×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle Series #1)
  • Alternative view 1 of The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle Series #1)
  • Alternative view 2 of The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle Series #1)
  • Alternative view 3 of The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle Series #1)
<Previous >Next
     

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

4.7 2113
by Patrick Rothfuss
 

See All Formats & Editions

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,

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.

Editorial Reviews

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
From the Publisher
“The best epic fantasy I read last year.... He’s bloody good, this Rothfuss guy.”
—George R. R. Martin, New York Times-bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire
 
“Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous.”
—Terry Brooks, New York Times-bestselling author of Shannara
 
"It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing...with true music in the words."
—Ursula K. LeGuin, award-winning author of Earthsea
 
"The characters are real and the magic is true.”
—Robin Hobb, New York Times-bestselling author of Assassin’s Apprentice
 
"Masterful.... There is a beauty to Pat's writing that defies description."
—Brandon Sanderson, New York Times-bestselling author of Mistborn
 
“[Makes] you think he's inventing the genre, instead of reinventing it.”
—Lev Grossman, New York Times-bestselling author of The Magicians
 
“This is a magnificent book.”
—Anne McCaffrey, award-winning author of the Dragonriders of Pern
 
“The great new fantasy writer we've been waiting for, and this is an astonishing book."
—Orson Scott Card, New York Times-bestselling author of Ender’s Game
 
“It's not the fantasy trappings (as wonderful as they are) that make this novel so good, but what the author has to say about true, common things, about ambition and failure, art, love, and loss.”
—Tad Williams, New York Times-bestselling author of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn
 
“Jordan and Goodkind must be looking nervously over their shoulders!”
—Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times-bestselling author of The Dark Between the Stars
 
“An extremely immersive story set in a flawlessly constructed world and told extremely well.”
—Jo Walton, award-winning author of Among Others
 
“Hail Patrick Rothfuss! A new giant is striding the land.”
—Robert J. Sawyer, award-winning author of Wake
 
“Fans of the epic high fantasies of George R.R. Martin or J.R.R. Tolkien will definitely want to check out Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind.”
—NPR
 
“Shelve The Name of the Wind beside The Lord of the Rings...and look forward to the day when it's mentioned in the same breath, perhaps as first among equals.”
—The A.V. Club
 
“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.”
—Barnes & Noble
 
“I was reminded of Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkein, but never felt that Rothfuss was imitating anyone.”
—The London Times
 
“This fast-moving, vivid, and unpretentious debut roots its coming-of-age fantasy in convincing mythology.”
—Entertainment Weekly
 
“This breathtakingly epic story is heartrending in its intimacy and masterful in its narrative essence.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred)
 
“Reminiscent in scope of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series...this masterpiece of storytelling will appeal to lovers of fantasy on a grand scale.”
—Library Journal (starred)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756404079
Publisher:
DAW
Publication date:
03/27/2007
Series:
Kingkiller Chronicle Series , #1
Pages:
661
Sales rank:
30,969
Product dimensions:
6.31(w) x 9.31(h) x 2.04(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

PROLOGUE

A Silence of Three Parts

IT WAS NIGHT AGAIN. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.

The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a wind it would have sighed through the trees, set the inn’s sign creaking on its hooks, and brushed the silence down the road like trailing autumn leaves. If there had been a crowd, even a handful of men inside the inn, they would have filled the silence with conversation and laughter, the clatter and clamor one expects from a drinking house during the dark hours of night. If there had been music…but no, of course there was no music. In fact there were none of these things, and so the silence remained.

Inside the Waystone a pair of men huddled at one corner of the bar. They drank with quiet determination, avoiding serious discussions of troubling news. In doing this they added a small, sullen silence to the larger, hollow one. It made an alloy of sorts, a counterpoint.

The third silence was not an easy thing to notice. If you listened for an hour, you might begin to feel it in the wooden floor underfoot and in the rough, splintering barrels behind the bar. It was in the weight of the black stone hearth that held the heat of a long dead fire. It was in the slow back and forth of a white linen cloth rubbing along the grain of the bar. And it was in the hands of the man who stood there, polishing a stretch of mahogany that already gleamed in the lamplight.

The man had true-red hair, red as flame. His eyes were dark and distant, and he moved with the subtle certainty that comes from knowing many things.

The Waystone was his, just as the third silence was his. This was appropriate, as it was the greatest silence of the three, wrapping the others inside itself. It was deep and wide as autumn’s ending. It was heavy as a great river-smooth stone. It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die.

CHAPTER ONE

A Place for Demons

IT WAS FELLING NIGHT, and the usual crowd had gathered at the Waystone Inn. Five wasn’t much of a crowd, but five was as many as the Waystone ever saw these days, times being what they were.

Old Cob was filling his role as storyteller and advice dispensary. The men at the bar sipped their drinks and listened. In the back room a young innkeeper stood out of sight behind the door, smiling as he listened to the details of a familiar story.

