The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles Series #1)

( 2067 )

Overview

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins ...

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The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles Series #1)

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Overview

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of Kvothe-from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name Of The Wind is so much more-for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe's legend.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The debut novel from Patrick Rothfuss -- the first installment of an epic fantasy trilogy entitled the Kingkiller Chronicle -- not only lives up to its extraordinary pre-press hype (DAW president Elizabeth Wollheim called it "the most brilliant first fantasy novel I have read in over 30 years as an editor"), it surpasses it. When fantasy fans begin reading The Name of the Wind, they should be fully prepared to lose all contact with the outside world while immersed in this highly original and mesmerizing tale of magic, love, and adventure.

The story revolves around Kvothe, an enigmatic red-haired innkeeper who, as he shares his incredible life story with a renowned scribe, turns out to be much more than he appears. Born into a family of nomadic court performers, Kvothe's unconventional education was broadened by spending time with fellow travelers like Abenthy, an elderly arcanist whose knowledge included, among other things, knowing the name of the wind. After his parents are brutally murdered by mythical beings known as the Chandrian, Kvothe vows to learn more about the godlike group, and after suffering through years of homelessness, he finally gets his chance when he is admitted into the prestigious University. But the pursuit of arcane knowledge brings with it unforeseen dangers, as the young student quickly learns…

With the release of his first novel, Rothfuss (who has already been compared to the likes of Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, and George R. R. Martin) is poised to be crowned the new king of epic fantasy. The Name of the Wind won't just impress longtime fantasy fans; it will absolutely blow them away -- an unprecedented, utterly breathtaking storytelling tour de force. Paul Goat Allen
Entertainment Weekly
This fast-moving, vivid, and unpretentious debut roots its coming-of-age fantasy in convincing mythology. A-
The Onion
The Name of the Wind is quite simply the best fantasy novel of the past 10 years, although attaching a genre qualification threatens to damn it with faint praise. Say instead that The Name of the Wind is one of the best stories told in any medium in a decade.
Publishers Weekly

The originality of Rothfuss's outstanding debut fantasy, the first of a trilogy, lies less in its unnamed imaginary world than in its precise execution. Kvothe ("pronounced nearly the same as 'Quothe' "), the hero and villain of a thousand tales who's presumed dead, lives as the simple proprietor of the Waystone Inn under an assumed name. Prompted by a biographer called Chronicler who realizes his true identity, Kvothe starts to tell his life story. From his upbringing as an actor in his family's traveling troupe of magicians, jugglers and jesters, the Edema Ruh, to feral child on the streets of the vast port city of Tarbean, then his education at "the University," Kvothe is driven by twin imperatives—his desire to learn the higher magic of naming and his need to discover as much as possible about the Chandrian, the demons of legend who murdered his family. As absorbing on a second reading as it is on the first, this is the type of assured, rich first novel most writers can only dream of producing. The fantasy world has a new star. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
From his childhood as a member of a close-knit family of the nomadic Edema Ruh to his first heady days as a student of magic at a prestigious university, humble bartender Kvothe relates the tale of how a boy beset by fate became a hero, a bard, a magician, and a legend. Rothfuss's first novel launches a trilogy relating not only the history of humankind but also the tale of a world threatened by an evil whose existence it desperately denies. The author explores the development of a person's character while examining the relationship between a legend and its reality and the truth that lies at the heart of stories. Elegantly told and layered with images of tales to come, this richly detailed "autobiography" of a hero is highly recommended for libraries of any size.


—Jackie Cassada
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756404741
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: Kingkiller Chronicles Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 736
  • Sales rank: 17,527
  • Product dimensions: 4.42 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Rothfuss
Patrick Rothfuss was born in Wisconsin where long winters and lack of cable television brought about a love of reading and writing. His mother read to him as a child, and his father taught him to build things. If you are looking for the roots of his storytelling, look there. He still lives in central Wisconsin, still lacks cable television, teaches at the college he grew to love as a student and the long winters force him to stay inside and write.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2067 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1702)

4 Star

(252)

3 Star

(64)

2 Star

(22)

1 Star

(27)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2079 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 27, 2008

    Character-driven fantasy at its best

    I picked up this title for my Xmas vacation reading after seeing it on some list online. I'm happy to say that Rothfuss appears to be the next great fantasy author. I'm often disappointed with the formulaic, copy-cat fantasy works that flood the genre, but The Name of the Wind proved to be far, far better than much of the dross we see these days.<BR/>The characterization is deep and engaging. The story, while not entirely ground-breaking, is compelling. What I really enjoy is the way magic works. It's very earthy and mechanistic in a way, rather than the overblown elves and wizards stuff we often see.<BR/>This is great writing, and I can't wait for the next installment.

