Courtesy of Beaverdale Books
Reviewed byJulie Goodrich
‘The Name of the Wind’
By Patrick Rothfuss
With plenty of clichés filing out this thick book — the epic journey, the revenge quest, the dragon and even the often-used formula of a story within a story — it would seem to be a blip book. A blip book? That’s my personal term for books that you read once and forgot about. However, “The Name of the Wind” by the exceedingly talented Patrick Rothfuss is far more than a typical, mindless, fantasy novel. None of the familiar devices used seem old or worn. Every aspect, from the characters, to the world building, to the plot itself seems fresh and new. This book, the first in a projected trilogy, is full of action, adventure and the kind of characters that jump of the page.
The tale begins in that fantasy institution, an inn. We meet the seemingly ordinary innkeeper — rough, grouchy and a little too innocent. Soon, the innkeeper is spilling his guts to a chronicler, recounting the deliciously complex story of his childhood. With a hearty dose of tragedy along the way, the young man we now know as Kvothe (pronounced like “quothe”) starts to become something much more than ordinary.
“The Name of the Wind” is a wonderful book, a great example of literary skill making something extraordinary out of a common, well-used form. For those who think they don’t like books with magic and dragons, or those who think genre fiction is repetitive and poorly written, this could be a bridge into the wide, weird and wonderful world of fantasy fiction. CV