“When he awoke, Taborlin the Great found himself locked in a high tower. They had taken his sword and stripped him of his tools: key, coin, and candle were all gone. But that weren’t even the worst of it, you see…” Cob paused for effect, “…cause the lamps on the wall were burning blue!”

Graham, Jake, and Shep nodded to themselves. The three friends had grown up together, listening to Cob’s stories and ignoring his advice.

Cob peered closely at the newer, more attentive member of his small audience, the smith’s prentice. “Do you know what that meant, boy?” Everyone called the smith’s prentice “boy” despite the fact that he was a hand taller than anyone there. Small towns being what they are, he would most likely remain “boy” until his beard filled out or he bloodied someone’s nose over the matter.

The boy gave a slow nod. “The Chandrian.”

“That’s right,” Cob said approvingly. “The Chandrian. Everyone knows that blue fire is one of their signs. Now he was—”

“But how’d they find him?” the boy interrupted. “And why din’t they kill him when they had the chance?”

“Hush now, you’ll get all the answers before the end,” Jake said. “Just let him tell it.”

“No need for all that, Jake,” Graham said. “Boy’s just curious. Drink your drink.”

“I drank me drink already,” Jake grumbled. “I need t’nother but the innkeep’s still skinning rats in the back room.” He raised his voice and knocked his empty mug hollowly on the top of the mahogany bar. “Hoy! We’re thirsty men in here!”

The innkeeper appeared with five bowls of stew and two warm, round loaves of bread. He pulled more beer for Jake, Shep, and Old Cob, moving with an air of bustling efficiency.

The story was set aside while the men tended to their dinners. Old Cob tucked away his bowl of stew with the predatory efficiency of a lifetime bachelor. The others were still blowing steam off their bowls when he finished the last of his loaf and returned to his story.

“Now Taborlin needed to escape, but when he looked around, he saw his cell had no door. No windows. All around him was nothing but smooth, hard stone. It was a cell no man had ever escaped.

“But Taborlin knew the names of all things, and so all things were his to command. He said to the stone: ‘Break!’and the stone broke. The wall tore like a piece of paper, and through that hole Taborlin could see the sky and breathe the sweet spring air. He stepped to the edge, looked down, and without a second thought he stepped out into the open air….”

The boy’s eyes went wide. “He didn’t!”

Cob nodded seriously. “So Taborlin fell, but he did not despair. For he knew the name of the wind, and so the wind obeyed him. He spoke to the wind and it cradled and caressed him. It bore him to the ground as gently as a puff of thistledown and set him on his feet softly as a mother’s kiss.

“And when he got to the ground and felt his side where they’d stabbed him, he saw that it weren’t hardly a scratch. Now maybe it was just a piece of luck,” Cob tapped the side of his nose knowingly. “Or maybe it had something to do with the amulet he was wearing under his shirt.”

“What amulet?” the boy asked eagerly through a mouthful of stew.

Old Cob leaned back on his stool, glad for the chance to elaborate. “A few days earlier, Taborlin had met a tinker on the road. And even though Taborlin didn’t have much to eat, he shared his dinner with the old man.”

“Right sensible thing to do,” Graham said quietly to the boy. “Everyone knows: ‘A tinker pays for kindness twice.’”

“No no,” Jake grumbled. “Get it right: ‘A tinker’s advice pays kindness twice.’”

The innkeeper spoke up for the first time that night. “Actually, you’re missing more than half,” he said, standing in the doorway behind the bar.

“A tinker’s debt is always paid:

Once for any simple trade.

Twice for freely-given aid.

Thrice for any insult made.”

The men at the bar seemed almost surprised to see Kote standing there. They’d been coming to the Waystone every Felling night for months and Kote had never interjected anything of his own before. Not that you could expect anything else, really. He’d only been in town for a year or so.
He was still a stranger. The smith’s prentice had lived here since he was eleven, and he was still referred to as “that Rannish boy,” as if Rannish were some foreign country and not a town less than thirty miles away.

“Just something I heard once,” Kote said to fill the silence, obviously embarrassed.

Old Cob nodded before he cleared his throat and launched back into the story. “Now this amulet was worth a whole bucket of gold nobles, but on account of Taborlin’s kindness, the tinker sold it to him for nothing but an iron penny, a copper penny, and a silver penny. It was black as a winter night and cold as ice to touch, but so long as it was round his neck, Taborlin would be safe from the harm of evil things. Demons and such.”

“I’d give a good piece for such a thing these days,” Shep said darkly. He had drunk most and talked least over the course of the evening. Everyone knew that something bad had happened out on his farm last Cendling night, but since they were good friends they knew better than to press him for the details. At least not this early in the evening, not as sober as they were.

“Aye, who wouldn’t?” Old Cob said judiciously, taking a long drink.

