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, The Wise Man’s Fear, because this is not a stand alone novel and then I finally got around to the novella I had wanted to read.
All three titles were meaty, mesmerizing and unputdownable.
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Price: ± £5-6 per 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 instalments.
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. The novella, “The slow regard of silent things”, was the most recent publication in the universe.
- Genre: Epic fantasy
- Target audience: Teens, Adults
There are many themes in The Kingkiller Chronicles 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 an 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 series 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 Kingkiller Chronicles is an enthralling read because it is an easy to pick up and impossible to put down kind of book.
Environment & People
Format: Kindle Edition, Paperback, Library Binding, MP3 CD
Print Length: 676 pages, 1000 pages, 177 pages (novella)
The Kingkiller Chronicles tell a story that is larger than a book – or two books in this case. It stayed with me in between reading sessions and long after I had finished it. It is a story with depth, meaning and Pat is brilliant at creating a continuous suspense that creates a real page turner – of 1 600 pages.
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.
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.”