I started reading The Name of the Wind in the middle of the night. I had not intended to read it. ‘The slow regard of silent things’ had caught my attention, but when the Author’s Forward stated: “First, if you haven’t read my other books, you won’t want to start here,” I took his advice and started at the beginning.
The Name of the Wind is the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy called The Kingkiller Chronicle. It is a fictional autobiography of Kvothe, a young musician, magician, student and foolish, brilliant boy.
It is a story that draws one in and does not let go. I finished reading it in a day and the first thing I did after reading over 600 pages was to open up the second book in the series because this is not a stand alone novel and I would highly recommend you do the same.
The art of story telling
There are many themes in The Name of the Wind and much is written about a great many subjects. There are two stories that run concurrently, one set in the present day for Kvothe and the other is his narration of his life’s story. It is a easy read with one central character, a linear progression from childhood into adulthood and a world that is well-sculpted but easy to imagine.
It is also a book that contains a fictional Russian doll. The main plot is a story being told and within the story there are other stories told and the nature of storytelling is discussed. It also stretches the other way and I almost felt at times that I wasn’t just being told a story, but also tested as to what I thought would make a good story. Sometimes I received what I wanted, but there was no satisfaction in it. Other times I felt frustrated that big deeds did not come with big rewards.
The name of the Wind is an enthralling read because it is a well-written easy to pick up and impossible to put down kind of book.
About Patrick Rothfuss
Patrick Rothfuss is an American fantasy writer born in Wisconsin. He initially studied chemical engineering, “which led to a revelation that chemical engineering is boring. He then spent the next nine years jumping from major to major, taking semesters off, enjoying semesters at part-time, and generally rocking the college student experience before being kindly asked to graduate already.”
He taught part-time whilst continuing writing this series and after winning the Writers of the Future competition in 2002, he secured a publishes, DAW Books, who agreed to publish it in three installments.
The name of the Wind was published in 2007, won the Quill Award and made it onto the New York Times Bestseller list. The second book, The Wise Man’s Fear was published in 2011 and it reached Number 1 on the New York Times Hardback Fiction Best Seller List. He is still working on the final book in the series, but has published an interim novella, “The slow regard of silent things”.
Format: Kindle Edition, Paperback, Library Binding, MP3 CD
File Size: 1487 KB
Print Length: 676 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0575081406
Word Wise: Enabled
It is written for adults, but could easily fit into the young adult (YA) fiction category as well. It is set in a fantasy world that is believable and intricate – a world with its own magical-scientific principles, as well as a comprehensive history and art forms, instruments, songs and plays. It is a book that will be appeal to anyone who has ever naturally excelled at anything, or everything, and in particular those with a literary, musical or magical interest.
It has some serious themes and some heavy quotes and phrases that may inspire or annoy depending on the audience, but the style is clear and the story written with empathy and humor.
There is an audio book that makes it accessible to the blind. The Kindle version has text-to-speech enabled and the e-ink screen, adjustable text and high contrast background makes this highly accessible for anyone with a visual impairment, photophobia or colour blindness. There are no use of colour, it is text only and on its dimmest setting or lighting turned off, those with photophobia (light sensitivity) should not experience any issues.
The Kindle version as well as the paperback and library binding is highly accessible to the deaf, anyone with a hearing impairment, including tinnitus and auditory processing disorder as well as those who experience hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound). I would recommend the eBook for severe hyperacusis where the rustling of book pages is a problem.
Input and Touch
The name of the Wind is available in book, ebook and audio book format. For those unable to hold a book or turn pages, the ebook and audio book is highly accessible where either tapping on a touch screen is the only requirement, or for those unable to use touch screens, an MP3 player with physical buttons or computer with adated input, like switches can be used.
Cognitive, language and math
It is an uncomplicated yet highly immersive story to read. The novel is focused on one main character with a set of supporting characters. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an engrossing book, but does not feel up to complicated scientific ideas or keeping track of multiple characters or plot lines.
It is very well written, but although it is an easy read, the reading level required is more advanced because it is a fantasy world with its own magical, scientific, musical, literary and historical information and jargon. It is not particularly complicated or complex, but there is a fair number of new races, languages and words to learn.
Trigger warnings and age ratings
Warning: Plot spoilers in the information below
There are many potential triggers throughout the book, but they are handled with tact,adding depth and texture to both the characters and the plot. Extreme poverty, being orphaned at a young age, violence, cold blooded murder and powerlessness feature heavily.
There is no explicit sex scenes or sexual themes, however brothels are mentioned, the word “whore” is used and the implication throughout is that destitute women had few choices that didn’t lead to selling the only thing they had to sell.
Gender inequality is experienced often, but the main character, although he disapproves an disagrees, is not particularly affected.
There is some mention of recreational drug use and addiction. Drinking and getting drunk is depicted in a generally positive and amusing light as an accepted practice particularly as a student and as part of student life.
The Name of the Wind tells a story that is larger than a book. It stayed with me in between reading sessions and long after I had finished it. It is a story with depth, meaning, raises more questions than it answers.
In the end, there is a certain sense of disappointment because it does not lead where I wanted it to take me but instead stops in the middle. Pick it up knowing that it is a Part 1, but luckily Part 2 has been published.
It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me frustrated, angry, unsympathetic and then it made me feel less alone in the middle of the night because as annoying as Kvothe can be, he is good company indeed.
Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a good story, a detailed fantasy world and a little humour with the grim determination that drags the central character forwards. Particularly recommended for those of us looking for something to read on a bad day that is easy to identify with and enjoy, but also uplifting in its own wicked way.
Quotes from the Name of the Wind
Opening paragraph: “It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.”
“It wasn’t even a good note. ‘If you are reading this I am probably dead.’ What sort of a note is that?”
“I also felt guilty about the three pens I’d stolen, but only for a second. And since there was no convenient way to give them back, I stole a bottle of ink before I left.”
“Too much truth confuses the facts. Too much honesty makes you sound insincere.”
Product: The Name of the Winde | Author: Patrick Rothfuss | Genre: Epic Fantasy | Language: English | Publisher: DAW Books