“I din’t know the Chandrian were demons,” the boy said. “I’d heard—”

“They ain’t demons,” Jake said firmly. “They were the first six people to refuse Tehlu’s choice of the path, and he cursed them to wander the corners—”

“Are you telling this story, Jacob Walker?” Cob said sharply. “Cause if you are, I’ll just let you get on with it.”

The two men glared at each other for a long moment. Eventually Jake looked away, muttering something that could, conceivably, have been an apology.

Cob turned back to the boy. “That’s the mystery of the Chandrian,” he explained. “Where do they come from? Where do they go after they’ve done their bloody deeds? Are they men who sold their souls? Demons? Spirits? No one knows.” Cob shot Jake a profoundly disdainful look. “Though every half-wit claims he knows….”

The story fell further into bickering at this point, about the nature of the Chandrian, the signs that showed their presence to the wary, and whether the amulet would protect Taborlin from bandits, or mad dogs, or falling off a horse. Things were getting heated when the front door banged open.

Jake looked over. “It’s about time you got in, Carter. Tell this damn fool the difference between a demon and a dog. Everybody kn—” Jake stopped midsentence and rushed to the door. “God’s body, what happened to you?”

Carter stepped into the light, his face pale and smeared with blood. He clutched an old saddle blanket to his chest. It was an odd, awkward shape, as if it were wrapped around a tangle of kindling sticks.

His friends jumped off their stools and hurried over at the sight of him. “I’m fine,” he said as he made his slow way into the common room. His eyes were wild around the edges, like a skittish horse. “I’m fine. I’m fine.”

He dropped the bundled blanket onto the nearest table where it knocked hard against the wood, as if it were full of stones. His clothes were crisscrossed with long, straight cuts. His grey shirt hung in loose tatters except where it was stuck to his body, stained a dark, sullen red.

Graham tried to ease him into a chair. “Mother of God. Sit down, Carter. What happened to you? Sit down.”

Carter shook his head stubbornly. “I told you, I’m fine. I’m not hurt that bad.”

“How many were there?” Graham said.

“One,” Carter said. “But it’s not what you think—”

“Goddammit. I told you, Carter,” Old Cob burst out with the sort of frightened anger only relatives and close friends can muster. “I told you for months now. You can’t go out alone. Not even as far as Baedn. It ain’t safe.” Jake laid a hand on the old man’s arm, quieting him.

“Just take a sit,” Graham said, still trying to steer Carter into a chair. “Let’s get that shirt off you and get you cleaned up.”

Carter shook his head. “I’m fine. I got cut up a little, but the blood is mostly Nelly’s. It jumped on her. Killed her about two miles outside town, past the Oldstone Bridge.”

A moment of serious silence followed the news. The smith’s prentice laid a sympathetic hand on Carter’s shoulder. “Damn. That’s hard. She was gentle as a lamb, too. Never tried to bite or kick when you brought her in for shoes. Best horse in town. Damn. I’m…” He trailed off. “Damn. I don’t know what to say.” He looked around helplessly.

Cob finally managed to free himself from Jake. “I told you,” he repeated, shaking a finger in Carter’s direction. “There’s folks out lately that would kill you for a pair of pennies, let alone a horse and cart. What are you going to do now? Pull it yourself?”

There was a moment of uncomfortable quiet. Jake and Cob glared at each other while the rest seemed at a loss for words, unsure of how to comfort their friend.

The innkeeper moved carefully through the silence. Arms full, he stepped nimbly around Shep and began to arrange some items on a nearby table: a bowl of hot water, shears, some clean linen, a few glass bottles, needle and gut.

“This never would have happened if he’d listened to me in the first place,” Old Cob muttered. Jake tried to quiet him, but Cob brushed him aside. “I’m just tellin’ the truth. It’s a damn shame about Nelly, but he better listen now or he’ll end up dead. You don’t get lucky twice with those sort of men.”

Carter’s mouth made a thin line. He reached out and pulled the edge of the bloody blanket. Whatever was inside flipped over once and snagged on the cloth. Carter tugged harder and there was a clatter like a bag of flat river stones upended onto the tabletop.

It was a spider as large as a wagon wheel, black as slate.

The smith’s prentice jumped backward and hit a table, knocking it over and almost falling to the ground himself. Cob’s face went slack. Graham, Shep, and Jake made wordless, startled sounds and moved away, raising their hands to their faces. Carter took a step backward that was almost like a nervous twitch. Silence filled the room like a cold sweat.

The innkeeper frowned. “They can’t have made it this far west yet,” he said softly.

If not for the silence, it is unlikely anyone would have heard him. But they did. Their eyes pulled away from the thing on the table to stare mutely at the red-haired man.

Jake found his voice first. “You know what this is?”

