The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Werthead

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The Name of the Wind (Volume One of The Kingkiller Chronicle - terrible series name btw) is a book that has arrived with a ton of publicity that preceded its US publication a month ago. Reviews were all but glowing and the editor went into overdrive about how glorious it was. To this extent, this resembles the pre-release hype that accompanied the arrival of last year's Lies of Locke Lamora.

What's odd is that the book doesn't actually do anything new, not even the fantasy-meets-noir approach that Lynch employed last year. It's pretty traditional stuff. Young boy lives a bucolic lifestyle, gets seperated from his family, grows up on the streets of a tough city, ends up in the magic guild etc. There are twists and turns aplenty and Rothfuss drops in a lot of interesting stuff about mathmatics, metallurgy and chemistry into the mix, but overall there is a vague feeling that story-wise, the book isn't going anywhere we haven't been before. There's also the problem that this is actually a single novel that has been split into three books, so we don't get an ending at all. The story just stops quite abruptly.

Thankfully, the book has two things going for it. A bit of structural ingenuity never hurt a book (see Steven Erikson) and Rothfuss has a good structural trick going on, with the bulk of the book in 1st-person flashback but cutting back to a traditional 3rd-person narrative in the present day. This contrasting of the older, seasoned protagonist with his green-as-grass younger self works well.

The second is the writing. Rothfuss knows how to write and his prose is engrossing. He has a keen eye for detail and this swallows you into the story headfirst. And he laces the traditional storyline with enough subversive elements to keep things interesting. In terms of writing skill, Rothfuss is actually convincingly ahead of the pack of the 'new breed' of epic fantasy writers who have emerged recently (Abercrombie, Sanderson, Lynch). The story holds the attention and refuses to let it go.

Overall, this is a great book. Although only available in the US at the moment, the British edition is out from 20th September. The US edition is readily available on Amazon.co.uk and in Forbidden Planet, but I'd suggest holding off for the UK edition on the grounds that the cover isn't as unbearably awful as the American ones. I have another review here with links to other reviews as well.
 
It sounds like something I might like to track down. I am wary of recommendations, of late (I was disappointed in Locke Lamora), but this sounds intriguing.
 
I am going to get this book, but since I have so many to read now, it'll be out in paperback by the time I'm ready for it. The hardcover cover art is stunning, though. Our local bookstore has 2 different covers.
 
I thought this book was very very good. Nothing new, really, except a the way he tackles magic in a fantasy setting(although it is presented in a school and thus will draw similarities with JK Rowling). I loved it and I expected it to be all hype.

But the original poster Werthead is correct. He writes amazingly well and makes a pretty traditional setting very interesting. It's kind of like when you watch a movie about some very commonplace things and subjects but done by a terrific director and screenwriter.
 
A long relapsed thread but, I thought it might be worth a kick at resurrection...

As is stated above The Name of the Wind arrived in a blast of publicity, not that I noticed it at the time, the first time I noticed the book was when a well know SF magazine reviewed it. It’s a while ago and I no longer have the review, but was rather glowing, saying basically that although there was nothing that new in it, it was a very engaging read, and anyone looking for something in the vein of early JORDAN it was well worth a look.

The next thing I noticed were how many copies were popping up in local bookstores – always a sign they expect to shift a lot of them. So I purchased one.

It has taken me a while to start reading it, but despite it being knocked slightly in other threads, I’m finding it amazingly readable. Well written clear, with a good solid story. At the moment the two big fantasy authors seem to be MARTIN and ERIKSON – I love MARTIN and think TSOIAF is magnificent. ERIKSON is slightly different, I really have been enjoying his work as a whole, but do find it a bit of a struggle on occasion (Probably just me) – the BONEHUNTERS took me nearly five months to get through, and although my spare time was one of the problems (not having any) the book was another. Bits of it were pure magnificence, but other… well I digress.

I started ROTHFUSS just under a week ago and I’m already half way through it (it’s not quite as long as BONEHUNTERS, but 300 pages in 7 days is fantastic by my current stands – especially when I am busier than ever).

