|The Name of the Wind
4.5 / 5
"It was night again."
Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.
I am kind of stunned that I am finally done with this book. You'd think that once I got really close to finishing the 28+ hours of audiobook (!),I'd be anxious to speed through it, wouldn't you? Well, I started getting scared of having to write this review, and so I put off the last half hour for a few days! (Well, that and I also the files I downloaded from Audible had gotten a bit wonky, so I had to listen on my tablet - because I dropped my phone down a storm drain a few days ago - and that was awkward and difficult to deal with. But! All that is a story for another day....)
In any case, I think I was so scared to review this (and yet so eager to read it) because this is one of the highest-rated books I've ever encountered on Goodreads. The highest-rated with hundreds of thousands of reviews, I should add. That means something. When you get a book with that many reviews, you tend to see a lot of love vs. hate in the reviews, but a 91% rating is almost unheard of for most books with more than a few readers! Needless to say, I had to check it out. (Apparently, Troy had also recently read & loved it, but...I had no idea at the time I picked the book out for myself.)
Maybe I should actually talk about the book in this review, huh? (See how I'm putting it off?!) Well, it was a very solid, well-told fantasy story. I liked the strong weight it had on reality more than fantasy; the fantastical parts which came from Rothfuss' imagination were seamlessly written into the story, so that the reader never felt jarred by anything odd or out there. If someone ever wanted to be introduced to the fantasy genre, I think this would be a great stepping stone. A very beautifully woven story. Kvothe (the narrator) is not necessarily likable, and can often be annoying in his arrogance, but his biography rings true and his circumstances believable. From difficult beginnings and loss at an early age, the start of his life story (which this book encompasses) is full of adventure and uncertainty. It was an enjoyable book to read, despite its length. I think I would, however, have preferred to read it than listen - the narrator wasn't the best I've ever encountered, although he did a very good job with voices and accents and strange pronunciations.
18 November 2014
Okay, I am giving this another go. Let's see - I have to say I really enjoyed the parts of the story which took place in Cote's tavern; they framed the story well and gave the reader a nice "breather". I also thought the story of Kvothe's idyllic childhood was quaint and charming. His parents seemed perfect, which of course they were in a young child's eyes. His work with Ben and how quickly he learned everything was an enjoyable diversion. I suppose that I felt the story itself kind of went south when Kvothe's life did, but I don't know why. I didn't enjoy the narratives of Kvothe dealing with the Chandrian or surviving in the big, bad city. I didn't love how he entered the university, nor how cocky and self-assured he could be. I was, however, charmed by the people he encountered and all of his stories regarding the taverns and his attempts at earning the Pipes, as well as his back-and-forth with Ambrose. Overall, I DID think the book was quite good; it was a comprehensively strong story and there were almost no parts which I tired of reading (the only one that comes to mind are the sidebar sagas which relate the stories of the gods - I didn't yet understand their importance in the grand scheme of the story). There was just something that kept me from LOVING it wholeheartedly. I wonder if that would change were I to continue reading the story in the sequel; perhaps as more things become fleshed out and connected to one another, I could really see the whole picture. I'll have to see...
Thank you for your patience with me, Reader!
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