Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Name of the Wind - The Kingkiller Chronicle #1 - Patrick Rothfuss

Release Date: First published: March 27th, 2007
Publisher: Gollancz
Age Group:  Adult
Pages: 662
Format: Paperback

Source: Bought

Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.


Lots and lots of people have reviewed this book before me. It’s not a new book, it was actually first published in 2007. It has 105.784 ratings on Goodreads with an average score of 4,56 and 9.930 people reviewed it there. Pfieuw. I don’t really know if I can add something new to that pile of reviews and the many opinions about this book that are already out there. But I want to add my voice to the others, I want to tell  you all about this book. Why? Because it was so damn good.
I won’t analyze the novel in great detail, I just want to find the words to express how much I enjoyed reading it and what I especially liked about it.

The story is told from a very unique perspective: it’s a story within a story. Kvothe, the main characters decides to document his life and tells his story to a scribe. This way we get a whole story in the past and this is interspersed with a few chapters in the present, getting some comments from Kvothe, his student and the scribe, as well as some action-packed scenes where we get a glimpse of the supernatural part of this book.
The first person perspective really takes you deep into the story, making it very personal and intimate. I’ve heard it’s not always easy to write from a first person perspective, because of the reasons I mentioned above, but Rothfuss does a splendid job. This was maybe one of the best books with this perspective I’ve read so far.
Another thing that was so wonderful about this book is the details. There are so many tiny things Rotfuss describes, so many things others wouldn’t think about, but he just goes ahead and describes the food, the clothes, everything. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t too much, not at all. It was just right. Just right to give this already beautiful story and extra lift.
The story itself is awesome (I really don’t have another word for it), but I won’t go deeper into that, I want you to find out for yourselves.

I especially loved the part where Kvothe attends the University though, maybe because I’m a Uni student myself or it reminded me of a more adult version of Harry Potter, I don’t know, but that vibe that Rothfuss creates at the university… It felt like I was a student there myself, like I walked the courtyards and could see the many students all around me. After finishing the book this left me with some kind of a  hole inside, I really was so fully submerged in this story it was a bit hard for me to return to reality and attend a University where there’s no magic but just massive books about bacteria, plants and diseases.
This brings me to the magic system. I’ve heard arguments about whether or not a magic system should be explained or not. I’ve read both and I have enjoyed both. But Rothfuss created such a clever system, with so much detail, I was astounded by it. I’m always baffled that such things can sprout from a single mind. That, my friend, is the true magic in this world.

The book was so beautifully written it released a tidal wave of emotions in me. People watching me read this book (my parents and the people who are working on our garden) will have seen me laugh several times and they may have even seen me sniffling and trying to hide some tears. This story doesn’t just suck you in from the very first page, it envelops you, it takes you in its embrace and refuses to let go. It will stay with you long after you’ve finished the last pages.
I’ve read dozens of memorable quotes in “The Name of The Wind” and each of them I wanted to feature in this review, but it just were too many and I can’t choose one of them. They’re all so wonderful, so breathtaking. So I’ll let you discover them on your own and hope you’ll feel the same way as I did reading this masterpiece. Mesmerized, full of emotions and longing for more.  

This is one of the big ones in the Fantasy scene and every fan of the genre should read this book. 


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