    41 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Spellbinding Masterpiece

    "The Name of the Wind is by far one of my favorite novels. From the moment I read the very first paragraph, I became completely entranced. It is the story of a legendary wizard who is essentially telling the memoirs of his life to a Chronicler, who writes it all down. He brings to light the much coveted story of his past and the events which sparked rumors that eventually made him the legend he is. Patrick Rothfuss writes with such a poetic and moving quality, allowing the story to flow with such realism, even though it is a Fantasy novel. As the wizard Kvothe tells his life story to Chronicler, I was so enraptured that, in a way, I became the young man he speaks of. When young Kvothe felt nervous, I felt nervous; when he was angry, I was angered; When he was sad, I too was at the verge of tears. Rothfuss' writing truly connects the reader in such a profound way. At those times when Kvothe breaks away from his reminiscing on the past, the very emotion of Kvothe's retelling of his memories is also felt by the reader. There is such a sorrowful and mysterious quality to the character of Kvothe just brimming beneathe this utterly believable hero, and, as I read the book, I realized how talented Rothfuss really is to make the reader actually feel the experiences of Kvothe's life. This is an incredibly clever, moving, emotional, and magical book that I'm positive anyone who picks up will add to their collection of favorites. No doubt The Wise Man's Fear (The second installation of the series, coming in April 2009) will be just as intriguing."

    38 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2007

    A reviewer

    I have been reading Science Fiction and Fantasy for 30 years - which is to say that I have read a lot and my favorite authors are a) crossing the waters and thus no longer available to provide new books or b) simply can not write as quickly as I read. So --- it has been an ongoing challenge to find NEW authors worth reading - there has been an unfortunate dearth over the past decade or so of new-to-the-scene authors who are neither so tritely formulaic nor so determinedly different to be truly enjoyable. Patrick Rothfuss has been a (pardon the pun) breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale genre. This first installment is not, however, perfect. Which is actually something to recommend it - were it too perfect, there would be nothing to look forward to in future books. The premise is not altogether original (okay, it is not even a little orginal - thief makes good has been done A LOT), BUT, it has rarely been done within such a delightful framework and with as much enticing mystery. The first half of the book was definitely stay up all night to see what happens next ...but the second half does stumble a bit on its pacing (and as another reviewer pointed out, an unfortunate abundance of going on and on and on about Denna). About three-quarters of the way through the book I started to be a bit impatient for *something to happen* as the pace slowed considerably and the constant bad luck for our main character started to get wearying. Nonetheless, the author is a fabulous writer who has done what so few are able to do - write convincingly in both first and third person (an oft mentioned kudo for this new writer). It is not an unhearof device - but is rarely done well. Patrick Rothfuss succeeds handily. I look forward to the next installment, though I do hope the author gains a more consistent pacing and leaves off the moon-struck over reliance on the 'woman of mystery' as the driving force for his lead character's subplots.

    18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    A joyous train ride, where I had to transfer to different trains many times to get to a destination that wasn't quite where I was told to go.

    I want to start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'll admit that this isn't the greatest book in the world and is far from perfect. In fact, it has a lot of glaring flaws, but I overlooked them because it didn't seem to affect the book's ability to give me a satisfying tale of a desperate journey through a troubled youth.

    I like Rothfuss' writing style. It's plain, simple, descriptive, uses some very profound, yet easy to understand anologies, and flows easily. The writing is descriptive (though more heavily in some parts than others), but varied in such a way that the reader's mind will not find it repetitive, nor overly familiar; I never felt any sense of impatience reading through the words that Rothfuss used to paint his characters and his world. If you're looking for something "poetic" or something that uses "a unique style of prose" or "some weird/foreign pentameter to metre his lines", then you won't find it in this book. It's meant to be an easy read that doesn't require readers to re-read each sentence to analyze how each flourishing detail would work to reference the same object/entity. It's an easy read, trust me.

