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Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Rating: 4.5/5
Reason for Reading: Recommendation

The Name of the Wind
is a book that somehow manages to incorporate some of the most infamous and overused cliques of fantasy writing while managing to be something so different that it doesn't read as fantasy at all.

Kvothe has led such a famous and heroic life he's become the stuff of legends during his own lifetime. Now in hiding as an innkeeper at an obscure village, it seems that he's left his old life behind. That is, until a Chronicler comes to town looking to write the story of Kvothe's life. Reluctantly, Kvothe agrees.

From his life among the traveling Edema Ruh to hardscrabble life on the streets after his parents are mysteriously mudered, to becoming the youngest student at the University, Kvothe's childhood (this book, one of a planned trilogy, follows Kvothe until he is in his mid-teens) is nothing if not eventful. From a young age, Kvothe knew that he was talented. At science, at acting, at playing the lute, and most of all, at magic.

The university that Kvothe attends is one that teaches magic, but it has as much in common with Harry Potter as Twilight does with I Am Legend. That is to say, as he struggles through classes, professors, bullies, and poverty, his world seems like one that may have very well existed, tucked away somewhere in the Middle Ages. By the time he enters the university, Kvothe is already proficient with sympathy magic, or binding together energies, but he longs to learn the power he once saw his possess. The power to name, and thus command the elements of nature. He wants to know the name of the wind.

A thoughtful, engaging book that doesn't really fit into the pattern of any other fantasy books I've read before, I recommend this one to fans of the genre. Although a lengthy read, the pages fly by.


Amy said...

I have been wanting to read this...thanks for the interesting review.

Melody said...

Thanks for the review, Kim! I've this book in my pile! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like an interesting book. Different. I hadn't heard of it before. Thank you for the great review, Kim.

Susan said...

I have this to read this year! I think I will move it up higher on my list thanks to your excellent review, Kim.

mariel said...

This always jumps off the shelf at me in my local bookshop! Great review, thanks. I'll definitely give it a read.

samantha.1020 said...

This will fit in perfectly with the Once Upon a Time Challenge that I just joined. Thanks for the great review!

Alyce said...

Ok, is it totally lame that I clicked on this review because the title made me think of that song where they call the wind Mariah? :) I'm glad I read your review though, because it sounds like something I would love.

Susan said...

This is in my pile to read for Carl's challenge this year. Lovely review, now the book has moved up on my list!!! thanks :-D