The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
When friends hand me books to read, I am always suspicious of whether the books will be any good. Maybe it is my own great arrogance (or maybe one of many), but I just figure that – unless they are of a special few – I am the better judge of books. Thankfully, twice this theory has fallen by the wayside.
The book is called The Name of the Wind, and it is written by a new author, Patrick Rothfuss. This also had me a little worried, as I am becoming more and more wary of new authors. But my fears were groundless. More than groundless, they could even be called vaguely offensive to Rothfuss who proved himself in his first mass market literary outing to be nothing short of a genius.
The Name of the Wind, Day One of the Kingkiller Chronicles, quickly made its way into my top fantasy series list. The book, which is essentially an autobiography of a once famous now reclusive musician, arcanist and adventurer named Kvothe, is revolutionary – to my eyes at least – in its storytelling method. Autobiographical for the most part, it starts, finishes, and occasionally reverts to a narrative telling of the interview from whence the autobiographical information springs.
The story wraps around Kvothe’s life just as you would want, exploring his journey from childhood into adolescence, and a little of the way into maturity. The universe in which this story is set is beautifully and articulately created. This includes everything from a more academic style of magic then is normally employed all the way through to making storytelling and music a large part of the story.
Storytelling, in fact, seems to be a thread that will soon be picked up in the sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear (to be released sometime in 2009). Kvothe is not only relating his life story in a tale to the Chronicler (book one is Day One of the storytelling), but spent his early life as an Eduma Ruh; a travelling and performing group of people, gypsy-like in their lifestyles but with much more focus on their literary and musical talents.
There are a few tropes found in The Name of the Wind, but none are exploited to the point where you are remembering other stories. Kvothe is left as an orphan after his father’s study into the Chandrian unwittingly brings their attention down upon his family. From there Kvothe must make his way as an urchin, before he manages – miraculously – to gain entry into the University of the arcanist that had travelled with his father’s family so many years ago.
Kvothe’s life is very much split into sections, and we will no doubt see this continue as the succeeding books are released. The second section of Kvothe’s life depicts his life at the University, and his re-entry into music. His love for the beautiful Denna is a heartbreaking yet funny story, while his deeds and misdeeds at the University make for compelling and sympathetic reading.
But throughout the novel we are given hints at the greater parts of Kvothe’s life. The series is called the Kingkiller Chronicles, yet we don’t know which king Kvothe killed or why. His talents are obviously well known throughout the lands, yet he has only made himself known in the city of Tarbean. And revenge must be taken on the Chandrian, given his fervent attempts to regain entry into the University library after he was banned for life from ever entering.
Patrick Rothfuss is, in my opinion, one of the better storytellers around at the moment. Too early in the game to give him full marks or list him amongst the nobility of fantasy, but his place there is almost assured. Rarely do you find yourself taken out of the story, and no serious lack of writing skill can even be guessed at, let alone found.
If you haven’t already, make sure you pick up Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind in time to read The Wise Man’s Fear in April of 09.
This The Name of the Wind book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: The Kingkiller Chronicle
The Slow Regard of Silent Things
The Kingkiller Chronicle
The University, a renowned bastion of knowledge, attracts the brightest minds to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences like artificing and alchemy. Yet deep below i...
The Name of the Wind
The Kingkiller Chronicle: Book 1
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...
The Wise Man's Fear
The Kingkiller Chronicle: Book 2
Picking up the tale of Kvothe Kingkiller once again, we follow him into exile, into political intrigue, courtship, adventure, love and magic ... and further along the path ...
Have you read The Name of the Wind?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Name of the Wind reader reviews
Matthew from United States
Can't put the book down. Some people are complaining about how Kvothe is "too good at everything" but why would you pick up a book about "the greatest and most powerful wizard of all time" if you did not think he would be good at everything... obviously he struggles internally with some things but externally he is a master. I love it. Great book.
Clint from United States
Magic, science, love, this book have everything it's great very great book.
James from United States
It's great with very good characters, unique magic system, one of the best I ever read, well done Patrick Rothfuss.
Lex from USA
It's great book I don't see why many people hate it.
Joseph from United States
I kept waiting for Kvothe to do something epic. That was the promise that he'd be doing epic stuff. I assume he does something epic at somepoint in the story. My problem is that I could not care for the main charecter. It had nothing to do with personallity. We are told he is a genius, then he receives a private tutor which normally be something only the privilaged could afford. They kill off his family but its okay they really only had been named in passing. The only one from his childhood I cared for was Ben (the only one we spent time with) and he lived happy ever after. I finally got bored of watching Kovothe moan homelessly. He had all the skills to get out of poverty anytime he wanted. He had several valuables, knew a good amount of magic, could read and write, could sing and perform. I cannot feel for him as he's only doing it to himself.
Chris from Australia
Good story told at a Lord of the Rings pace. Writing quality is its failure. The characters, most of them adolescents, use language like they've stepped out of a Disney teen serial.
