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The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Book 1 Paperback – 1 September 2008
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Patrick Rothfuss' debut is set in an unnamed but fully realised fantasy world, and his characters are detailed and convincing. ― WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY
Patrick Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous -- Terry Brooks
This is a magnificent book -- Anne McCaffrey
The Name of the Wind has everything: magic and mysteries and ancient evil, but it's also humorous and terrifying and completely believable -- Tad Williams
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 ― PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing ... with true music in the words -- Ursula K Le Guin
The characters are real and the magic is true -- robin Hobb, New York Times-bestselling author of Assassin’s Apprentice
Masterful ... There is a beauty to Pat's writing that defies description -- Brandon Sanderson, New York Times-bestselling author of Mistborn
[Makes] you think he's inventing the genre, instead of reinventing it -- Lev Grossman, New York Times-bestselling author of The Magicians
Hail Patrick Rothfuss! A new giant is striding the land -- Robert J. Sawyer, award-winning author of Wake
I was reminded of Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkein, but never felt that Rothfuss was imitating anyone ― THE TIMES
This fast-moving, vivid, and unpretentious debut roots its coming-of-age fantasy in convincing mythology ― ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
This breathtakingly epic story is heartrending in its intimacy and masterful in its narrative essence ― PUBLISHERS WEEKLY starred review
Reminiscent in scope of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series ... this masterpiece of storytelling will appeal to lovers of fantasy on a grand scale ― LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred)
Shelve The Name of the Wind beside The Lord of the Rings...and look forward to the day when it's mentioned in the same breath, perhaps as first among equals ― The A.V. Club
"Patrick Rothfuss' debut is set in an unnamed but fully realised fantasy world, and his characters are detailed and convincing." ― WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY
The astounding must-read first title in the bestselling Kingkiller chronicles.
'The best epic fantasy I read last year... He's bloody good, this Rothfuss guy'
-George R. R. Martin
- ASIN : 0575081406
- Publisher : Gollancz; 1st edition (1 September 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 672 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0756404746
- ISBN-13 : 978-0575081406
- Dimensions : 19.8 x 4 x 13.1 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 2,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Yet at the same time it holds a wisdom that holds power in our own reality and so it makes you pause and think not just escape.
There are certain paragraphs that I have read and reread time and again because I cried out “YES!” in my mind at finding someone speaking my language.
In short this book has gained a place as one of my favourites and once I’ve taken a moment to digest it I will read it once more. But it, read it. You’ll have no regrets.
Rothfuss is a wonderful writer and fully justifies the recommendation from Ursula K. Le Guin on the back cover. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the actual story within the book.
After meeting Kvothe briefly as an adult, we follow along back to his past years as a teenage prodigy brimming with talent, ambition and a conspicuous lack of common sense and humility. Instead of adventuring across the world, much of the book covers Kvothe's time at the University and various taverns. This is not what I expected from the book based on the back covers blurb.
The blurb also makes fantastical claims such as "So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature" and "Shelve The Name of The Wind beside The Lord of the Rings...and look forward to the day when it's mentioned in the same breath, perhaps as first among equals". Sadly both these claims are erroneous as the book isn't anywhere near Erikson's Malazan book of the Fallen or Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, let alone Tolkien's work.
None of these criticisms should detract from the fact that this is a good book though, and if it were not for the claims on the back cover I would probably award four stars. However...
Packaging: TNOTW has had 5mm trimmed from the right-hand side of the cover in order to fit an inner page of glowing reviews. The sequel also shares this packaging and I don't care for it. Font size within the book is smaller than I prefer and the line spacing is cramped, as well as the left and right margins being very small, forcing me to pull the book out and mark the spine. Had I picked this book up in a bookstore I would not have purchased it in this format.
Finally, one small pet peeve: p. 107 " ... that he accused them of doing things I'm sure no donkey has ever willingly done, especially not Beta, who possessed impeccable moral character." Sentences like this one add nothing to the story being told and should be removed in the editing process.
Patrick Rothfuss takes time and care in the telling of the story and uses all the words necessary to tell it, and not one more.
It has all the elements of an enduring fantasy novel, but will not conform to tired convention. A beautifully told story, it will wrap itself around you like a cool spring breeze.
If you need a steady stream of common characters, predictable politics and bloody battles - you may be disappointed. This is the fascinating fable of the character behind the legend, the troubles and triumphs of his life and the loves he loves.
It is not the Big Mac of literature, with the thin patti of processed plot bunned between insubstantial individuals and seasoned with the salt and sugar of salacious scenes.
It is the gourmet burger, the real beef of brave deeds inside complex carbohydrate characters nestled within the fresh tomato and lettuce of a creative and poetic voice.
It takes time to develop and Patrick Rothfuss writes intentionally to his own perfect rhythm.
I loved the style of the telling of this tale, the slow burning, but never boring, plot and the realness of the characters and their banter. If you are chasing a fast read, an action packed tale or conventional fantasy - you won’t find it here. You will find intriguing mystery, clever magic, great friendships and poetic prose.
A book worth reading.
Lacks character development
Where, why does Denna go? Who, what is Bast? Any chance of exploring the Chandrian? These would have been of better use than "interludes".
600 pages for the main, dare i say only, character to be an orphan, musician, student, potential magic weilder....ho hum, a story written hundreds of times. And better written at that.
After waiting so long to read it, its disappointing at best and wasting my time at worse.
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.