The innkeeper’s eyes were distant. “Scrael,” he said distractedly. “I’d thought the mountains—”

“Scrael?” Jake broke in. “Blackened body of God, Kote. You’ve seen these things before?”

“What?” The red-haired innkeeper looked up sharply, as if suddenly remembering where he was.

“Oh. No. No, of course not.” Seeing that he was the only one within arm’s length of the dark thing, he took a measured step away. “Just something I heard.” They stared at him. “Do you remember the trader that came through about two span ago?”

They all nodded. “Bastard tried to charge me ten pennies for a half-pound of salt,” Cob said reflexively, repeating the complaint for perhaps the hundredth time.

“Wish I’d bought some,” Jake mumbled. Graham nodded a silent agreement.

“He was a filthy shim,” Cob spat, seeming to find comfort in the familiar words. “I might pay two in a tight time, but ten is robbery.”

“Not if there are more of those on the road,” Shep said darkly.

All eyes went back to the thing on the table.

“He told me he’d heard of them over near Melcombe,” Kote said quickly, watching everyone’s faces as they studied the thing on the table. “I thought he was just trying to drive up his prices.”

“What else did he say?” Carter asked.

The innkeeper looked thoughtful for a moment, then shrugged. “I didn’t get the whole story. He was only in town for a couple hours.”

“I don’t like spiders,” the smith’s prentice said. He remained on the other side of a table some fifteen feet away. “Cover it up.”

“It’s not a spider,” Jake said. “It’s got no eyes.”

“It’s got no mouth either,” Carter pointed out. “How does it eat?”

“What does it eat?” Shep said darkly.

The innkeeper continued to eye the thing curiously. He leaned closer, stretching out a hand.
Everyone edged even farther away from the table.

“Careful,” Carter said. “Its feet are sharp like knives.”

“More like razors,” Kote said. His long fingers brushed the thing’s black, featureless body. “It’s smooth and hard, like pottery.”

“Don’t go messing with it,” the smith’s prentice said.

Moving carefully, the innkeeper took one of the long, smooth legs and tried to break it with both hands like a stick. “Not pottery,” he amended. He set it against the edge of the table and leaned his weight against it. It broke with a sharpcrack. “More like stone.” He looked up at Carter. “How did it get all these cracks?” He pointed at the thin fractures that crazed the smooth black surface of the body.

“Nelly fell on it,” Carter said. “It jumped out of a tree and started to climb all over her, cutting her up with its feet. It moved so fast. I didn’t even know what was going on.” Carter finally sank into the chair at Graham’s urging. “She got tangled in her harness and fell on it, broke some of its legs. Then it came after me, got on me, crawling all over.” He crossed his arms in front of his bloody chest and shuddered. “I managed to get it off me and stomped it hard as I could. Then it got on me again….” He trailed off, his face ashen.

The innkeeper nodded to himself as he continued to prod the thing. “There’s no blood. No organs. It’s just grey inside.” He poked it with a finger. “Like a mushroom.”

“Great Tehlu, just leave it alone,” the smith’s prentice begged. “Sometimes spiders twitch after you kill them.”

“Listen to yourselves,” Cob said scathingly. “Spiders don’t get big as pigs. You know what this is.” He looked around, making eye contact with each of them. “It’s a demon.”

They looked at the broken thing. “Oh, come on now,” Jake said, disagreeing mostly out of habit.
“It’s not like…” He made an inarticulate gesture. “It can’t just…”

Everyone knew what he was thinking. Certainly there were demons in the world. But they were like Tehlu’s angels. They were like heroes and kings. They belonged in stories. They belonged out there. Taborlin the Great called up fire and lightning to destroy demons. Tehlu broke them in his hands and sent them howling into the nameless void. Your childhood friend didn’t stomp one to death on the road to Baedn-Bryt. It was ridiculous.

Kote ran his hand through his red hair, then broke the silence. “There’s one way to tell for sure,” he said, reaching into his pocket. “Iron or fire.” He brought out a bulging leather purse.

“And the name of God,” Graham pointed out. “Demons fear three things: cold iron, clean fire, and the holy name of God.”

The innkeeper’s mouth pressed itself into a straight line that was not quite a frown. “Of course,” he said as he emptied his purse onto the table then fingered through the jumbled coins: heavy silver talents and thin silver bits, copper jots, broken ha’pennies, and iron drabs. “Does anyone have a shim?”

“Just use a drab,” Jake said. “That’s good iron.”

“I don’t want good iron,” the innkeeper said. “A drab has too much carbon in it. It’s almost steel.”

“He’s right,” the smith’s prentice said. “Except it’s not carbon. You use coke to make steel. Coke and lime.”

The innkeeper nodded deferentially to the boy. “You’d know best, young master. It’s your business after all.” His long fingers finally found a shim in the pile of coins. He held it up. “Here we are.”

“What will it do?” Jake asked.

