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My name is Kvothe.

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 a tale unequaled in fantasy literature–the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

-Goodreads

Book Information

  • Title: The Name of the Wind
  • Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle #1
  • Author: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Page Count: 722
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Rating: 4.75/5.0
  • Date Read: May 21st, 2024

Opening Thoughts

When I got back into reading more for fun in 2019, I was doing a lot of research on what fantasy books or authors I should look into. I hadn’t really looking into books for close to twenty years at that point. Patrick Rothfuss and The Name of the Wind seemed to be at a top of a lot of people’s lists so I didn’t even bother trying to borrow it from the library to sample it. Unfortunately, at that time I just wasn’t ready for a thicker book and then I got side tracked for a couple of years and books one and two have just been sitting on my physical shelf all that time.

Thanks to the Domains Reading Challenge this year I was able to slot this one in for May (Arcadia) – A book with singing as magic or plot. It has waited on my shelf quite long enough.

Another thing I want to mention which I’m sure helped influence my thoughts quite frequently when reading this is I have read The First Binding by R.R. Virdi which I loved. I know there is a lot of comparisons between these two books (rightfully so I might add) but I think they both had several aspects where I liked how one author did their thing better than the other. I’ll try and point out a couple of these as I go. The books are similar enough that I’m surprised there hasn’t been any legal action which makes me ponder something else that I’ll get to at the end of this review.

Pacing

The pacing was really good for a longer book. Again, I might have felt differently if I had read this book back in 2019 when I picked it up. I don’t know if I was ready back then. Here in 2024, it flowed smoothly and was a really enjoyable and easy read. There are a lot of characters and locations to keep straight along with the theme of a story being told within a story which might confuse some readers if they aren’t paying attention. I do want to mention that although I do own a physical copy of this book, I opted to give the audiobook narrated by Nick Podehl a listen to safely fit it into this month with everything else I had going on. Nick’s presentation was spot on and didn’t disappoint. In fact, his narration may have actually help me enjoy this story even more.

World Building

The world building was really good. Even knowing what I did coming in with my read of the other mentioned book, this one was still unique and fresh enough to me. I’m starting to become quite the fan of books that consist of stories within a story, if done right. I can’t recall which book it was in the recent past that just left me confused as to whether it was the current story teller or the past being told, but this one didn’t leave me in that state at all. Now again, this may be due some what to the performance by the narrator, I’m not sure. But I think even if not, the change of names should help keep that fairly straight. This is a large magical world with different cultures and castes which lay the foundation for the potential of an excellent story.

Character Development

The character development was also nicely done. Again, the different layers of our main character whether his current self in telling the story to the chronicler or the story being told of his past, is a nice character arc. There are also some great supporting characters in The Name of the Wind along the way.

Roundup & Recommendation

I truly don’t want to focus on the comparisons between the two books, but I also want to point out that both can be enjoyable as they were for me. I think the loyalty of a lot of readers are going to lie with which ever book or author they read first. There are certainly numerous comparisons between the two but taking a step back and looking at our certain scenes were handled completely different is what allowed me to enjoy both The Name of the Wind and The First Binding.

The family and or found family dynamic of our main character was different in each. I think both were done nicely and each of them created a very strong dynamic and motivation for the story arc. I also noticed some rather big differences on how the story covered the school aspect as well as the large mythical creature aspect. I found items from each of these reads that I actually liked better.

I’m interested to see how the comparisons with each book two go or if they are in completely different directions. At the end of the day, I joked about it, but even if R.R. Virdi stole a lot from The Name of the Wind to start his series, maybe we can actually get a completed series from him in the end!

In the end, I think any readers of fantasy looking for something on the epic side with plenty of whimsical feel to it should check either or both of these reads out.

Scoring

World Building 5/5
Pacing 5/5
Character Development 4.5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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One Comment

  1. I read this years ago and it became a favourite of mine but I have not re-read it (nor the second one) yet but upon seeing that the audiobook was great I am very tempted! Though maybe I’ll try The First Binding, after all it’s on my TBR and I am curious about how they compare. Thanks for your review!

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