worth some of your precious reading time. I'll wager that the books to follow it will also be.

Robin Hobb
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Format: Paperback
I've spent the past hour and a half reading all the negative reviews for this book and I've seen some patterns emerge. First, people criticize the book on matters of preference, not literary quality. Second, people have had a bad reading experience because they expected something different than what the book really is. The truth is, there are many 5 star reviews (that I think the book deserves) that are not written in 5 star fashion. Many people do not know how to properly describe the book in a way that helps possible readers know if they would like it or not.

Here's the thing. I like this book a lot. I think it is one of the best books I've ever read. Here is what it's not: A fast-paced novel, a novel about the epic world-changing deeds of a hero, completely original, for everyone. The novel is not about world-changing feats of heroism. It is a slow-paced book about the development of an incredibly intelligent, but relatively normal boy, how he becomes a legendary figure, and some of the problems he faces in fostering that reputation and living up to it in the end. It is not the most original fantasy novel to ever hit shelves. It's originality comes not from it's world or characters (for goodness' sake, look at the map with the book. It's obviously an adaptation of Europe. Just like middle earth or countless other fantasy settings). The originality comes from subject matter more focused on the coming of age of a young boy and how, due to the existence of his impressive intelligence and the existence of a logical type of magic, certain events shape him into a legendary figure. There are plenty of cliche plot points, but not ones that I couldn't fully relate to. That said, the character is a very intelligent, but often foolish and arrogant, teenage boy.
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Format: Hardcover
I always read the negative reviews of books I liked. For one, I think people can be much more detailed about what they don't like than what they did. Second, I just want to know what made people dislike something I liked.

There seems to be an overall theme amongst the negative reviews that Kvothe is unlikable--but most of these reviews contradict themselves. They don't like him because he's arrogant, but then also complain that he's too perfect to be realistic and has no flaws. I think Rothfuss's intentions were to make Kvothe's arrogance one of his biggest flaws. Imagine you caught on to many subjects in school very fast, were number one in your class and had a relatively quick wit. You'd probably be arrogant, too, as I know the smart, popular people in my high school were. And it's Kvothe's arrogance that constantly gets him into trouble.

The theme of Rothfuss's book, to me, is the difference between the reality of a man's life and his actions, and the stories other men tell about him. That's why we begin with him in a quiet inn, then cut to local patrons telling wild tales. We are introduced to a character, The Chronicler, whose sole purpose in "life" is to find the truth about stories, to debunk myths and legends. But fantasy books *are* the stuff of myths and legends--dragons, fair maidens, faeries, wizards. So how do you tell the story of a renowned magical hero without the requisite exaggeration and outright lies? Without turning the hero into an unrealistic beacon of flawless unrelenting perfection? You tell both stories--the ones people want to believe, and the story that comes closest to the truth. And the truth is Kvothe is a rash, impulsive, sometimes selfish and very often stupidly arrogant man.
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