“Iron kills demons,” Cob’s voice was uncertain, “but this one’s already dead. It might not do anything.”

“One way to find out.” The innkeeper met each of their eyes briefly, as if measuring them. Then he turned purposefully back to the table, and they edged farther away.

Kote pressed the iron shim to the black side of the creature, and there was a short, sharp crackling sound, like a pine log snapping in a hot fire. Everyone startled, then relaxed when the black thing remained motionless. Cob and the others exchanged shaky smiles, like boys spooked by a ghost story. Their smiles went sour as the room filled with the sweet, acrid smell of rotting flowers and burning hair.

The innkeeper pressed the shim onto the table with a sharp click. “Well,” he said, brushing his hands against his apron. “I guess that settles that. What do we do now?”
Hours later, the innkeeper stood in the doorway of the Waystone and let his eyes relax to the darkness. Footprints of lamplight from the inn’s windows fell across the dirt road and the doors of the smithy across the way. It was not a large road, or well traveled. It didn’t seem to lead anywhere, as some roads do. The innkeeper drew a deep breath of autumn air and looked around restlessly, as if waiting for something to happen.

He called himself Kote. He had chosen the name carefully when he came to this place. He had taken a new name for most of the usual reasons, and for a few unusual ones as well, not the least of which was the fact that names were important to him.

Looking up, he saw a thousand stars glittering in the deep velvet of a night with no moon. He knew them all, their stories and their names. He knew them in a familiar way, the way he knew his own hands.

Looking down, Kote sighed without knowing it and went back inside. He locked the door and shuttered the wide windows of the inn, as if to distance himself from the stars and all their varied names.

He swept the floor methodically, catching all the corners. He washed the tables and the bar, moving with a patient efficiency. At the end of an hour’s work, the water in his bucket was still clean enough for a lady to wash her hands in.

Finally, he pulled a stool behind the bar and began to polish the vast array of bottles nestled between the two huge barrels. He wasn’t nearly as crisp and efficient about this chore as he had been with the others, and it soon became obvious the polishing was only an excuse to touch and hold. He even hummed a little, although he did not realize it, and would have stopped himself if he had known.

As he turned the bottles in his long, graceful hands the familiar motion eased a few tired lines from his face, making him seem younger, certainly not yet thirty. Not even near thirty. Young for an innkeeper. Young for a man with so many tired lines remaining on his face.

Kote came to the top of the stairs and opened the door. His room was austere, almost monkish.

There was a black stone fireplace in the center of the room, a pair of chairs, and a small desk.
The only other furniture was a narrow bed with a large, dark chest at its foot. Nothing decorated the walls or covered the wooden floor.

There were footsteps in the hall, and a young man stepped into the room carrying a bowl of stew that steamed and smelled of pepper. He was dark and charming, with a quick smile and cunning eyes. “You haven’t been this late in weeks,” he said as he handed over the bowl. “There must have been good stories tonight, Reshi.”

Reshi was another of the innkeeper’s names, a nickname almost. The sound of it tugged one corner of his mouth into a wry smile as he sank into the deep chair in front of the fire. “So, what did you learn today, Bast?”

“Today, master, I learned why great lovers have better eyesight than great scholars.”

“And why is that, Bast?” Kote asked, amusement touching the edges of his voice.

Bast closed the door and returned to sit in the second chair, turning it to face his teacher and the fire. He moved with a strange delicacy and grace, as if he were close to dancing. “Well Reshi, all the rich books are found inside where the light is bad. But lovely girls tend to be out in the sunshine and therefore much easier to study without risk of injuring one’s eyes.”

Kote nodded. “But an exceptionally clever student could take a book out-side, thus bettering himself without fear of lessening his much-loved faculty of sight.”

“I thought the same thing, Reshi. Being, of course, an exceptionally clever student.”

“Of course.”

“But when I found a place in the sun where I could read, a beautiful girl came along and kept me from doing anything of the sort,” Bast finished with a flourish.

Kote sighed. “Am I correct in assuming you didn’t manage to read any of Celum Tinture today?”

Bast managed to look somewhat ashamed.

Looking into the fire, Kote tried to assume a stern face and failed. “Ah Bast, I hope she was lovely as a warm wind in the shade. I’m a bad teacher to say it, but I’m glad. I don’t feel up to a long bout of lessons right now.” There was a moment of silence. “Carter was attacked by a scraeling tonight.”

Bast’s easy smile fell away like a cracked mask, leaving his face stricken and pale. “The scrael?”
He came halfway to his feet as if he would bolt from the room, then gave an embarrassed frown and forced himself back down into his chair. “How do you know? Who found his body?”

“He’s still alive, Bast. He brought it back. There was only one.”

“There’s no such thing as one scraeling,” Bast said flatly. “You know that.”

“I know,” Kote said. “The fact remains there was only one.”

