The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: Book Review

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The Name of the Wind

4.5 Stars

Kvothe is an innkeeper in a little out-of-the-way village. Or is he? One day a story-gatherer finds him and guesses that there is more to the innkeeper than meets the eye. He asks Kvothe to share his story. Kvothe agrees, but tells Chronicler that it will take three days to tell the story. This book is the first in a–can you guess?–trilogy telling Kvothe’s story. This one tells of Kvothe’s childhood and how he eventually made his way to the University to learn magic.

Kvothe was a likeable character and the story was pretty original and entertaining. It moved at a good pace and I really found myself almost devouring it. I really lost myself in it a couple of times. In one scene when Kvothe was auditioning, I found myself with a pit in my stomach and sweaty hands. I just had to laugh at myself when I caught it!

For all that, there were a couple of things that bugged me.

First of all, Kvothe’s name. I don’t mind authors inventing names, but make it something pronounceable, please! It doesn’t help to explain “It sounds like quothe.” I stumbled over those consonants every time I read the name and it broke the flow of the book. Luckily the book is told in first person, so I didn’t really have to read it that often.

Second, the pacing was great–until one part right at the end when the author got distracted by a giant lizard. This part dragged on and on and on. There was a point to the scene, but it wasn’t such a huge payoff that it demanded over fifty pages of text.

I read somewhere (I think here on Goodreads) that this is like Harry Potter for grownups. Not so much. On a very superficial level, maybe. I don’t think this ever achieved the magic that Harry Potter did. This probably won’t ever appeal to a huge variety of fans the way Harry did. But for fantasy fans, I would say this is a must-read.

Reviewed May 18, 2008

The sequel, Wise Man’s Fear, just came out on Tuesday. My wonderful husband is picking a signed copy up for me today. Not that Patrick Rothfuss is coming to my town. We’re too small for that. But our wonderful local indie, Malaprops, is so awesome they got us some signed copies.

Read an excerpt.

Find author Patrick Rothfuss on his website, his blog, and Facebook. If you aren’t following his blog yet, go take care of that now. I’ll wait.

Buy The Name of the Wind on


Friday Flashback Reviews are a weekly feature here on The Introverted Reader. These are old reviews I wrote on GoodReads. Thanks to Angieville and her Retro Friday Reviews for the inspiration and encouragement!

I have an affiliate relationship with IndieBound and Better World Books and will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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  1. The hubby read this last year and was very excited for the sequel's release. Unfortunately, Patrick had a signing here in NYC but we couldn't go cause I had class that night, and Josh, my husband, has to pick me up from class. I heard from a friend who went to the signing that it was a long one. People were lining up three hours before the start of the event, in the cold. Maybe one day I'll attempt at tackling these tomes.

  2. Not sure if I'd like this one, especially reading about the lizard. We have it at my library (I just ordered the sequel for our collection) so I may pick it up one day.

  3. I agree. This was a truly incredible book but one that definitely requires an investment from its readers. So yeah, it's not gonna get a ton of love outside of dedicated fantasy readers, but obviously those readers adore it. (myself included)

  4. I think this book is stalking me. It seems I can't go anywhere without seeing it or running into someone else who is telling me how much they enjoyed it or how much they think I would enjoy it! I suppose it's about time I take the hint…

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