Monday, June 15, 2009

The Name of the Wind [Rothfuss]

Book: The Name of the Wind
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Reason for Reading: for fun

Christine's Review: 'The Name of the Wind' is the first of the Kingkiller Chronicles Trilogy (books 2 and 3 have not been released yet). We are introduced to Kvothe, an innkeeper whose name is legendary for his heroic acts. When Chronicler (imagine a journalist) comes to the inn, Kvothe agrees to tell his story. We begin with Kvothe as a young prodigy whose family of traveling performers is murdered by people that seem to exist in legends only. After surviving on the streets for a number of years, Kvothe gains admittance to the University as a young teenager. Once there, he begins his formal training (including magic) while battling financial problems, a troubled love life, clashes with classmates and professors. All the while he is trying to decipher what happened to his family.

Rothfuss paints a vivid world and is a good writer but he falters in a few areas. First, he includes excruciating details for everything. Probably 50 pages are dedicated to describing financial transactions and currency conversions. The book is over 700 pages and could have been cut down a couple hundred. Second, the secondary characters were not developed very well. I'm still struggling with the appeal of Denna, Kvothe's love interest. She was in many scenes but I still don't really understand her as a character. Last and most important, I had issues with Kvothe. As a main character of a trilogy, I want a main character I can root for and get behind. Kvothe is someone that is good at almost everything with little effort and his biggest flaw is his unending self confidence and arrogance. I tried to keep in mind that he is a teenager for the majority of the book, but at times I was actually hoping he would fail. There was no character growth throughout the book, he never learned from prior mistakes, nor was there a strong conclusion. The book more or less ended.

I'm undecided if I will read the next 2 books. My husband read this book and loved it-I may read them so we can have a good discussion about it (we had good discussion about this one!).

Overall-this book was well written with an interesting story, but the main character is hard to get behind. Imagine reading Harry Potter, with Harry having the personality of Malfoy.

Recommend: Science fiction buffs will probably love this; anyone else-no

Book Junkie's Grade: C

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