Sometime when you start a new series by a new author it’s a struggle, but I found ROTHFUSS engaging from the word go… of course as it has been stated there is nothing new as such. And at the start I had it all worked out. The provincial boys on the verge of manhood, about to make their way out of the village and into epic adventure, possibly with a bit of advice from the sage and worldly innkeeper… but that conception is soon overturned – something that really caught me by surprise (Don’t want to ruin it for anyone). But yes this is a traditional JORDAN-esque fantasy, and a lot of fun. New characters, new histories and legends. It is well worth a look if it is your type of thing.
 
Thanks Perpetual Man, I asked on another thread what the general consensus of opinion was about this book but I didn't get a response. It's next on my list and I am very much looking forward to it. I am perfectly happy to read a book "with nothing new" in it as long as it's an absorbing and entertaining read and it sounds like this book is just that :D
 
Thanks Perpetual Man, I asked on another thread what the general consensus of opinion was about this book but I didn't get a response. It's next on my list and I am very much looking forward to it. I am perfectly happy to read a book "with nothing new" in it as long as it's an absorbing and entertaining read and it sounds like this book is just that :D

You'll have to let me know what you think once you get started - I'm about half way through and am enjoying it more with each chapter!
 
I didn't know this thread existed, I bought and read Name of the Wind some time ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it and have already been recommending it to friends to read who have also enjoyed it.

I can't wait for the second book although it looks like I'll have to, due for release some time in 2009 apparently... :(

xx
 
I just started reading it yesterday, and I'm really engrossed. I can see how it's not anything new as such, but it really is absorbing and I'm really enjoying reading it. I usually get frustrated and bored with a book that doesn't add much new, but surprisingly this one doesn't really need anything new and the way Rothfuss writes it just has me absorbed.

I'd definitely recommend it, though I'm disappointed to hear it doesn't really have an ending, and you need to whole trilogy for that, especially when even the second isn't out yet and I'm not the most patient of people.
 
I just bought it in paperback yesterday. This is one book I'm going to read right away instead of waiting until the series is complete.
 
I've now finished it! And with my incredibly slow reading pace the fact that I have gone through this in just under two weeks should say a lot. I posted early about how enjoyable I was finding the early pages and that had not changed throughout the book.

I've loved every moment, and while reading found it very hard to put down...

Heartily recommended to all, because the only bad thing about it is waiting until 2009 for the next volume....
 
I've now finished it! And with my incredibly slow reading pace the fact that I have gone through this in just under two weeks should say a lot. I posted early about how enjoyable I was finding the early pages and that had not changed throughout the book.

I've loved every moment, and while reading found it very hard to put down...

Heartily recommended to all, because the only bad thing about it is waiting until 2009 for the next volume....

I was just about to post pretty much the exact same thing :rolleyes:

Ah well, I'll second what you've said, to avoid just basically repeating it :p
 
I have heard nasty things about how this book ended. In short, what I have heard is that the publisher took a complete book and hacked it in three without caring for where the first book ended.

Did you who just finished find the same thing? I hate cliffhanger endings in series, as I find it insults the reader. If this is the case, I am inclined to wait for the second book to be published.
 
I really didn't feel it was a cliffhanger ending. My understanding was that Rothfuss originally intended for it to be 3 books, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong. So my guess would be he decided where to end it.

I was fine with where/how this book ended, the only disappointment is that I have to wait to continue on in the story. :)
 
I'll second what Lady of WInterfell said. There was no sense of a sudden conclusion. Rather it was the end of that part of the story. I've heard the same things about it being a sudden break, but I didn't think it was.

As LoW said the problem with the ending is the wait for the next volume, not because of any sudden stop, but that I was enjoying it so much, you want the next installment NOW!
 
I felt that the ending was abrupt because it felt like just another section of the book ending, rather than the conclusion of the book itself. It worked, but the book really didn't feel like a cohesive whole because of it.

And yeah, originally the trilogy was one booked called A Song of Flame and Thunder (seriously) which was renamed for obvious, possibly litigious reasons. I don't know who decided where the breaks would be, but Rothfuss presumably had a say in it.
 

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