Momo from USA
I cant believe how boring this book is and how the author presents the story without much creativity... so lame... the story is so ordinary... the author has boring mind... stop writing this junk!
Max from Australia
Great book! (Although Kvothe is too overpowered).
Gregory from Australia
Let me start off by saying this book has fantastic writing and really does a good job of creating a world in which these characters live in. Rothfuss is fantastic at setting a scene and writing is really his strong point. The reason I have to give this book such a low rating is because I 1. Cant relate or get into the main character. 2, DENNA DENNA DENNA and 3. This opens too many questions that simply dont get answered as well as has no real main plot to the story. Let me elaborate. 1. Kvothe is just simply too good at everything. He has hardships sure, but he is too smart, too handsome, too quick witted and just too dam powerful. Not to mention he is only 15. This makes it hard to connect with the main character and makes it hard to believe what he is doing as well as he isn't at any risk throughout the story. Sure, he has hard times but he defeats well pretty much anything. 2. Denna and the other females in this story just bug me. I understand this is a story told through Kvothes eyes but why is every female in this world all beautiful and perfect? Also his relationship with Denna is just creepy and fake. Why doesnt he just ask her out..or better yet get with Feyla? 3. The major part of this story that I dont like is that its too vague with everything and asks so many questions that never get answered. It just seems like poor writing. This is not a bad book by any means, its just a bad story.
Alex from Ukraine
I just want to tell that these 2 books of the trilogy are just amazing. First few hours I wasn't interested too much (part where Kvothe didn't even start a story, just the inn and so on). But when the real story started, man, I didn't expect so much. In a nutshell, now I'm a fan of the trilogy and waiting for the 3rd book. Also, what I want to emphasize is that this story has many aspects: magic, romantic, traveling, interesting conversation, humor and just our everyday sorrows and joys. 10 out of 10, good job, Patrick.
Jason from Ohio
I heard all this "awesomeness" about Patrick Rothfuss so I checked this book out from my local library. I stopped reading about 3 chapters in because i was annoyed to the point of boredom and so returned the book. A year later I happened upon a used copy in my local used book store for $2.00 and since I was already dropping $20 on a bunch of other books I figured what the heck and bought it. There is almost ZERO plot to this novel, and the protagonist Kvothe is not only a Mary Sue who can do anything better than everyone but also an arrogant *sshole. It's obvious Rothfuss thinks he's some genius reinventing the fantasy wheel but he's not and he didn't. But his arrogance blinds the reader's eyes through his writing. And what's with Kvothe's love interest Dena? She literally just shows up going from man to man, using them to pay for everything in her life all the while complaining that they eventually expect something in return. Gee, i wonder why a man who pays for everything in a woman's life will eventually expect something in return. And so she leaves going from man to man just doing the same thing to each of them. And for some reason Kvothe is in love with her. I've read online that Patrick thinks himself as a great writer of women, but this definitely does NOT show in his female characters. I forced myself to finish this novel because I was hoping it would surprise me by the end, and guess what? It didn't. This book is basically just set-up for book two... and yes, i bought book two (thankfully also cheap used copy) and forced myself to read it and book two is even worse than book one, and I regretted every minute of it (but i definitely will NOT read book three nor anything else by Rothfuss). Book two somehow has even less plot than book one, it's all set-up for book three, and the annoying characters get even worse than they were in the first novel. Asides from Patrick becoming known over the years as an *sshole who yells and curses at his fans whenever they ask about the release date of book three, something he promised was already finished way back in 2007, i can safely say his writing is far below what i had ever expected. If you love fantasy then do yourself a favor and skip these crap novels and instead read something by Steven Erikson or Paul Kearney or Brandon Sanderson. They are FAR better writers than Patrick Rothfuss wishes he is.
Magnus from United States
God awful... If I wanted a long, boring story about going to school, reading books, paying student loans and playing gigs in front of drunkards at the bar, I have my own life. I can't imagine how anyone finds this bullshit interesting, other than maybe appreciating the writing technique. (I personally think it is over-the-top, and annoying.) I am surprised that the chronicler didn't slap the shit out of Kvothe by the middle of the second day for wasting his time. As soon as anything mildly interesting seemed to be happening, the narrator would skip over it by saying something like: "...but this does not have much relevance to the overall story, so I will not bore you with the details." But apparently the excruciating details of reading books in the library, admiring ones own lute/lute case, borrowing and returning money, attending university classes about nothing, and playing lute at bars are important and require 1600 pages. Go fuck yourself, Patrick Rothfuss...
