Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow. Just one book. Just one fricking book and I can already label Patrick Rothfuss as a master wordweaver/worldbuilder. In THE NAME OF THE WIND, the narrator, Kvothe, is a simple barkeep at first glance, who tells his own story in the presence of the Chronicler and Bast, a fae servant to some obscure degree. His story starts nearly at the beginning of his life and he tells it fluidly, with perfect recollection, despite the occasional interruption, as you see, the book transports the reader back and forth between the tale Kvothe is telling and the events unfolding in the present, dire and foreboding events concerning the return of dark times.

One reviewer compared THE NAME OF THE WIND to Harry Potter, but Rothfuss is spinning a yarn deeper and more intricate than that of J.K. Rowling's Potterverse. I'm not sure what I was expecting, to be honest, but Rothfuss delivers something inventive, original, and rather unforeseen. This book is intelligently written. The overall voice is strong and certain. The main character, Kvothe, is clever, precocious, mysterious, likable one moment, feared the next--a deep protagonist who can certainly carry this trilogy.

My only complaint is it felt a bit redundant throughout, and got a little bogged down in the middle. I often felt like I was waiting for something to happen, and waiting. And waiting. I came away from THE NAME OF THE WIND feeling like I'd just read 700 pages of, basically, build-up to something much bigger; which, in fact, is the truth. I have a feeling that the proverbial sh*t is really going to hit the fan in book two of the Kingkiller Chronicle. And I plan to be there. Because for 700 pages of "build-up," it was STILL that damn good.

So, hurry up, Pat!

Four out of five stars.


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