Books You Should Read: The Name of the Wind

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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.

The Name of the Wind is the first book in a trilogy called the Kingkiller Chronicle, written by Patrick Rothfuss. It was recommended to me about 3 years ago by a friend. I had a very long flight to Europe coming up, and he thought it would be the perfect chance for me to get into the series. So, I went out and purchased the book.

My first mistake took place a few days before my flight. I decided to read the Prologue. My second mistake was continuing on to the first chapter. Everything went completely to hell when I failed to go to sleep that night, stayed up reading, and then went out and purchased the second book the next day. Fortunately, the third book is still unreleased, or I might never have made my flight.

The Name of the Wind is a fantasy novel centered around Kvothe, a talented boy who is orphaned at a young age by terrible dark forces, and forced to live on the streets until finally making his way to the University, where he studies magic and tries to find a way to seek revenge for his parents’ death. The story is told by Kvothe himself, a number of years after these events take place.

Rothfuss masterfully weaves together a tale of music, magic, terror, arrogance, pain, and friendship. The “bad guys” are truly compelling, and the characters are lovable and real. My one complaint would be the main love interest, whom I find to be flimsy and frustrating, however I suspect that she will be reaching her full potential in the third book.

One of the things I love most about this series is Rothfuss’ amazing world building. The world is so rich and full, and the histories and mythologies so well developed, that I find myself not wanting to leave it. And the mysteries that Rothfuss has created within this world will leave you theorizing and picking over parts of the book for hours.

Scale of 1 to 5: 5 all the way

Decree: Run out and buy it immediately

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