Cassandra from United States
This book was particularly hard to hold focus for the first third of the book. But I'm an optimist and I was hoping it would get better. The middle was good. Kept me interested and engaged. And then somewhere around the last quarter of the book, it just fell off. Pros: The author is an amazing storyteller. The way the story was told, I was able to feel the elements, see the scenery, and really get to know the characters, good and bad. This is the ONLY reason I gave it a four out of ten. If the storytelling was terrible, then the rating would have been much lower. Cons: The main character (and thus main plot) drew on and on and on, keeping the reader hanging in there for a climax and finale. There were also two or three subplots that wove their way throughout the story. By far the biggest downfall to any of these plots or subplots, and the book as a whole, is that none of them, zero, had any sort of closure whatsoever. It's like the author strung me along, and because I was committed and just had to get to the end to find out what happens, and then nothing happened. Nothing. No twist. No finish. No closure to any of the stories. It just......ended. You can imagine my disappointment, having just read 500+ pages, for it to be a complete waste of time. I actually took it personally that I invested so much time to read it, and if was for naught. I'll be donating this one to goodwill, as I certainly won't be reading it again. And likely nothing else from this author if this is how he treats his readers.
James from US
Tiresome and repetitive, with a focus on the Y in YA. Main character is such a ridiculous Mary Sue there is no room for any suspense, as he consistently out-magicks, out-thinks, out-plays, and out-everythings everyone else in this book with such ease one wonders whether this is Rothfuss reliving his own pre-adolescent fantasies. Story meanders between Kvothe recounting, in tedious detail, just how poor he is; and Kvothe, winning everything always without much of a challenge. The book, in a nutshell: Kvothe reminds the reader that he is only a wee child of 15, but gosh, he is going to try his hardest! "I only had 2 jots" Kvothe defeats the mean old professor on his first try, despite the professor having decades of experience. "I looked at my last jot with trepidation" Kvothe saves the university from a conflagration. "But how would I get enough jots to pay for tuition???" Kvothe brings the audience to tears with his near-perfect musicianship, garnering an award that eludes master musicians. "I spent the last of my jots on a pair of boots" Kvothe woos the most beautiful and enigmatic woman of all. "I looked down at my purse, buying this crust of bread would cost me the last of my jots" Kvothe saves the world. Incredibly disappointing, the first chapters set up what should have been an exciting story but quickly devolved into a tiresome paint-by-numbers pile.
Rc from United States
It's really good.
Andrew from United States
I'll preface this review by saying that I, obviously, love this book. The prose, pacing, characterizations, and story structure are superlative. However, since none of this is new information, I'll just leave a few responses to common complaints I've been seeing about The Name of The Wind. 1. "Kvothe is too good at everything." While this complaint is grounded in legitimacy, since Kvothe has a multitude of talents, it nonetheless misses the mark. Kvothe is not naturally gifted in everything, he's just really smart and incredibly dedicated to study. If he had a natural propensity to sygaldry, sympathy, etc. and entered the story as a pseudo-deific character, that would be one thing. But Kvothe does not have natural talent for anything but learning. The story goes out of its way to show Kvothe's struggles with accepting and learning about the larger world he is thrust into after the tragedy that befalls him at the start of the story. There's a lot more to be said on this, but instead I'll move on to... 2. "Rothfuss talks for too long about subjects that are boring, like Kvothe's poverty." Kvothe's poverty is an important part of the story. It's his bugbear, his foil, the one thing that haunts him from place to place and the ultimate counter to any advantage he gains. Kvothe's first and most important fear is not being in control, of being powerless. This, of course, (SPOILERS) stems from his complete powerlessness when faced with the Chandrian and the death of his troupe. Poverty makes him feel powerless again - he feels like it strips him of everything that makes him unique. And so, poverty is placed front and center in this story. The Chandrian may be his quest, but poverty is his truest nemesis. 3. "Nothing happens." The nature of the story is not one of epic proportions. The Name of the Wind is, at its core, a character study. The framing narrative informs the story by allowing the character of Kvothe to be the focus of the story. So, while there are no immense battles or monstrous evils to be defeated, there are personal demons and emotional quests that Kvothe explore's. This works as well as it does because the character of Kvothe that we see in the frame narrative is vastly different from the character we travel with for most of the story's length. There is an underlying tension to every victory, a sense of tragedy to every defeat, because we know where the sum total of Kvothe's experiences lead - to tragedy, anonymity, and ruin. The battles to be fought are those of a more personal nature rather than the supersized wars that are so prevalent in many fantasy novels. If you are looking for epic fantasy on a grand scale, another "Way of Kings" or "Wheel of Time" series, this is not that. If, instead, you are looking for a story with emotional resonance, beatific prose, and a tangible sense of heart and care in the construction of the world and characters, then you should give The Name of the Wind a try. "Music is a fine thing, but metal lasts." The Name of the Wind is both.