    This book is supposed to be the first part of a trilogy. As such, it doesn't seem like the first third of a story; it seems more like a really long prologue. The mode of storytelling is done from the main character's own mouth (Kote or Kvothe), as he tells his story to a chronicler. The author spends ample time building up the character's first few years of life, and then presents a catastrophic event which will undoubtedly pave the path for the main character's ultimate purpose.

    Unfortunately, throughout the rest of the book, the character makes close to no progress towards that ultimate purpose. Somehow, I can't blame the author, because the main character's unfortunate position requires him to live day-to-day, being extremely poor, which in turn forces him to focus more on survival than on "seeking to write his destiny".

    The main character never develops throughout the book. He's the same person from the start of the book, as he is at the end of the book. He's like a kid who was born with the maturity of a high school/college student, who never becomes a full adult. His level intelligence, wisdom, and charm all remain a static constant throughout the story. The only thing he seems to actually build upon, is his knowledge of the arcane and his ability to use it; oh, and he becomes more and more reckless.

    The character has numerous "life-changing experiences" which are masterfully told by Rothfuss, but none of them actually seem to end up changing the character's life. These events do nothing to mold the character; it's as if his life experiences don't affect his character/personality one bit.

    The author uses many cheap gimmicks to suppress the character's high-octane emotions through usage of "arcane tricks", making him a robot who seeks nothing but pride and his own survival. The character hides his emotions well, especially from his readers.

    This book is basically a compilation of tales/adventures about a young boy. There's no purpose or direction to be found; hopefully the next two books will address this issue.

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2008

    simply amazing

    I love fantasy books but with me I find they are very hit or miss, you either love the book or hate it, so I asked an employee who was hanging around the section what fantasy novels she could recommend. After a few questions she pointed me to this book. I started it when I got home but just couldn't resist the call of the other book I bought that day, the latest in the Anita Blake series, anyway skipping a head a bit. The book started off a bit slow but before long I couldn't tear my attention away from it. It's one of those books you tell yourself you'll read for ten minutes before bed and before you know it it's 3 hours later! Ok I'm rambling. it boils down to this. this is my new favorite book. It was amazing pure and simple. Powerful story telling that draws you in and lets you feel what the characters are feeling. Highly recommended to Fantasy fans!

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Best fantasy book in recent years

    This book is one of the best fantasy books I have ever read. I survived on an average of 2 hours of sleep per day to finish this book as soon as possible. Not only is it deep, it is also fast paced, which is impressive seeing how it goes through the entire life of the main character. The world created by Patrick Rothfuss is original and interesting and the characters are rich and full of detail. I cannot wait for the second book.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful!!! It's the structure of the thing.

    I'm not going to sum up this book. It's been done a too many times. So I'll just leave my honest review.....For Patrick Rothfuss' first novel it was down right outstanding. No, outstanding is wrong, it was genius. It usually takes a writer a few novels before they get it right, but Rothfuss hit the nail on the head the first time around. The Name of the Wind was such exciting read. From the moment I picked it up I didn't want to put it down. And when I had to, all I could think of was getting back to Kvothe as he recounts the details of his life. Not to mention Bast, poor dear sweet Bast (talk about tugging at the heart strings). This is not some "Muppet" fantasy; no, no, no it's much, much more than that. Patrick Rothfuss has made Kvothe's life very human and very real, almost tangible. I have to say: I'm most impressed with the structure of the story: the way it's put together. I'm not silver-tongued enough to give this book its due. So, I'll leave you with this: I think this one of the best books I've ever read and has become my new favorite.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2009

    Wow I loved this book

    The book was very well written and I must say it is now a favorite. I like the wheel of time series, sword of truth, black company, deathgate cycle, and Malazan empire books. I have to say this one is right up there on the top of my list now. If you like any of the above series you will love this book.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic!

    This is my absolute favorite book. I love the fact that when Kvothe actually reveals his story, we see that, even though he is a legend who has supposedly done all these miraculous things, he's actually pretty average and many of his stories are blown out of proportion. Having said that, he's still so brilliant and easy to like. It's so easy to get lost in this book and it's incredibly intriguing. I can't wait for day two!!!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Everyone else seems to find this great...why?

