The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One) by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss


My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
If someone had described this book to me, I would not have read it. I’m just not in the market for a first book in a trilogy that sounds like bog-standard modern fantasy no matter how you cut it.

Luckily, no one described it to me.

It just kept coming up from different people who I know had no contact with one another. So, when my first book of the summer reading came up I picked it up.

It was compulsively readable. I went through over 700 pages in five days. I was staying up late and losing sleep to read it.

I am not going to give a summary of the book because it isn’t my thing. The scenes in the arcane academia were really nice. A friend of mine was writing a novel set in a university of wizards and I loved it but, like in this book, was always disappointed when the plot took us away from that setting. It was obvious to me that the author had spent time in academia and having read his bio, I see that its true.

The framing of the story, the way that each book will be about one day of the main character telling the tale of his life to the royal chronicler is fantastic and well wrought.

There were lots of words wasted, telling us how difficult it is to be poor that were better shown just by illustrating his difficulties. Two or three times the main character talks about being a poor student and it got tiresome.

There was only really only one female character but even the characters listening to the story remarked on it, so I am thinking that will change in the latter two books.

I like how the book is a story being told; it gives it a kind of self-awareness that doesn’t come off as trying too hard to be some kind of lame-ass post-modern commentary of the genre (as opposed to China Mieville, which is fanastic commentary on the genre).

I promised myself I wasn’t going to get into any more fantasy series but I’m tentatively hooked. I want to see past the students days, into the epic, king-killing, gods-will-fear-me stuff. Seduce me with another block of a book that goes by like a breezy summer day and I’ll read your damned series. I’m in.

View all my reviews.

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12 thoughts on “The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One) by Patrick Rothfuss

  1. I enjoyed it too, and I don’t read modern fantasy anymore. If I had known it was magic university, I never would have picked it up, but I am glad I did…

    And why do you love China Mieville so much? To me he reads like he is trying to be Howard with a certain level of brevity, but comes out rather confusing due to all the made up fucking words he uses.

  2. I enjoyed this book, as well…

    …especially intriguing for me was the seemingly huge contrast between the classic fantasy vibe of the main story and the “dark fantasy” of the frame story.

  3. I want to see past the students days, into the epic, king-killing, gods-will-fear-me stuff.

    I believe my comment on finishing the book was, “Awesome, but needs more swordfights.” I hope the next book will deliver. 🙂

  4. Well, your obvious enthusiasm certainly made me want to read this. Even as I type this, amazon’s salesmonkeys are scurrying about on my behalf. Thanks for the tip.

      • Re: Liked and Devoured but didn’t Love

        Even so, something that evokes that kind of emotion has to have something worth reading inside it.

        There’s plenty of books that, while hardly great, have won a special place in my heart with some silly detail or scene that lodges in my brain. I’m willing to take a few risks for the chance of more of that sort of thing.

        But thank you for the warning anyway.

  5. China

    Perdido Street Station, especially the first time I read it, felt overly dense with too much purple prose. But The Scar and Iron Council really came around for me and corrected those problems.

  6. I found I kept getting frustrated with the main character not getting the guts to actually speak to his love interest and so put it down in disgust.

    It occurs to me that in a lot of fiction, people not talking to each other, and so creating problems that could have easily been solved had they only talked to each other is a commonly used trope, though, so whatever.

  7. One of the things I really liked about Kim Wilkins’s The Autumn Castle is that it doesn’t fall into this trap. One character hears a Dark Secret about another. She actually goes to him and asks him about it, and they talk. Amazing.

    Another thing I liked is that while it is very much a modern fairy tale and does not wallow in muck and grime (something I think overdone — ooh, lookey, we’re realIStic, not like that Tolkien fellow! Smell that mud and piss! Note how nasty all the characters are, except the ones who get abused!), Wilkins is well aware that money is important. The house of artists that’s such a cliche works because we find out where the money’s coming from.

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