Charlie from UK
Genuinely despairing at the number of people giving this book low reviews. I'm convinced that many of them must be trolls, and the rest are simply, not meaning to cause offence, incapable of appreciating what makes a good piece of literature. The majority of these negative comments cite 'the annoying, implausible main character' as the main cause of their displeasure - let me draw your attention to Achilles of the Iliad (which, by the way, is arguably the greatest piece of literary fiction to have been composed), to the eponymous hero of the Harry Potter series (far and away the best-selling book series of all time - and little wonder, it's great!), to Shakespeare's Hamlet, protagonist of one of the greatest plays that will ever be written: the best heroes throughout the history of literature are balanced by their flaws and their assets, as Kvothe so demonstrably is. This book is a skilfully composed amalgam of several distinct genres of fiction - the Epic, the bildungsroman, the romance - and as such, fails in no respect to appeal to all types of avid reader. Whether you seek a sentimental tale of love and loss, a thrilling journey of toil and hardship, or a provocative fable with deeper moral implications, this novel has facets which should appeal to you. Most striking to me personally are the honesty of Rothfuss' characterisation and the beauty of his prose. Having read a vast quantity of fiction, from dozens of esteemed authors spanning millennia, I can categorically say that this is one of the best books I have ever had the joy of reading, and one with uncommonly high rereadability; indeed, I feel I gain more pleasure from this book with each subsequent reading, as I perceive more about the inner workings of the characters, the subtleties of the plot, and the deeper nuances and themes of the text as a whole. I genuinely believe that those who have given this book 1-star reviews should have their opinions nullified - the only explanation is that they have misunderstood the text entirely, and as such their misguided observations do not reflect the true brilliance that Patrick Rothfuss has achieved here.
Maddie from Australia
So boring, sexist and poorly written. The plot barely moves, the same topic is droned on about for at least 50 pages minimum and the characters spends most of his time complaining. Women are never seen in a good light in this book, and are always 'problematic' when the problem is that the character is a self centered narcissist. The book is written poorly and without any hint of the so called 'great' author. Maybe if this author and his character got their heads out of their self centred asses, they would notice that neither they or the book is interesting and/or amazing. The ten star reviews on this make me question what is happening to humanity.
Josh from Australia
I’m convinced the negative reviews are from Neanderthals. This is a beautifully written book. Have you ever had a moment in your real life when you’re desperately searching for the appropriate words to do that moment justice? Well this book is full of those moments and he nails every single one. I found myself constantly wishing I had his command over my vocabulary. Also, the way Rothfuss handles the “‘magic” in this book is a welcome relief from the majority of fantasy books just just brush over how magic is done and expect you to just accept it. If your idea of a good fantasy book is 10 pages of character development, followed by 400 pages of ultra descriptive fight scenes, then maybe give this book a skip. But if you want to read something beautiful, you can’t go wrong. It’s poetic, thoughtful, emotional, philosophical, and sits at the tippy top of my list of favourite books.
Rachelle from United States of America
This is a book that I could read forever and never get bored, the pure complexity of culture and all together raw feelings displayed by all the characters is incredible, I do believe though that my favourite piece of his works is the concept of the 7 words to make a girl love you. It’s so much fun to find all the different places 7 word sentences appear when Kvothe is speaking to any number of girls. There are very few books out there that have pulled me so thoroughly into the story so completely that on my best and my worst days Rothfuss' words make me forget who and where I am. We all share the fear, joy, laughter and sorrows that take place. We experience the jolt of surprise as "Kote" pauses in his story from his younger self. In my personal opinion for all that that is worth, Patrick Rothfuss is right there along the authors of the classics and even surpassing a few of them. I take great joy in telling people about his works and look forward to what he might come out with next.
Adam from United States
One of my favorites, ever. So good! I love the fact that Kvothe breaks the trifecta mold. Most contend with the character that is proactive, likable, and powerful. I think the way that Rothfuss overcomes this is absolutely brilliant. In the autobiographical style in which he writes, we are allowed to take the lead role. Now we are awesome just like Kvothe. Also, inside of this character is where we see the most interesting bits, his weaknesses. Now he's less perfect, but more interesting. Pure genius, all there is to it.
Rob from Canada
A very well-written and interesting tale that will keep you up as you promise yourself, "only one more page." While some of the negative comments here have some truth to them the negative scores are an unfair judgement. There were a couple of inconsistencies but regardless I loved this novel from cover to cover and recommend it to all of my friends.
Lou'ay from Canada
If i could give this book a negative rating i would. I like fantasy, and i like campy fantasy as well. Epic fantasy is a bit much for me but im reading the malazan books and i seem to be interested. Firstly, Its hard to get into a story where the main character has no adversary able to match him. For people thinking about reading this i can sum it up in a few sentences. Boy has tragic upbringing, then excels at everything to the point that you will never feel sorry or bad for him. He's an annoying twat too. In the second book he sleeps with a fairy godess, spending several months learning how to please a woman but somehow still has confidence issues with some girl he likes. Then he goes to become a monk and learn kung fu and guess what. Hes the best at that too. All the while getting accepted into a xenophobic society by the shear power of his amazing quality, and hes banging chicks too while lesrning kungfu. I mean Neo couldn't even do that. Also hes good at playing a lute. Its as if some guy decided to write a fantasy version of what he wants to be when he grows up and fit it into 600+ pages. Im not quite sure what happens in the first book. He goes to school, some high school drama happens, then he runs away to fight a dragon that turns out to be a large lizard that eats trees and happens to get spooked by some crazy villagers. Then comes home to more high school drama. Its high school musical and the lord of the rings mashup. Minus some homo erotic hobit story line. Its that shtyte play in highschool your failed actor/drama teacher thought would be amazing. I can only imagine that this book got so many good reviews in the same vein as a lot of people seem to like maroon five. Its incomprehensible. Or to quote an actually good fantasy movie, inconceivable. Just how am i supposed to care about a guy who can do everything better than anyone else and still be a complete arse Inconceivable. *face palm*
Pranjalya from India
Absolutely loved the book. The setting, the characters, Kvothe, Denna, Auri, Elodin... And the best thing about this book is the prose... It's beautiful. And so subtle hints... The dialogues are awesome and the book leaves you looking for more... My favorite book series.
