Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy (yup, it’s both)
Pages: 662 (the tiny font kind)
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicles #1

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5 Stars

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A couple of days ago, I wrote a review in which I expressed my hatred for flashbacks and books that have a lot of them or are told in that form. I also said that there was one exception to that loathing. I was talking about this book. This is the exception.

This is a story about Kvothe, and how he becomes the “most notorious wizard his world has ever seen”. And that’s all you need to know. When I started reading the book, I didn’t even know this much. Only that I’d heard it had a magic school of some sort and that a lot of people loved it. I think knowing as little as possible is the best way to approach this novel.

And this is an awesome novel. Going into it, I expected it to be boring, for some reason. It was most definitely not. It’s not extremely fast paced, but it is very engrossing. Which is due to many reasons.

For one: the writing. Patrick Rothfuss has written this novel very beautifully. The writing has a poetic quality to it, but one that flows so well that you never have to pause to understand some metaphor that’s used. There’s no pretentiousness or awkwardness, no hiccups. The prose made me very happy.

The setting is also great. How we move to different places throughout the novel and immerse in those places and people. We got urban settings and rural settings, we got practical people and superstitious ones. We got poor, rich, rigid, religious, educated, illiterate, kind, vengeful and so many more.  And it was all done really well. Brilliant world building based around people.

Talking of people… The characters. Won’t go into detail about those or this review might get pretty long. Just gonna say that I love Kvothe. One of my favourite protagonists ever.

The only “negative” I have isn’t exactly a negative. There was just a scene in which I was promised a lot of hurt (I didn’t want the hurt but I expected it) but there wasn’t much. It was slightly disappointing (but also a relief). I have a feeling the next book will remedy that.

Overall just… read the book. I think I’ve written enough to convince you. If I haven’t, I’ll leave you with this small excerpt that I fell in love with.

Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.

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