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!)