Betty from USA
The best part of this book is that I am almost done with it! I love Fantasy books got this one because I wanted something like Brandon Sanders Way of kings, Wow not even close. So boring a main character that is completely full of himself. Repetitive writing it was bland.
Lukasz from UK
I have mixed feelings about the book. On the one hand I want to know what is up with the main character with Kvothe. I also find the autobiographical aspect of the book interesting. On the other hand, chapters repeat themselves as if the author forgot he already described something (a place, a feeling, an object) a few chapters before. The book also seems pretty slow including details that are great to read for the first few chapters, but then you want to get to the sense of it all.
Andy from England
I read this book shortly after the second part (The WIse Mans Fear) was released and very quickly read them both. I absolutely loved them. However, I find it very difficult to recommend them to anyone these days as the third and final book of the trilogy has still not been released - nor does it look like being released any time soon - despite it being well over six years since the second part was released. To recommend this series right now feels like recommending a book which you know to have the last five chapters torn out. When/if Rothfuss finally concludes the story then I would wholeheartedly recommend it to any fan of the fantasy genre.
Shereef from Egypt
I'm honestly amazing at some of the low reviews given here. Criticism of the decisions of Kvothe such as focus why he did certain things and forgetting that he was still at a young age when most of this story started. It is an enjoyable story, focusing on a brilliant but rash child who loses his parents suddenly. The pace of the story is slow to start but once you read through what I assume if the setup of the plotline you can't leave the book. I have already read the second book which is even better and can hardly wait for the third and final with high expectations.
Jacob from USA
A beautiful modern fantasy novel written from the perspective of an unreliable narrator. To those who read the low reviews that use the complaint that Kvothe is too good at everything, know that these people have missed the point of the books. We are watching a man set up his own myth in his lifetime, a talented man no doubt, but a prideful liar as well. Kvothe thinks all women want him, that he is the center of the universe and his storytelling reflects this. The beautiful irony is that one of his main struggles is unearthing true information from old stories where others have done the same. This is a fantasy tale for the ages, a story about stories and those who tell them.
Rahul from United States
Reading the previous reviews it seems either people really like it or dislike the book. I can see both opinions as really valid. There is way too much exposition in this book, nothing seems to happen, it as if you were reading A Song of Fire and Ice, and you had to read every page with a detailed description of the food. For some reason though, the story was interesting enough that I wanted to finish the novel. The author definitely makes you curious what Kvothe 's deal is. How does he become the superhero and what he does with it? There doesn't seem to be any really complicated problem he ever really faces, besides the beginning of the book. As everyone has said Kovethe, is capable of doing everything, I guess that is his knack. The side-characters are alright, the most interesting one is probably "Ben" and he is only there for a bit. If you like fantasy books and autobiographical styles, this could entertain you? If you like fantasy books with more complexity and a more interesting world, I suggest you skip it.
Dave from UK
Excellent. I am actually truly amazed at some of the reviews on here, calling into question Rothfuss' use of prose and language?! He is an excellent storyteller and his use of language is engaging, poetic, rhythmic and easy to soak in. The main character many people forget is a boy, an exceptional boy, who early on is established as a quick study who rarely repeats mistakes and has a wisdom that makes him seem older than he is. And he seems to have the best memory I'll grant that. So people who don't like that he excels at everything, I find only half true, he excels at things he puts his sharp mind to, but he still only has the understanding of an adolescent, and the temper too, both of which are key realistic character traits, recurring throughout the story. The first book reminded me of the Harry Potter series, except where the magic actually makes sense as it has 'scientific-esque' theory behind it (which the lack of magic and societal explanation and overdose of 'convenience' was my biggest bug bear of the Potter series). I for one could not put these books down, I laughed out loud many times at characters being themselves and coming fools of situations, and It does use many storytelling stereotypes (like girls falling for him, him being the best (almost like being 'the one') but the story is so fluidly and believably told, you don't really realise until you look back. Utterly refreshing and I cannot praise these books enough.
Vic from Indonesia
If Kvothe is so good with his musical instrument, his main focus should have been to firstly find a lute so he can earn money instead of begging and stealing for food. If he's so smart, shouldn't he have realized not to use a lit candle in the Archives? Dozens of other inconsistencies that makes this a super boring and stupid book.
