Speculating on SpecFic

Fantastic Literature: From epic fantasy to fairytales to myth-making

The Name of the Wind  - Patrick Rothfuss The long synopsis doesn’t do justice to the book. The Name of the Wind is a unique novel, a triumphant debut from a hither-to unknown author. The level of mastery the author has displayed is rarely found in a debut novel, and in this light, I like the novel very much. When judging the book by the hype that surrounds it, however, I find it lacking. it is slow to start, and Kvothe’s motivation for revealing his story to the Chronicler is is surprising given the effort he has put into disappearing. In this way, I found the set up of the novel, a story within a story, is executed well after this point, but getting there seems sloppy. Once Kvothe starts telling his story, however, it is difficult not to lose yourself. He is a masterful story-teller, and Rothfuss has captured his ‘voice’ well. His adventures make you want to laugh, cry, rage at the fates, and generally capture your imagination. The narrative does have a few lulls and slow points but for the most part it is riveting and carries you along like the swift current of a river. I like Kvothe a lot - he is a good protagonist and narrator. Hearing a man tell of his journey from boyhood to adulthood is always exciting, and Kvothe doesn’t hold anything back. He is brutally honest about his experiences and feelings, allowing the reader to empathise with him easily. He does keep saying things like “If you haven’t experienced this, then you don’t really know / can’t imagine what it’s like” which sounds very patronising. I also didn’t understand why Kvothe, being familiar with poverty, would squander what little money he has without any thought. He should have learnt to save some money for hard times, but no, he keeps spending it and finding himself at the edge of poverty frequently. With the notable exception of Denna, there are no exciting female characters in the book, and certainly no strong ones. Even Rela only makes it into the story when she is needed for a plot device, and otherwise largely ignored by both Kvothe and the author. Denna and Kvothe strike me as the only two fully fleshed out characters, while the others are pigeon-holed into stereo-typical roles, to be pulled out when the plot requires. The Name of the Wind is certainly worth a read, and if you like fantasy then you really can’t miss it. Patrick Rothfuss has proved that he is a force to be reckoned with. I have the second book of the trilogy already, and will be diving into it eagerly at the next available opportunity.Read more of my reviews here.