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The Name of the Wind Hardcover – March 27, 2007
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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.
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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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Top customer reviews
However, readers should be warned that, at this time, the third book in the series is not yet published and there is no publication date. Apparently Rothfuss is methodical, and doesn't churn out novels at as rapid a pace as other authors, so it may yet be a while before the series is resolved with a third (and possibly a fourth) book. I don't mind that there is more to look forward to, although of course it is hard to wait.
This book was very difficult for me to put down, in fact I haven't yet as I also purchased the second book in the series and am currently reading that one too. I rarely find books that I read during my spare time walking down a hallway or riding an elevator at work...but this one I do. The series is essentially one man's story as told by him in order to tell his tale and erase all the crazy stories people tell about him, and even though I am almost halfway through the second book, the character is somewhat of a mystery still. We know who he is, but there is a lot missing from his past that makes you wonder at his motives and what he has done, he seems to be a good guy but with some very dark parts as well. The character mostly talks about his years as a young man in the first book, somewhere between 12 and 15 years old, and how those years shaped who he is today. There are interludes that cut back to him telling the story and the present day situation they are in, which is also quite interesting.
The writing is fantastic and I think does a good job to draw you in even though the start of the book is a little slow, but the descriptions are quite good and there is even some humor sprinkled in despite the rather dark nature of the overall story. Definitely worth your time to read this book.
The Name of the Wind is a collection of smaller stories, within a story, within yet another story. It's a masterfully woven tale of Kvothe (pronounced Quothe) who, much like the story he tells is a myriad of dark, deadly, and beautiful things. With the above quotation in mind, it's hard to tell whether or not Kvothe is a reliable narrator or not, but it's easy to recognize that he's a brilliant storyteller, not ashamed to talk about the failings of his youth that generally resulted from the arrogance of being wise beyond his years. Though the story is set in a more slow and steady pace, I never found myself remotely bored. Ruthfuss does a swell job of building the story, leaving bread crumb trails of intrigue, while also throwing in just enough dashes of action and reaction to keep you guessing.
All in all I place this at 4/5 stars, due to the overwhelming lack of women present in the story. Certainly there's not an overabundance of sexism or derogatory statements, but all the women are described as beautiful and rare beings which simply gave me the feeling that they were more magic pixies than human beings half the time. There's nothing less interesting to me then reading about a fantastical world in which male writers continue the trend of a patriarchal system, but I trust in Patrick Rothfuss and that this was not done out of malicious reasons - though it is certainly an oversight that I hope doesn't continue in his future writings.