Nothing is more thrilling to a reader than stumbling upon a book that excites their imagination and warms their heart. They are rare, but when they are found they are all the more appreciated. Happily for me, The Name of the Wind was one of those very books. Rothfuss’s beautiful writing, brilliant plot, and fascinating character development all merged together to create one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read!
Told in his own voice, The Name of the Wind is the story of Kvothe (pronounced Quothe), a young man who grew up to become one of the world’s most notorious wizards. Beginning with his childhood, Kvothe shares with readers the loss of his family to the Chandrian, a mythical group who bring death and carnage wherever they go. Determined to find out the secret behind the Chandrian and claim revenge for his family, Kvothe seeks entrance into a famous university to learn magic and become an arcanist. Along the way he makes friends and enemies, and becomes one step closer to finding the answers that he’s looking for.
I’ll admit, The Name of the Wind and I got off to a shakey start. For the first 50 pages or so I struggled. I even contemplated putting it down and walking away altogether. Luckily for me I stuck around, because once Kvothe actually started telling his story I was hooked! I hate comparing books to other novels, but the feeling I got while reading The Name of the Wind was somewhat akin to Harry Potter or The Hobbit. The story just had a good, heartwarming feeling, even through the darker spots. The plot is intricately planned out, and the background and mythology that went into creating Kvothe’s world is reminiscent of Rowling, Tolkien, and Martin.
As for characters, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Kvothe. Smart, witty, and brave, Kvothe is a hero that you can’t help but cheer for. I was really impressed by how Rothfuss’s developped his character over the course of the book, and held my breath to find out what kind of trouble Kvothe would get into next. The secondary characters were also really interesting and complex, and I love how much I came to hate Ambrose (the Draco Malfoy to Kvothe’s Harry). It’s difficult to pull off a story with just the right amount of plot and character development, but Rothfuss did it perfectly!
The verdict: The Name of the Wind is an imaginative, brilliant story that deserves every ounce of praise it has been getting from reviewers. It should have a seat of honour beside other popular fantasies like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. While it might be a struggle to fall in love with at first, stick around for the 600 other pages, because they are magical!