I currently have five books sitting on my “to-be reviewed” list – all bogged down because the review of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss has been taunting me. How am I supposed to review a book that was so amazing, so absorbing and so encompassing, that I virtually didn’t come up for air until the book was done (and at 672 pages, it wasn’t a short span of time)?
I stumbled across Patrick Rothfuss when he did a Vlog with the infamous Jenny Lawson. Patrick acted as a moderator/contributor and I found myself drawn to his sense of humor and wit. When Wil Wheaton mentioned that he was anxiously awaiting the third book in Rothfuss’s Kings Killer chronicles, I did a quick Google search and read the synopsis of The Name of the Wind. I pinned it and was put on the waiting list at my local library and quickly forgot about it. When I picked up the book, I was less than enthusiastic about reading it – I’m not really a big fantasy fan, but the reviews were so positive, and Rothfuss was so charming, I knew I had to give it a shot and that was the best book decision I’ve made in a long time.
The Name of the Wind follows Kvothe (which I found out was actually pronounced more similarly to quote than Kvoth-ey which was how I pronounced it for 600+ pages) a youth who was traveling with his parents in a gypsy-esque convoy. The convoy picks up a local arcanist who is down on his luck. The arcanist eventually agrees to teach Kvothe what he learned while working his way through the Arcanum. So starts the epic saga of Kvothe and his three-part journey. On this journey, we follow Kvothe through his days of living in the wild, months of living on the street and years of learning at the University.
Rothfuss’s ability to create a world in which the reader can dive into is astounding. The level of detail that went into the world in which Kvothe lives is absolutely mind boggling – from the currency, to the ethnicities and the quirks associated with each region to the geographical locations – all of it is entirely and heart-breakingly believable. When I finished this book, I was left with a sense of awe and an utter soul-crushing despair – awed by the fact that Rothfuss was creative enough to create a world that was so intrinsically detailed and perfectly complete and soul-crushing despair that this world only exists in a trilogy. How am I supposed to survive without my Kvothe and the surrounding characters?
I am definitely ranking this book as my top favorite series of the year (yes, I realize it’s only February). I immediately went to the bookstore and purchased my own copy of Name of the Wind and gave it to a friend so that I would have someone with which I could commiserate the fact that there is no real life Kvothe.
(Did you just hear that loud inhalation? That was my sighing the biggest sigh in the world. Thank GOD that review is over – too much pressure!)
This book (and Wise Mans Fear) are both amazing. Not only is the plot intriguing, the story is beautifully written. If you like this book, I would also recommend Peter V. Brett.
Funny you should recommen Brett- I’m currently reading The Warded Man. Perfect timing! Any of his books that you would recommend or did I start in a good spot?
That is the one to start with, he has released three in that series. I would also recommend Brent Weeks. I suggest starting with his Night Angel trilogy.
I both love and am immensely frustrated with Rothfuss. These are excellent books but that doesn’t detract from the fact that they desperately need to be edited. Wise Man’s Fear is great and also LOL ridiculous at parts. So while I love Rothfuss you can see our love affair is complex. Which doesn’t mean I won’t be pre-ordering book #3 when available.
ps. I never cannonballed Wise Man’s Fear because this dudes review so perfectly encapsulated everything I thought:http://www.amazon.com/review/R1Y3SMDNYLUQJG/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0756407125&nodeID=283155&store=books
Alexis – that is a pretty great review. I agree about the **spoiler** birth control aspect of A Wise Mans Fear as well. I thought that was really random and it actually made me pause in my reading to go “wtf?!”. However, I disagree with him about being irritated that all of the “heavy lifting” will be in the 3rd book and his proposal that the trilogy will actually turn into a series as being a bad thing. 1. I think that if you were to read A Wise Mans Fear in and of itself – without reading the first or the last book, it would be quite the disappointment. However, going into the book, most people are aware that it is book 2 in a trilogy and I find that I’m more forgiving in that case. I don’t expect each book to stand on it’s own if I know that the author started out in the hopes of completing a trilogy. Does that make sense? And secondly – I would jump over the moon in pure extacy if Rothfuss would agree to make Kvothe’s story a series rather than just a trilogy. How could that possibly be construed as a bad thing?! Thanks for your input – I appreciate hearing from someone who wasn’t as completely head-over-hills for the book as I was.
Thanks for the review-I’m going to add this one to my list-sounds interesting
An excellent review. I adore Patrick Rothfuss–if you ever get a chance to go to a book signing, do it. You will fall in love with him. I am dying for the final book to come out.