“And he killed it?” Bast said. “It couldn’t have been a scraeling. Maybe—”

“Bast, it was one of the scrael. I saw it.” Kote gave him a serious look. “He was lucky, that’s all.
Even so he was badly hurt. Forty-eight stitches. I used up nearly all my gut.” Kote picked up his bowl of stew. “If anyone asks, tell them my grandfather was a caravan guard who taught me how to clean and stitch a wound. They were too shocked to ask about it tonight, but tomorrow some of them might get curious. I don’t want that.” He blew into his bowl, raising a cloud of steam around his face.

“What did you do with the body?”

“I didn’t do anything with it,” Kote said pointedly. “I am just an innkeeper. This sort of thing is quite beyond me.”

“Reshi, you can’t just let them muddle through this on their own.”

Kote sighed. “They took it to the priest. He did all the right things for all the wrong reasons.”

Bast opened his mouth, but Kote continued before he could say anything. “Yes, I made sure the pit was deep enough. Yes, I made sure there was rowan wood in the fire. Yes, I made sure it burned long and hot before they buried it. And yes, I made sure that no one kept a piece of it as a souvenir.” He scowled, his eyebrows drawing together. “I’m not an idiot, you know.”

Bast visibly relaxed, settling back into his chair. “I know you’re not, Reshi. But I wouldn’t trust half these people to piss leeward without help.” He looked thoughtful for a moment. “I can’t imagine why there was only one.”

“Maybe they died coming over the mountains,” Kote suggested. “All but this one.”

“It’s possible,” Bast admitted reluctantly.

“Maybe it was that storm from a couple days back,” Kote pointed out. “A real wagon-tipper, as we used to say back in the troupe. All the wind and rain might have scattered one loose from the pack.”

“I like your first idea better, Reshi,” Bast said uncomfortably. “Three or four scrael would go through this town like…like…”

“Like a hot knife through butter?”

“More like several hot knives through several dozen farmers,” Bast said dryly. “These people can’t defend themselves. I bet there aren’t six swords in this whole town. Not that swords would do much good against the scrael.”

There was a long moment of thoughtful silence. After a moment Bast began to fidget. “Any news?”

Kote shook his head. “They didn’t get to the news tonight. Carter disrupted things while they were still telling stories. That’s something, I suppose. They’ll be back tomorrow night. It’ll give me something to do.”

Kote poked his spoon idly into the stew. “I should have bought the scraeling from Carter,” he mused. “He could’ve used the money for a new horse. People would have come from all over to see it. We could have had some business for a change.”

Bast gave him a speechless, horrified look.

Kote made a pacifying gesture with the hand that held the spoon. “I’m joking, Bast.” He gave a weak smile. “Still, it would have been nice.”

“No Reshi, it most certainly would not have been nice,” Bast said emphatically. “‘People would have come from all over to see it,’” he repeated derisively. “Indeed.”

“The business would have been nice,” Kote clarified. “Busy-ness would be nice.” He jabbed his spoon into the stew again. “Anything would be nice.”

They sat for a long moment. Kote scowling down into the bowl of stew in his hands, his eyes far away. “It must be awful for you here, Bast,” he said at last. “You must be numb with boredom.”

Bast shrugged. “There are a few young wives in town. A scattering of daughters.” He grinned like a child. “I tend to make my own fun.”

“That’s good, Bast.” There was another silence. Kote took another spoonful, chewed, swallowed.
“They thought it was a demon, you know.”

Bast shrugged. “It might as well be, Reshi. It’s probably the best thing for them to think.”

“I know. I encouraged them, in fact. But you know what that means.” He met Bast’s eyes. “The blacksmith is going to be doing a brisk business in the next couple days.”

Bast’s expression went carefully blank. “Oh.”

Kote nodded. “I won’t blame you if you want to leave, Bast. You have better places to be than this.”

Bast’s expression was shocked. “I couldn’t leave, Reshi.” He opened and closed his mouth a few times, at a loss for words. “Who else would teach me?”

Kote grinned, and for a moment his face showed how truly young he was. Behind the weary lines and the placid innkeeper’s expression he looked no older than his dark-haired companion. “Who indeed?” He gestured toward the door with his spoon. “Go do your reading then, or bother someone’s daughter. I’m sure you have better things to do than watch me eat.”

“Actually…”

“Begone demon!” Kote said, switching to a thickly accented Temic through half a mouthful of stew. “Tehus antausa eha!”

Bast burst into startled laughter and made an obscene gesture with one hand.

Kote swallowed and changed languages. “Aroi te denna-leyan!”

“Oh come now,” Bast reproached, his smile falling away. “That’s just insulting.”

“By earth and stone, I abjure you!” Kote dipped his fingers into the cup by his side and flicked droplets casually in Bast’s direction. “Glamour be banished!”

“With cider?” Bast managed to look amused and annoyed at the same time as he daubed a bead of liquid from the front of his shirt. “This better not stain.”