Stefanos from Greece
One of the worst fantasy book I've ever read. Cant understand the hype for this trilogy. Boring characters, miserable main character, dull story, trying to persuade u that its a big and epic story and never manage to succeed it. VERY VERY OVERESTIMATED! I wanted to like it, tried hard to finish 1st book , tried harder to finish 2nd book. So many hours reading wasted!
Tarzan from Canada
Worst writer I ever read. His prose is so bad, I started wondering if he ever finished grade school.
Philip from United Kingdom
Very poor indeed. Literally went in and out of this book only to find he was droning on about the same thing 100-200 pages latter i.e being in debt, getting out of debt, moaning on about women etc. He has to be good at everything also which I find tedious. Their are also no positive representations of women in this book either which I find problematic. This doesn't deserve the high scores it is getting.
Bobby, all the way from Ireland
An amazing book, and everyone who says they can't relate to the characters, or that they are dull just lack the imagination required to truly read the story, and not just look at the words on the page.
Brecken from USA
My main issue with the book wasn't the plot - I'm a sucker for anything fantasy - but the style. I felt as though characters were in the present day. Their interaction felt very modern in this setting, and it was out of place. During dialogue, a character would correct themself with "wait," before presenting a thought or "like" as a filler. Both of these are modern phrases, and that caused a very noticible disconnect from the setting. I do have some problems with the main character. Yes, his story is tragic, but it's the underdog story. The "hero risen from nothing" troupe. His back story feels a lot like a back story I created for my first elder scrolls character. I understand some of the symbolism in the story, and the themes are nice as well, but Kvothe himself is, to be honest, a whiny, grumpy, sulking, hero man. The entire book also felt like exposition. A big sad backstory, which is fun for the first 200 pages, but gets old. Kvothe's drama gets boring and obnoxious. There are some good qualities. I think the side characters are interesting, though simple. Some unresolved plots kept me guessing as rhe story went on, and visually it was very good and detail oriented. Good writing, when it wasn't about characters or dialogue. Pretty okay book.
Ignas from Lithuania
Story is nice and all. But I really hate how the main character is a super hero, very best at everything. Always going around saving towns. Doing all the stupid s**t for glory, like some Kardashian.
Xander from Sweden
Awesome book with great insight into the characters life. Couldn't put it down.
Jameson from England
Really spectacular book. If you love fantasy (or just love great books in general) then this is a must read.
Vanessa from US
This is such a great read, Rothfuss Really is a master of words. I've heard this book catch some flack for the less than realistic portrayal of Kvothe. Ignore the critics. Anyone who thinks of Kvothe as being shallow and to perfect clearly hasn't looked far past the surface. The book is a tragedy at heart, and Rothfuss is slowly building up to that downward turn. Engaging read.
Trevor from US
I'll try to keep this brief. Patrick Rothfuss is a genius. The world and the characters he creates are completely fleshed out, and the prose is magnificent. This is easily one of the best, most absorbing books I've ever read, and it's absolutely astounding to me that this is a debut novel. Nothing more needs to be said. That's it. If you like fantasy go pick up a copy, and READ IT RIGHT NOW.
Natures Way Glass from USA
Firstly, as continuously written throughout the reviews (regardless of rating), Pat's elegant writing compliments the story superbly. It was written numerous times in other reviews that the character lacked depth, was the "sh*t" at "everything," or no emotional connection existed. For these people, and mind you they have their right to feel how they feel, but for these people, I feel tremendously sorry. They clearly lack the emotional depth and intellectual thought required to fully grasp what Mr. Rothfuss has done here. This story has a centralized character from which it extends. If you desire 30 point-of-view characters (which works Very Well for certain storylines ~ GRRM is phenomenal) then this would not be the read for you, at this moment in time. Nonetheless, I would still compel you to Read This Story...Someday. Whether Tomorrow, next year, or in 20, you Must experience what Kvothe has to offer. Frankly, it balances far better than most novels. Many attempt to instigate emotion in the reader whilst a major arc occurs, and unfortunately many fail miserably. This story, which revolves around One man (and his supporting cast mixed throughout), envelopes the reader in his love, his loss, his pain, and overall his passion for the answers he seeks. His drive, though motivated partially by revenge and partially due to his inquisitiveness, will carry the reader from the beginning to the end. If you've ever loved, ever lost, ever suffered, ever smiled, ever Felt something stronger and deeper than "cool story bro," then you must read this book. It's a story of a man, not a glamour show of an army, of a king, or of a country. It's the reality of his world, the severe loss he suffered, and how he manages to survive and overcome it. And simply put, it significantly touches on relevant tribulations in our own lives today. Give it a chance, and you will not regret it. Cheers.
Xavier from Vienna
This was one of the best fantasy books I've read in recent times. It made me a smile a great deal while reading, so well was it written. It shared elements with many of the books I have enjoyed most: Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Hobb's The Realm of the Elderlings and Le Guin's Earthsea saga. After the first 300 pages (about halfway) I would have given the book 10 out of 10 but the standard dropped a wee bit, and although the book was still good I felt it lacked the wonder of what had preceded. Thankfully the denouement closed everything off masterfully in an enthralling finale and I look forward to reading Wise Man's Fear.
