Skip to Content

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss []



This is a fun book, the kind that pulls you in and keeps you turning the pages. If you read it in a public place, however, you are likely to be interrupted by fans of the book who cannot help themselves and are eager to share their enthusiasm. Once I was even told, “I’m so jealous that you are reading it for the first time! I will never get to do that again!”

The Name of the Wind is a fantasy novel, and, to tell the truth, much of its plot sticks close to the cliches of the genre. A young boy discovers an aptitude for magic, learns all he can those around him, overcomes many obstacles, is accepted into a university where he excels beyond expectation, and goes on to do great things. And the hero, Kvothe, must, of course, confront a great evil, one that he takes seriously while those around him consider it only a fairy tale. Unlike most such stories, however, Kvothe, is a musician, and his changing relationship to his music is important throughout the book.

The world is richly built, full of detail, and the mechanics of its magic feel far more convincing than those in many other fantasies. The story is told from the perspective of an older Kvothe, now an innkeeper, who has done much since the events of the story he tells, but who has much more to do and learn as well. (This is the first book in a trilogy, after all.) Upon finishing the book you are left hungering for two stories—what happened to the young Kvothe in the stories, and what will happen to the innkeeper Kvothe, who you sense has much, much more in store for him.