Kote took another bite of his dinner. “Go soak it. If the situation becomes desperate, I
recommend you avail yourself of the numerous solvent formulae extant in Celum Tinture. Chapter thirteen, I believe.”

“Fine.” Bast stood and walked to the door, stepping with his strange, casual grace. “Call if you need anything.” He closed the door behind himself.

Kote ate slowly, mopping up the last of the stew with a piece of bread. He looked out the window as he ate, or tried to, as the lamplight turned its surface mirrorlike against the dark behind it.

His eyes wandered the room restlessly. The fireplace was made of the same black rock as the one downstairs. It stood in the center of the room, a minor feat of engineering of which Kote was rather proud. The bed was small, little more than a cot, and if you were to touch it you would find the mattress almost nonexistent.

A skilled observer might notice there was something his gaze avoided. The same way you avoid meeting the eye of an old lover at a formal dinner, or that of an old enemy sitting across the room in a crowded alehouse late at night.

Kote tried to relax, failed, fidgeted, sighed, shifted in his seat, and without willing it his eyes fell on the chest at the foot of the bed.

It was made of roah, a rare, heavy wood, dark as coal and smooth as polished glass. Prized by perfumers and alchemists, a piece the size of your thumb was easily worth gold. To have a chest made of it went far beyond extravagance.

The chest was sealed three times. It had a lock of iron, a lock of copper, and a lock that could not be seen. Tonight the wood filled the room with the almost imperceptible aroma of citrus and quenching iron.

When Kote’s eyes fell on the chest they did not dart quickly away. They did not slide slyly to the side as if he would pretend it wasn’t there at all. But in a moment of looking, his face regained all the lines the simple pleasures of the day had slowly smoothed away. The comfort of his bottles and books was erased in a second, leaving nothing behind his eyes but emptiness and ache. For a moment fierce longing and regret warred across his face.

Then they were gone, replaced by the weary face of an innkeeper, a man who called himself Kote. He sighed again without knowing it and pushed himself to his feet.

It was a long time before he walked past the chest to bed. Once in bed, it was a long time before he slept.

As Kote had guessed, they came back to the Waystone the next night for dinner and drinks. There were a few half-hearted attempts at stories, but they died out quickly. No one was really in the mood.

So it was still early in the evening when the discussion turned to matters of greater import. They chewed over the rumors that had come into town, most of them troubling. The Penitent King was having a difficult time with the rebels in Resavek. This caused some concern, but only in a general way. Resavek was a long way off, and even Cob, the most worldly of them, would be hard pressed to find it on a map.

They discussed the war in their own terms. Cob predicted a third levy tax after the harvests were in. No one argued, though there hadn’t been a three-bleeder year in living memory.

Jake guessed the harvest would be good enough so the third levy wouldn’t break most families. Except the Bentleys, who were on hard times anyway. And the Orissons, whose sheep kept disappearing. And Crazy Martin, who had planted all barley this year. Every farmer with half a brain had planted beans. That was one good thing about all the fighting—soldiers ate beans, and prices would be high.

After a few more drinks, deeper concerns were voiced. Deserter soldiers and other opportunists were thick on the roads, making even short trips risky. The roads were always bad, of course, in the same way that winter was always cold. You complained, took sensible precautions, and got on with the business of living your life.

But this was different. Over the last two months the roads had become so bad that people had stopped complaining. The last caravan had two wagons and four guards. The merchant had been asking ten pennies for half a pound of salt, fifteen for a loaf of sugar. He didn’t have any pepper, or cinnamon, or chocolate. He did have one small sack of coffee, but he wanted two silver talents for that. At first people had laughed at his prices. Then, when he held firm, folk had spat and cursed at him.

That had been two span ago: twenty-two days. There had not been another serious trader since, even though this was the season for it. So despite the third levy tax looming large in everyone’s minds, people were looking in their purses and wishing they’d bought a little something, just in case the snow came early.

No one spoke of the previous night, of the thing they had burned and buried. Other folk were talking, of course. The town was alive with gossip. Carter’s wounds ensured that the stories were taken half seriously, but not much more than half. The word “demon” was being spoken, but it was with smiles half-hidden behind raised hands.

Only the six friends had seen the thing before it was burned. One of them had been wounded and the others had been drinking. The priest had seen it too, but it was his job to see demons.

Demons were good for his business.

The innkeeper had seen it too, apparently. But he wasn’t from around here. He couldn’t know the truth that was so apparent to everyone born and raised in this little town: stories were told here, but they happened somewhere else. This was not a place for demons.

Besides, things were bad enough without borrowing trouble. Cob and the rest knew there was no sense talking about it. Trying to convince folk would only make them a laughingstock, like Crazy Martin, who had been trying to dig a well inside his own house for years now.

