Title: The Name of the Wind
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
DAY ONE: THE NAME OF THE WIND My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me. So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend. Review: Unpopular opinion coming your way. Um…what did I miss? I went into this read with HIGH expectations, but The Name of the Wind did not deliver.
Plot: Was this the longest book I’ve ever read? No, but it sure felt like it. It took me months to get through the flowery prose and the bizarre magic system. Sympathy lamps, bindings? I tried. I really wanted to get excited any time Kvothe used his magical touch. Unfortunately, the confusion of trying to visualize a sympathy lamp or the arts of the Fishery overshadowed the event.
Author Patrick Rothfuss can tell a story. You want to know what happens to young Kvothe after he leaves his troupe, and you want to find out what happens during his time at the university. And what about the Chandrian? The problem I faced while reading was, what story? I found the plot equally mundane as running errands to my local post office and grocery store. Yes, the author sprinkled external conflict in here and there, but it wasn’t enough to make up for Kvothe going about his day to day activities at the university for hundreds of pages.
Characters: Kvothe drove me a little bonkers. The guy is fifteen years of age for most of the story. When the book switches back to third person and you hear Chronicler, Bast, and adult Kvothe interact, our protagonist’s maturity level appears the same as it did when he attended the university. Why? Will someone please explain the reason for this?
I found Denna even more annoying than Kvothe. Her selfishness and constant disappearances got old…fast. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this girl isn’t someone I'd want to hang out in real life.
Honestly, Bast was the only character that piqued my interest. The ending of the book was the most intriguing part.
Writing: Author Patrick Rothfuss excels at the technical aspects of writing, but his purple prose seeps into every paragraph. Some readers will enjoy his unique style. For me, it missed the mark. Too much prose can take the reader out of the story.
Final Thoughts: I’m disappointed I didn’t enjoy this book. I wanted to be a Rothfuss fan, but alas, I am not. And before you say, “but wait, there’s a second book”. Yes, I'm aware that book two is day two of Kvothe’s verbal story retelling to Chronicler. I hear it gets a little more exciting. But guess what? I don’t feel like slogging through hundreds of pages of more flowery prose, nor do I feel like revisiting the world or the characters. It just wasn’t for me. Sorry Rothfuss fans.
Escapism Factor: 3/5
Emotional Connection: 2/5
Character Development: 3/5
Completed Read: December 2021