Hi! I’ve been gone forever, but is anyone surprised? No, I didn’t think so. I’m back today with a review.
- Publication date: March 27th 2007
- Publisher: Gollancz
- Genre: High fantasy
‘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.
My name is Kvothe.
You may have heard of me’
So begins the tale of Kvothe – currently known as Kote, the unassuming innkeepter – from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, through his 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 the notorious magician, the accomplished thief, the masterful musician, the dragon-slayer, the legend-hunter, the lover, the thief and the infamous assassin.
I had big expectations going into this book. I mean, it made so many people’s “favourite fantasy series ever” list, it was pretty hard not to expect much. I’m happy to admit it didn’t disappoint. The Name of The Wind turned out to be a very cosy and pleasant adventure story set in an interesting fantasy world.
I think what I liked the most about it was the writing. It was very lyrical and flowy, perfect for this kind of a story. It was descriptive enough, but not to the point of lenghty paragraphs about the scenery, which in many cases is an absolute overkill. The format of the story itself was interesting, too, and it definitely added to my enjoyment of the book. I liked the mix of the third and first person narrative.
The world was interesting, though in my opinion, not entirely fleshed out. For a book set primarily in a University, I wanted more magic, more academic stuff. I’d like to see Kvothe learn more, do more in school, instead of just getting in trouble. I’m not saying there wasn’t enough, as everything is pretty clear and I understand how it works, I would just like more personally. I found the world beyond the University pretty bare, too. Of course, I understand it’s all down to most of it being told in the first person and it would not make sense for there to be more explanation of “mundane” things like politics etc., and it would feel out of place and info dumpy, but when reading epic fantasy and stories from fictional worlds, I like to know exactly how they function – class systems, politics, conflict – give me all those and I’ll be happy. Again, I do not exactly fault the book for lacking these, it’s just something I’d like to see.
This might be slightly controversial, but I actually dislike Kvothe quite a bit. He’s such a Harry, and anyone who knows me, knows how much I love the Harry Potter series, yet hate Harry as a character. Young Kvothe especially is terribly arrogant and full of himself. For someone who went through so much in his life he really lacks humility. A lot of his behaviour stems from being good at everything he does, which in turn is just unbelievable and Mary Sue-ish. I think characters are really the weakest point of the story, as the rest of them are not as fleshed out as they could be and are quite forgettable. Take Kvothe’s friends, for instance. What are their names? Wil and? Exactly! I don’t remember, because they weren’t memorable enough, and felt like a plot device and not a person, just to keep the story going. That being said, I really like Bast, and although he doesn’t get much “screen time” for a lack of a better word, he’s still a complex and interesting character in my eyes.
I’m excited to continue with the series, though I know it’s still incomplete and I probably shouldn’t rush it. I hope the world gets expanded a bit more in the next book.
I would say it’s more of a 4.5 stars
Have you read The Name of the Wind? What did you think?
I’ll talk to you soon(ish)