Still, each of them bought a piece of cold-wrought iron from the smith, heavy as they could swing, and none of them said what they were thinking. Instead they complained that the roads were bad and getting worse. They talked about merchants, and deserters, and levies, and not enough salt to last the winter. They reminisced that three years ago no one would have even thought of locking their doors at night, let alone barring them.

The conversation took a downward turn from there, and even though none of them said what they were thinking, the evening ended on a grim note. Most evenings did these days, times being what they were.

What People are Saying About This

Anne McCaffrey
A fascinating read, with plenty of well-drawn characters and unique information on the 'arcane'. Well worth anyone's time - a book that requires 'reading.'
Kevin J. Anderson
Patrick Rothfuss gives us a fabulous debut, standing firmly on the main stage of the fantasy genre and needing no warmup act. Jordan and Goodkind must be looking nervously over their shoulders!
Terry Brooks
The Name of the Wind marks the debut of a writer we would all do well to watch. Patrick Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous.

Meet the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles Series #1) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2113 reviews.
Hiddenmastermind More than 1 year ago
"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."
Wyll More than 1 year ago
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.
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.
This is great writing, and I can't wait for the next installment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
FerZa More than 1 year ago
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.
Barabbanidas More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
julie37619 More than 1 year ago
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! flag
Dragoulstein More than 1 year ago
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!!!
DreamscapePen More than 1 year ago
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.
Mistb0rn More than 1 year ago
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!!
Brad96 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!
LadyoftheRings More than 1 year ago
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.
ProsePro More than 1 year ago
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.
Jimmy Aston More than 1 year ago
this book, to date, is in my top 10 favorites. With just the right amount of mystery,intrigue,suspense,love and adventure i cant wait to read what surprises are in store for me in the second book!
Astaldoath More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is written very well and smoothly and I find myself at times reading hours and hours without realizing how long it has been. Patrick Rothfuss has created a great debut with the novel The Name of the Wind and I have no doubt that he will become one the great writers of fantasy fiction. Intelligently written, great plot and original story, action, adventure, and a little romance; this book has it all and makes a great read. I am looking forward to reading the next book when it comes out. I would recommend this book to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one took me by surprise. When i got done reading it I wanted to start it all over again. Considering this book is the first novel, I can't wait to see how the rest of the series turns out. Great characters and a plot that meshes superbly. Fantasy fans this is a must have!!!!!!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
As a child, Kvothe traveled with his parents from town to town as part of a troupe giving performances. His parents were quite talented, had the patronage of a lord, and stopped at only the best places. The troupe added Abertino who taught Kvothe much about his magic and was quite surprised how easily the lad picked up his lessons. After his mentor leaves the troupe, Kvothe decides to attend the University where he can obtain formal lessons in the use of magic. However his life is shattered after returning from a long solo walk to ponder his future he finds everyone including his parents dead, killed by the Chandrian because his dad was collecting knowledge on them so that he could write a song about them. --- A traumatized Kvothe heads for the big city where he becomes a homeless vagabond who is picked on by everyone who lives on the streets. Still he does what he must to stay alive until he finally reaches the University. Three days later he is moved into the Arcanum, the school of magic where he makes an enemy of an older student Ambrose, who makes Kvothe¿s life miserable, which escalates until he jeopardizes the newcomer¿s life. Kvothe has had enough and gets Ambrose in trouble with the school authorities. Some call him a hero others a killer as his legend has just begun. --- This is a complex enthralling ¿biographical¿ fantasy that will stun sub-genre fans with its vividness and depth as if Patrick Rothfuss has written numerous thrillers instead of his first. Kvothe¿s youthful tale is told mostly by him as he ventures forth once his beloved parents and the rest of those in his ¿world¿ were murdered. Readers will appreciate this strong saga of a young hero¿s salad days while looking forward to further escapades of Kvothe in ¿day two¿ of his story to the Chronicler. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A flawless adventure tale reminiscent of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. By far one of my favorite novels of all time. The author anticipates the needs of the reader and you will never find yourself bored. The characters are astonishingly vivid and the fantasy world in itself is equally as compelling. Give this a try, and you will not be dissapointed. I cannot relate the complexity and likability of the characters in this world. Admittedly, I am a bit of a speed reader who easily devours 50 or more novels per summer while working full time. This novel however, halted my pace in an altogether positive manner. I found my eyes arresting their progress and eating up the individual words that the author seamlessly weaved together. I also found myself wishing this tale would never end and that I would never have to leave this fantastic world. Give this book a try. Beautifully written. Post reading this novel I did a bit of research on the author and encountered the fact that he is an extreme perfectionist, writing as many as 60 drafts. I belive this wholeheartedly as every segment of this book fits together like an intricate puzzle. I can't wait to hear more about the third book in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great new fantasy saga to get into
Kristina Alperstein More than 1 year ago
By far my favorite series since Harry Potter.