I received this book from the publishers in the same box that had The Painted Man in it (among others), and I picked up Peter’s novel first, then read David’s novel, and finally came to The Name of the Wind. The cover confused me (after a had journeyed around a hundred pages into the book) because I had the idea that the character depicted on the cover was a woman, but other than that, the cover was still beautiful. Also, the title of the series – The Kingkiller Chronicle – Day One - intrigued the hell out of me. I thought, Wow, Patrick is ambitious! To fill this thick novel with the events of one day?! I was proven, much to my delight, wrong.
The novel begins in the third-person POV, introducing us the the one major player who will remain with us on our journey through the Four Corners of the World. His name is Kvothe, and as the blurb on the back of the UK edition says, you may have heard of him. Certainly, after such a strong debut, Kvothe’s name will be on many lips! As we read on, Patrick draws us into Kvothe’s life and world with a grace and ease which belies how well-written and wonderful the book is – as you get to know Kvothe (and the Chandrian) you are sucked deeper and deeper, until it seems that you have always known this talented and driven young man, have grown up beside him and witnessed his coming-of-age (and his blunders. ) After reading immensely enjoyable books from Peter V Brett and David Durham, I thought that the pin had to drop somewhere, but thankfully, it didn’t. Patrick’s use of fantasy-mainstays (such as dragons and establishments where the use of magic is taught) are fresh and unique, and in my view, Patrick’s University, as well as the magic-system he employs, are two of the cleverest inventions in the genre so far, especially coming from a debut author.
I took longer than usual to finish the book, which I will blame on getting my hands on a Star Wars title I’ve been waiting three years to read, and I was able to put the book down and switch it off in my mind, but I’m not saying here that the book bored me or didn’t hold my attention. The Name of the Wind is like an old friend, someone you know deeply, someone you are comfortable with, someone who doesn’t demand your attention. Books that do that, while remaining great reads, are few and far between – the line seperating that from putting the book down and never picking it up again is a very thin line, but Patrick steers you away from it, and you really enjoy being steered.
All in all, this is a great debut, and this guy will be one of the big guns, trust me. I await the follow up with patience, because I know that I’ll be meeting Kvothe, my old friend, again, and thanks to Patrick Rothfuss, I’m downright comfortable in Kvothe’s presence.
To get more info on Patrick and his work, visit his website here, and to order your copies of the book, click here for US, here for UK and here for SA.