MY NAME IS KVOTHE
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.
You may have heard of me.
After years of recommendations and praise for The Name of the Wind, I finally picked it up and embarked on the journey that is Kvothe’s life. I have to admit that the praise is well warranted and the hype that surrounds this book is much deserved. If you are unfamiliar with it, The Name of The Wind is the first book in The Kingkiller Chronicles, which is a trilogy that focuses on the story of Kvothe. He is a man whose name has become legend with many stories and theories that have been passed around, however Kvothe is the only one who knows the truth behind the myth and legend. He decides to tell his story and to do so in three days. Book one is day one of him telling his story.
This is a beautifully written book with exceptional storytelling. From the beginning, I was drawn into Kvothe’s narrative and became completely immersed in the story. He is a talented and gifted person, but he is flawed and at times frustrating with regards to his decisions and behaviour. I appreciated this because it ultimately is a story about the person behind the legend, and that person is going to have faults. Also it is not an action packed fantasy novel in the slightest. Instead it is one that takes its time and slowly walks through the moments of a life.
While it is fair to say that I fell in love with many aspects of this novel, I did have issues with it as well. For one, the last 150 pages or so do slow down considerably, and I feel it could have done without the random quest near the end. My other issue is with the romantic part of the novel, and in order to avoid spoilers I will be a vague as I can. In short, there is a romantic interest that shows up who I very much disliked. It does seem that the intent is for the character to be mysterious and somewhat sympathetic, but I don’t feel that successfully comes across. As a result the whole thing feels like pure insta love, and as I was reading I couldn’t help but think that this book could and should be able to do so much better. Now, this is the first book in a trilogy and I hope that it is a matter of maturity, growth, and learning the whole story rather than going by just the first part of it. I hope.
With all of that said, I do feel that The Name of the Wind is one of those novels that is a must-read for fantasy lovers, especially those that enjoy slower paced stories that don’t focus too much on action. The writing is beautiful and the world building is fantastic. After I started reading the novel I ended up watching a few different interviews with the author, who is very funny, charismatic and really interesting to listen to. So, read the book, listen to the interviews, and enter the world of The Kingkiller Chronicles.