The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is rather a popular book these days. It is out of stock at Liberty Books and Readings; I assume readers have caught wind of it and I just finished my copy I purchased a year ago so it is only befitting that a review be generated here.
Let’s begin by saying I rate this 3 stars out of 5 (rather generously) because the plot has substantial potential. The story is strong and can be even more impacting in subsequent sequels. I liked it only because it had me glued to it, till the very end. Plus the idea of names and the wind is fantastic!!
Now the issues are in fact, many.
Oh no, let me give a brief intro to it first.
The novel was published in 2007. It is the first part of ‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ followed by the sequel ‘The Wise Man Fear’ which I have yet to read. It is a tale of fantasy with a young protagonist, some magic, a University which offers the fantastic counterparts of Maths, Chemistry, Medicine, Magic and other things.
The trouble is that while I recommend it to readers, it has some underlying issues.
1. This is a (sort of) rip off of many fantasy books I have read so far. I can sense Lock Lamora in there. Kvothe reminds me of Aragorn (i.e the grown up guy). Young Kvothe has bits of Harry Potter in him (the magnetism toward catching trouble, dead folks via the apparent Voldemort of this world). The book itself resonates Sanderson’s worlds in The Way of Kings, Rowling’s ideas in Harry Potter and Scott Lynch’s works. So a bit of this and a bit of that mixed with a strong plot is what this book mostly is.
2. Kvothe’s character is neither likable nor dislike-able. He tilts more toward the latter I suppose. There is just something amiss with him.
3. The writing style is not consistent. Its descriptive yes, but it betrays itself. Some parts are excellent with descriptions and the quality of proper English while some sound like modern, casual American English.
4. Kvothe sounds a bit too young for all the drama. Why is every new (male) hero such a bloody, teenager!!!
5. There is no sense of time. Or the type of world it is. It is medieval-istic Christian type of a region with an Anthropomorphic God, mixed with some modern concepts. Doesn’t click.
6. Kvothe is a terrible name.
However, I will still pursue book two! Good Luck to me! And to you all!