Bruce from England
At times the style of the writing can be very pleasing, but the story is poor, sorry, I mean, very very very poor. Nothing really happens - in the whole book - except one incident with a dragon which I won't spoil. But apart from that it's just a long boring grinding story of some kid learning the first steps in becoming a magician. Not a single decent fight in 600 pages. I bought this because a review site listed it as number one in a list of the 20 best fantasy novels. Fantasy indeed.
Darinka from UK
Great book! One of the best I have ever read. I look forward to the third day!
Zsombor from HU
It is beautifully written, I mean really. However the character is boring and as previous reviewers said, is actually an impulsive asshole who is the best at everything. His most important characteristic is poor, orphan, very clever, good intentions, always looking for trouble even when unnecessary . In my opinion if he would behave how he does he would already be quite dead by the middle of the 2nd book. I was enduring because the world is cleverly set-up, and as I wrote above, in my opinion it is nicely written. Sometimes you read a part of the book and you have the feeling that 2 months passed, then it comes out that all this happened in 1 week.
Daniel from Canada
This is the worst book I have ever read. Boring characters, boring setting, boring plot. C'mon Rothfuss, this is terrible, worst 22 hours of my life that I will never get back.
Troy from USA
I wanted to say first that this book was well written. It's an easy ready with many different interesting events. There is a lot of creativity that is involved, and often it kept me reading. Though these are huge pluses when I read this book, there are many events in the book that made me roll my eyes repeatidly. The main character, Kvothe, seems ridiculous as he is able to do anything. Basically Rothfuss made this character seem like a god who can do anything, has many jealous of his intelligent, and has many women wanting him.
Yasmin from Netherlands
I love both books! Can't wait for the third one :) but i have to say that the bar is pretty high now... difficult to like other books..:P
Jeff from Mexico
The main character is completely unbelievable and totally disconnected. He's simply the best at everything. He's literally too cool for school. Every girl wants him, all his friends want to be him and the world is just in awe at how awesome he is. He saves women from burning buildings, saves entire towns from huge dragons is the wittiest person you've ever met (and the most handsome), all at age 15. Yet what really makes him feel like a hero (despite all he's accomplished in this book) is when he teaches a little girl a foreign saying to make her feel better. Of course, it's even more amazing when the saying is said in the deep, baritone voice he admits to having. Just incredible indulgence in character development. Absolutely ridiculous. Could really learn a lot from Mr. Martin.
Kael from Canada
This book is amazing; as some have mentioned, it draws you in. Specially for those who have gone through tougher times, or less than ideal circumstances, who may be able to relate to Kvothe's pain and poverty; it really engages and enthralls you. Those people that get tired of Kvothe alluding to the fact that he's poor have probably never gone through similar circumstances. All I got to say on that.
Tomas from England
For me this was the worst fantasy book I have ever read! Boring story from the start to the finish! I cannot believe all the positive reviews it has got! There was nothing happening on those 600 hundred pages, the whole story (600) pages seemed to be the only start for another book... well could be the trick to persuade readers to buy another book but I surely won't. So glad I finished reading it... wasted time reading this rubbish when there are plenty more of good books to read.
Cedric from Netherlands
Amazing book, but sometimes repetetive. There are so many things in the books which aren't being written but you have to figure out yourself if you can, but does not matter much if you cannot. Great read for everyone!
James from Canada
How often do you find a story that is most likely going to be a tragedy so entertaining. It's also rare to have such a personal and intimate connection with the protagonist as the reader has with Kvothe. The writing was poetic and flowed so well even a dull section of the book (a rarity!) feels smooth. Kvothe's interaction with everyone around him was wonderful and even minor characters seem fully developed and important to the plot. A unique take on magic, heroism, fantasy writing and a must read for anyone who likes reading.
I have to say I really liked this book. I read it a few years ago, and just keep coming back to it. I really like the way that his story is told, and trying to understand how Kvothe went from the boy he was to the man he is in the book's present. I can understand why there are those that feel that the book isn't very good, but I think that for the first book in a trilogy it is very good. It sets up so many things for the next books, and I really love the writing. Read the book out loud, and you'll find that there are some beautiful phrases and placement of words, as if someone used to telling stories really is telling the story. Anyway, I think it's a book that can be enjoyed by many people.
