The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss


The “The Name of the Wind” is a fantasy novel by Patrick Rothfuss, an epic tale, continuing still, to be told in three parts, one for each day, one in each book, and the one to be told to you today is the very first of the trilogy.

To call the “The Name of the Wind,” an introduction to the life of Kvothe would be fair but inaccurate, since the plot beholds a long journey of how a child from a troupe Edema Ruh became one of the greatest magicians, an infamous legend, whose instances in folk lores were innumerable and significant. It is long but incomplete and little is known of the world that Kvothe belongs to; it is convenient to say that Kvothe is primitive to each and every account the story presents. There are reasons to why the description of civilization, that of other characters is lesser in comparison to the elicitation on Kvothe himself. The storytelling by Patrick Rothfuss is ingenious, crisp and cares to retain readers for long hours accredited to the precise diction, unrestrained prose, and effortless flow, but because its a narrative, it lacks exploration, and the only exploration in the world, in the story and in characters  one witnesses is that done by Kvothe, and no matter how long it be, one man is definitely not an eye to the whole world. Even though the plot changes gears from first person to a third person narrative, back and forth, it still limits the world and characters to what Kvothe has to say about them. But still, Kvothe did have a lot to say (so did Patrick Rothfuss), and the 700 pages of novel stand testament to it solemnly. 

Kvothe is indeed a hero figure, and he himself is greatly aware of the fact as well. An inclination to the same can be felt when he says to Chronicler (a scribe), “In doing so, we shall pass through innumerable boring stories, but let us hurry forward to the only tale of any real importance. Mine.” The novel was not grand for the mere plot, which was of-course not that descriptive, but it managed to hold on to all hype it cadged, because of what the writer had to say about all that was, and would be, thus more than plot, the autobiography by Kvothe, a character begot by Patrick, and his opinions held far greater relevance.

The novel starts off as a perfect prose would, describing the inn, the men in it, and the man who stood there, named Kote (Kvothe), all in silence. The stages of puerility, learning from Abenthy, lore of Chandrians, family tragedy, ventures into lonely forests, the stay at Tarbean, University, Trebon and much more keep the tale progressive, each significant to the development of Kvothe. The magic reminded of plain voodoo, however the creativity of writer excelled in  concepts of name calling, understanding of which would require a bit of reading. Kvothe was radical, knew his way around things, extremely responsive, with little familiar circle, and yes, pride was his priced possession. Since, Kvothe is the only character the writer intends to talk about, his likability to the readers is essential. There indeed is so much to Kvothe that is likable, but smugness ain’t one of them. Further, the dearth of women in entire novel did bother many a times. Of-course Deena was there, but was she really, she was and then she went away, just like that.

The major irony to the whole plot, was in regards to the excerpt that I had come across before reading any content of the book. The lines from Kvothe went like, “I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings, burned down the town ofTrebon, have spent the night with Felurian, …….. I have talked to Gods, loved women and written songs that make the minstrels weep.” This was what drove me to the book, but to my finding, the names were, but without detail, just names. They were importantly to be addressed in the yet to come part, they were the promise of much to come, and so I read and waited.

I would recommend this book with all my heart, to all fantasy enthusiasts, for the tale of Kvothe is highly engaging for what it is, with episodes of conscious choices, repeated anecdotes, that are highly palatable. For a debut novel, Patrick Rothfuss deserves admiration, and he sure excels at writing, and story telling. It is important to know that the first book is just part of the whole story, the essence rests in its completion, and if you’re ready for such a commitment, then you’re in for a treat, otherwise you better walk out right now. Do not let criticism act a barrier in witnessing a sure exhibition of raw talent, it may not be perfect but it has its charms and regret is not one of the feelings you would have after you’re done with it.