Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Okay people.  I'm going to be totally honest right now.  Some of my defining characteristics are as follows:  procrastinator and forgetful.  A deadly duo.  Much to the chagrin of my ever-so-patient-with-me husband, I often procrastinate things until I forget about them entirely.  My whole life is plagued by forgetting everything, but only remembering things when I can't do anything about it.  You know, remembering you need to mail a letter when you are in the shower, but forget about it the second you wrap yourself in that lovely, fluffy, just out of the warm dryer, towel.  Story of my stinking life.  Anyway, my brother-in-law Bryce, who, I might add, is the biggest pain in the butt ever :) has been hassling me to read this book FOREVER!  When I didn't read it and didn't read it, he wrote a review for my blog.  What do you think happened to that review?  It sat in my inbox forever.  And ever.  And ever.  So here is the awesome review, written by my awesome brother-in-law, who I know loves me, no matter how much he'd deny it!

The Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss

"My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as "quothe." Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I've had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it's spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree.

"The Flame" is obvious if you've ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it's unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire.

"The Thunder" I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age.

I've never thought of "The Broken Tree" as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic.

My first mentor called me E'lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them.

But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know."

I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of Kvothe—from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more—for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe's legend."

Bryce's Take:

          I need to preface this review by saying that I have given The Book Buff a hard time since I finished this book. I’ve been asking her every single day (Or having my brother / her husband ask) if she has had a chance to start reading this book. She is reading so much right now that she hasn’t been able to fit this book into her schedule yet. I decided I’d help her out by writing a review since I’ve read it already. So here we go!

             I’m sure we have all read books where the hero saves the day. I’m sure that at the end of some of these books you have asked yourself what the hero does next. What happens to him/her? Does he get married? Does he live happily ever after? Does he get a disease and pass away a year later?

                This book is unique in that you learn the answers to those questions in the first few chapters. You know how the hero of the story ends up. What you don’t know is how he got to that point. People in the world sing songs about him. They tell outrageous stories him. Only the hero however knows the truth. This book is his accounting of what really happened.

                 The first time I saw the book I was discouraged. It was almost 800 pages long! Luckily I didn’t let that deter me, because I enjoyed every page. I am sure some readers would find portions of the book cliché. A large portion of the book has the hero learning magic at a University. Now before you scream “Hogwarts!” understand that this is where the similarities end. There are no elves that clean. There are no ghosts playing pranks on people. There are no broom sticks that fly. There are no magic wands. In fact, the book takes a unique, almost scientific approach to magic.

          The main character was so well written that at times I became extremely annoyed by him. I know that sounds like criticism, but let me explain why I felt that way. At times the character would make stupid decisions. I would ask myself why this guy was making these decisions when he should know better. I had to remember that even though he was a hero later in life, he was also once just a teenager, and it was these teenage years I was reading about.

            Violence:  There are a couple of scenes that I can imagine would be absolutely grotesque on screen, but luckily the book does not go into detail. Most of the violence is your run of the mill schoolyard fare. There are a few portions that are worse than that.

             Sex: Sex is alluded to, but it is never described in the book as actually taking place. An example would be parents telling their child to take a walk while they “worked some things out.” It doesn’t get worse than that.

                Language: To be honest I don’t remember any really offensive language. There are a few words here and there, but it never feels forced.  One of the advantages authors have in creating their own world is that they can come up with their own forms profane saying or customs. There is some of that here.

                In conclusion, this book really impressed me. The author was able to get just the right mix of action, romance, comedy, and tragedy into the book without making it feel forced. I loved it so much that I picked up the second book (which is even longer!) when it came out last month. I’d give this book a 1 – Pay Full Price.

 If the book were a movie I’d say it would be PG-13. There are some adult situations, allusions to sex, violence, as well as some drug references.




LunaMoth said...

Loved the book too, i have the second one on my kindle waiting. I hope you can get your hands on it.

Liesel K. Hill said...

I have this one on my shelf but haven't picked it up yet. Really want to, though! Thanks for the great review. Hopefully I'll get to it soon! :D


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