    OK, for some strange reason a Chronicler decides to visit a much sought after, but hidden, hero/villan. And guess what, this hidden, sought after hero is now an Inn Keeper who jumps at the chance to tell his whole story to this stranger. So, Kvothe is a poor boy traveling with his family, a road show group. Along comes a Dark villan who kills his whole troup, then disappears. Kvothe travels to town. Now he is a poor boy, in the poor section of town, scraping scraps to stay alive. Oh, did I mention, He Is Poor? Then, after saving pennies for a LONG time he joins another traveling group so he can attend the University. He arrives and with a stroke of luck, (who'da guessed), gets in but is too poor to afford just about everything. This goes on for years. Like Stephen Kings first book of the "Gunslinger" that starts out slow to provide background, then hits you with a bang in book two. I have tepid hope that this is the case here. I can see Rothfuss has the obvious ability to create meaty characters, and has set the premise of interesting things to come. We can only hope that promise is kept.

    5 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    Amazing!

    Writing:
    Stunning. I'm so impressed with Rothfuss's writing. I was completely caught up in the story, but the writing is equally impressive. Not a single flaw to complain about and several amazing aspects to highlight:

    World building: Rothfuss does it better than any other authors I've read. I believe Kvothe's world and the people who live in it. And the details he has constructed are amazing. The religion, the history, the socio-economic relations, the languages, and even the magic are all perfectly coherent and integrated. There wasn't a moment in the book that I found contradictory or out of place.

    Epic writing: That's not a real term, but I can't think of a better way to say it. If an author is going to write a book over 700 pages and follow it up with a sequel of over 900 pages, the book better be interesting. And Rothfuss has created an epic story that doesn't drag. There aren't slow moments or passages that make me want to peek ahead. I actually got teary about halfway through the book when I realized it was going to end. I'd compare Rothfuss to Tolkien, but my Tolkien loving friends would get their feelings hurt. Yeah, it's that good.

    Characters: I LOVE the characters. Like the world Rothfuss has created, the characters are absolutely believable. They are all flawed and unlikable at times (some more of the time than others) but even the bad guys (with the exception of the Chandrian) have sufficient motivation for their actions that the reader finds them sympathetic at times.

    And speaking of the Chandrian: Holy moly. Talk about some amazing villains. The children's rhyme about the Chandrian seriously had me totally creeped out. I think they are some of the creepiest villains I've ever read.

    Reading Pleasure:
    I can't say enough about how amazing this book is, both in terms of writing and entertainment value. I will say that it took me around 150 pages to really get into it. Not that I wasn't enjoying it before then, but I wasn't obsessed. But I was just telling Bestie how it was literally like a turn of the page and I was into it. One page I was iffy, the next page I was hooked. And once it starts, it doesn't stop. I read it during every spare second I had - on my lunch, as soon as I got home from work, until I went to bed, and before I left for work in the mornings.

    The best thing to me is that there are so many aspects of the book to love. It reminded me of It by Stephen King in that way - not any of the plot of course, but just the stories within the stories. So much detail and so rich in character, setting, and plot development.

    Honestly, I think this book may have knocked two of my top three favorites out of the running. It's up there with Till We Have Faces in terms of amazing-ness. I got The Wise Man's Fear (day two of the story) in the mail yesterday and I cannot wait to sit down and read it tonight!
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    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    Best book I have read this decade!

    This novel was excellent! To say it's a great fantasy novel does not do it justice. TNOTW is a book I desperately wanted to finish and never wanted to end. Kvothe is broken and strong, brilliant and foolish, innocent and jaded. The prose is elegant, but has not one wasted word. Science combines with the supernatural to present a world that is interesting and realistic. I could go on and on about it, but the last thing I will say, is Patrick Rothfuss has the talent of Tolkien, but has his own style and creativity.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very solid first novel!

    Very good read. Over 650 pages but its hard to put down. Any comparison to Harry Potter inaccurate. About the only thing the two have in common is that a boy is going to college to be a "wizard". I use the term wizard very loosely because the type of magic in this book is not the "buy a magic wand, mutter an incantation, swish and flick and turn someone into a toad magic. The magic used in this story is very believable, something you wouldn't be surprised to find out really existed in the darker secret corners of the world.

