Hello humans! We’re back with another book review, funny enough since that’s what this blog is for.
So, teeny bit of back story to this one before we get to the ‘meat’ of the review. I have a friend who has been telling me to read Name of the Wind for the entirety of the four years I have known her. So when I happened to win a giveaway on a fairychat (the monthly twitter chat run by Fairyloot) and I got to choose which book I received, I realised it was finally time for me to read it! Which prompted this tweet:
— Judith Moore (@judithcmoore) July 5, 2017
Seriously? How have I not read this before? HOW?
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.
This is one of the better forms of first person narrative I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Largely because it’s given context! Kvothe is telling his story to the Chronicler and occasionally we step back into ‘reality’ and you get a little third person narrative. It puts everything into a context that you don’t often get with first person narrative and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
World building? Well it’s a world and a half! It includes basically all of my favourite things: magic that is well thought out and has a clear system and reasoning behind it, a university at which they teach said magic, a travelling fair/ troupe of players, beasts wandering the countryside and so much more. It’s a bit like someone reached into my brain and picked out all of my favourite things and wrote a book. But, in a less frothy excited sentence, this world building is solid. At no point do you question why particular events happen because it is all set up so well. Setting up the laws (both legal and the laws of physics) of a world in a way that isn’t boring, but instead gradually lets you know what is going on, is no mean feat and Rothfuss does it incredibly well.
Characters, now this is an interesting one. I totally fell for Kvothe, his entire story is well wrought and you grow to love him from page one onwards. But there are some things he does that just confused me and made him seem like less of a good person. That is why this book was so good though, because here was a character who wasn’t a paragon of virtue but instead was a kid who constantly found himself way over his head. What that amounts to is that, though you might not always like Kvothe, you always love him.
Side characters are abounding in this kind of novel and Name of the Wind is no exception. What I enjoyed most was that all of these characters, even those who basically served only to move the plot along in one scene, were all fleshed out, they had accents and identities and personalities. That means that you really get the sense of complete immersion in this world and in this story.
Romance? I mean, there is a bit. I very rarely read a book with no romance in it. In this case, due to the kind of ‘epic’ feel that the story has I would have been surprised to not find romance. I actually think this was handled pretty well, the entire book does not revolve around the romance plot, it just emerges when it needs to in the story and it develops in a fairly organic way.
One of my favourite things about this book is that it never felt gimmicky. So many novels publishing today you can almost do a kind of fantasy bingo where you check off all the trendy things that have meant that book got published. I think that’s most likely a product of the book being published around ten years ago before everything got super ‘trendy’, or maybe that’s just me.
But anyway, if you, like me, have been floundering and waiting to get round to reading this can I say that you need to drop everything else and read this today. I’ve been in a slump of ‘meh’ books of late and this has hopefully kickstarted me right out of it.
My rating: 5/5 stars
What do you think? Have you already read this? Planning to? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to hit that follow button while you’re here!
Can’t wait to hear from you!