CJ Twice from Atlanta
WOW - I can't imagine anyone saying this series is no good. Dude [Rothfuss] is a frigging fantasy wizard, and both this and book two are full of little clues and puzzles (he actually gives the ultra fan something to do while waiting for the next book). GE-NI-OUS!!! I can't wait for 'The Doors of Stone" - BTW all my guessing had me guessing this title only refers to the two Lackless doors at the Lackless estates and within the university archives. Upon further review, I believe the gray stones have to be included in that. Remember the folklore surrounding them 'they mark old roads/safe places' according to Kvothe, but Simon believes they bad things. Older cultures, who would understand them proper, would probably see them as a good thing [a way of escape from trouble], while those who don't understand them completely would only see them as dangerous, because they probably have learned to associate them with appearances by Fay creatures. Remember, Falurian suggests there are many doors to move between the mortal an Fayan realms for those who know how. I'd be willing to bet that both the University and Lackless estate are build on/around these stones [ we already know that one of these stones exists at the bridge near the university. That door in the archives must somehow lock this passageway. Furthermore one of those two doors [Lackless or university] must be locking away Alaxle 'Lax' the most powerful of the shapers (the one who stole the moon).
Jan from Antwerp, Belgium
I must say this was a very good book. But if I were to give word to one of the flaws in this book, it is that the main character - that is supposed to be a very smart guy - does really stupid things on many occasions. Still, worth reading though!
Daniel from New York
I continued to be shocked that people like this book as they do - so shocked that I had to comment on it if only to banace out its ratings. The intrigue is fairly well set up, but goes absolutely nowhere, and what should be the climax of the first book ends up being an exceedingly long tangent about a drugged dragon. And also, we get it, Kvothe, ylou're poor. You didn't need to say it two hundred times.
Antoine from Canada
Like many read this on a whim. Literally by the time you finish the first page - which was beautifully written - you ask yourself, how have I never heard of this before?
Mira from New Zealand
Patrick Rothfuss' is an incredible writer - these are the best books (fantasy or otherwise) I have read in a long long time.
Joe from Glasgow
I just don't get the adulation heaped on this guy. Narrow focus, no set pieces, little in the way of emotional resonance, and a section towards the end that is completely superfluous. Although written well, it needs more. I won't be reading any more of this series as there are plenty more books to read.
Javier from Spain
Nice storytelling, that's it. I love this book, it is absorbent, easy to read, but at the end it seems to me like an empty book. It is an extensive intro that could be summarized in less than half of the book length.
Ashton from Australia
This is a fantastic novel. Allowing you to escape from your own world for a while is what a fictional novel is, but Rothfuss has taken this to a whole new level as The Name of the Wind actually draws you IN to the book. I laughed and cried with the main character which is something that most authors can only hope to achieve. This novel really is where the ordinary becomes extrordinary and the impossible becomes possible.
Dan from London
One of the best fantasy novels in decades. Engaging characters and a compelling plot. All those I have recommended it to have loved it.
Arham from Pakistan
One of my favorites as a young teen. Really pulls your heart.
Tom from Ohio
This is the kind of book you will read more than once. Great writing and a lead character that will stick with you.
James from Boston
A passionate, delightful book in every way. Perhaps not as technically polished as Martin or Hobb, but their equal for imagination and characterization. More than that, this is just a book that feels good to read on a snowy evening, fantasy in the old sense, a book that will envelop you and let you escape into a world that's just legendary enough to leave you craving more at the last page.
Jan from Germany
I have read it in 2 Languages more than 8 times. Definitely my favorite.
Peter from Netherlands
Best book ever! Couldn't put it away after the first 50 pages. My all time favourite!
Henrik from Sweden
This is nice first try but not a good novel. Rothfuss would maybe have gained a lot by waiting to release this ill-edited, illogical version, then rewrite it and most of all move the last hundred pages to the next installment.
Naru from Indonesia
I truly enjoyed this book, it is amazing. The plot keeps going on without ever failing to make me picture itself. Simply put, I couldn't stop myself reading this book until I finished it, and now that I did, I can't stop waiting and wanting the second book. Buy it, read it, you won't regret it.
Daniel from Tempe, AZ
I honestly come to a loss for words. All I can say is anyone who can even slightly enjoy a fantasy needs to read this book because it truly is fantastic. By page 100 I knew this book would instantly become one of my all time fav's.
Marie from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The language. The main character. The plot. What can I say? To understand the hype, you have to read the book. I've been promoting this book shamelessly among my friends and family. This book has EVERYTHING you could possibly want: romance, scientific facts, amazingly beautiful writing, magic... And, apparently, in the next book: sex. Buy this book. You won't regret it.
Leonie from Cumbria, UK
I bought this book on a whim, and I'm glad I did. The storytelling is absolutely effortless, and continues to engage you from start to finish. For a first book, it's as good as you can get, I only hope that the sequel can achieve as much. I read it cover to cover in under a day and then read it again, the only reason I gave it a 9/10 rating is so the sequel can get a 10/10 if it's better!
Henry from Fitchburg
Well I gave it a 8 because this is my first fantasy book I have ever read. All I've got to say is wow, this book keep my interested all the way through. There wasn't much in the way of epic battles or anything like that, but it was a well writtten story. Can't wait for the next book to come out.
Preita from California, USA
I think this book is just about as close to a 10 star rating as you can get. It's the first book that actually made me cry for the character. The writing is fluid and beautiful and though the story is a little tragic I can't wait for more.
7.2/10 from 78 reviews
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