    The story is told from Qvothe's (the main character) point of view, he is older now and is retelling his life story. It jumps to his present day now and again, but never derails or takes away from his story.

    I cannot wait for the second book!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    Great book

    I really enjoyed this book. Great semi-fantasy setting (not typical dungeons & dragons), interesting story. My only gripe is that after reading 736 pages, it's disappointing to find that nothing gets resolved or wrapped up. Of course, there will be a sequel. But I was hoping to see something concluded before it ended. After so many pages, it seems like not a lot happened, and we're left hanging. Yet, it never gets slow or boring. The writing keeps you interested throughout. I can't wait for Wise Man's Fear.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2008

    Lane moden Student at THS 10/03/08

    a very outstanding book recommend to anyone who loves the eragon books and loves a good dark fantasy and a thriller to what will happen next patrick ruthfuss has a great mind to write a book with such usage and word choice. but overall it was one of the greatest books ever read dont judge a book by the cover but how the story is. THANKS!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2007

    Makes me fear to read other novels out of disappointment

    A truly vivid novel that i couldn't put down. I read it in a span of two days and dreaded setting it down to sleep it was so captivating. Recommended for all fantasy readers, this author has alrdy been ranked at the top in my books. He writes with a new style of biographical fantasy that i've never encountered before, and can't wait to see in his next novel.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2007

    Over-rated

    O.M.G.!!!! I believed the hype and picked this book up and it was the worst piece of crap I have read in a long time. 'Boring' does not do justice to how slow and uneventful this novel is. I sped-read most of it to see if the character would get the hell out of the 'university' and fight some monsters 'yeh, he eventually fights a dragon...yawn....'. Instead, the poor reader is subjected to the most minute happennings. I will admit the author is a decent writer, and has a great story on his hands....but PLEASE! Over 600 pages of mostly 'nothing'....I'm sorry...if this is 'the best fantasy novel of the past ten years', then I'll read other genres.

    4 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2007

    A monster with heart

    This book was a chance pickup in my local library, but as is often the case I was amazed. The entire story is readable and entertaining, and there really are no slow spots. Even after 600 pages, I found myself hoping it would go on longer. Fortunately, I know that there are indeed two more books on the way. I only hope they come soon. Buy this book, you likely won't be dissapointed!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Enthralling Character Epic This is a phenomenal book to get com

    Enthralling Character Epic

    This is a phenomenal book to get completely lost in. When first starting out I was a little wary and wandered a bit...but once our narrator truly begins to tell his story I was hooked. Starting out as a sweet story of a little boy with his loving family and quickly turning tragic, our hero faces obstacles and trials that no kid should...but that is whats so great about Kvothe. He is resilient, smart, reckless and fearless...everything you want in a character. Following him through his schooling and adventures is so engaging as he is out smarting everyone three times his age, while going through that most difficult time in puberty. The way Rothfuss writes keeps you grounded in the story while walking this tight rope of danger and adventure. Its fantastic and I can't wait to find out how our hero ended up the way he did in the beginning of the story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2013

    My Favorite book. Ever. Poor Patrick. Your first novel; the firs

    My Favorite book. Ever.
    Poor Patrick. Your first novel; the first of a trilogy, and the combination of caracters, story, and prose supplants my firm belief that nothing could surpass Tolkien. The Name of The Wind sets the stage for a masterpiece work. In fact, setting it stage so high, that it must be daunting when faced with two more books to write.
    I have read hundreds, perhaps into the thousands of books in the fantasy/worldbuilding genre. This book is like none of them. It truly does stand apart.

    While purchasing a book in Robert Jordans WOT series, the B&amp;N cashier asked if I had read this book. He wrote The Name of the Wind on the reciept... years later, I was re-reading that particular book, and using the original reciept as the book mark. At the time, Mr. Jordan had passed, and Mr. Sanderson had yet to pick up the mantle. Needing something new to read, I found The Name of The Wind and purchased it. Since then I have read it, and it's follow up The Wise Man's Fear multiple times. I simply can not find a flaw with them. I love this story, and thus far it is my favorite of any genre.
    Beautifully written, with just the right words telling an artistically crafted story about wonderfully flawed and believable characters.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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