The Name of the Wind

I took one book bought perchance in London, The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss to Venezia last week and I have kept reading it in my free time till I finished it today, sitting under the trees in my garden… It is this kind of incredibly compelling book that you cannot put aside, the kind where you keep pushing your bedtime deadline for yet another chapter and yet another paragraph! The biggest surprise came for me at the end when I realised on the last page this was the first book of a trilogy! (Looking back, the front page says indeed that this is The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One. But there is nothing on the front nor back covers.) The pace and story are so intense that it seemed it would come to a conclusion in a single volume… So why did I like the book so much?! Well, for one thing, the writing is definitely more elaborate than your usual down-the-shelf fantasy novel. It is not a linear story with a lengthy beginning that sets the scene (and puts the reader to sleep): there are a lot of back-and-forths in the story and the whole setting does not come clear before one third of the book. Another thing is the proper description of a University environment: this is less unusual in that it appears in many other fantasy novels, from Harry Potter to Pellinor, but in the current case this is fairly compelling and convincing. The focus on chemistry shows some of the background training of the author. At some level, one would wish for more depth in the characters and also maybe another point of view than the main character’s, Kvothe’s, but those are stylistic choices made by the author that keep the book riveting. (At first, the more elaborate style, the fact that I bought it in London, and the name of the author, Patrick Rothfuss, made me think he was from Germany, but his blog shows he is from Wisconsin! Maybe the German genes of his ancestors show through…)

I thus hope the unusual qualities of the book will keep up during the two following volumes, the next one named The Wise Man being supposedly out since early April. But from what I gathered from diverse blogs this does not seem to be the case at all!!! Anyway, as mentioned in those other blogs, better wait than seeing the quality of an exceptional debut go drastically down (as in Tad Williams’ Dragonbone Chair, first part of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn). But, given that the following books are still under construction, there is always a danger that the author’s inspiration dries out to the point of not finishing the story (as in George Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, whose blog does not even mention any longer the progresses of the author towards completing the series!)…

8 Responses to “The Name of the Wind”

  1. […] the Wind and as beautifully written. Obviously, because it is taking place in the same universe as the first volume and with mostly the same characters, some of the magic wears out, the beginning of the book at the […]

  2. […] plot is sufficiently captivating to miss one’s metro station! Now, this is not either the fantasy discovery of the year. While translated from the Russian, the style of Shadow Prowler is very similar to […]

  3. […] has been very long, I hope I can keep from zooming through this volume, in order to keep enjoying Rothfuss’ style, a style that took years to age. Just like a good […]

  4. […] After all, there was also one for The Name of the Wind..! […]

  5. […] is another example of a good start turned into a tepid follow-up (please let not this happen to The Name of Wind!). Given the mixed reviews on the third volume, I am not sure I will give it a […]

  6. […] books… Patrick Rothfuss should better be working on the sequel of The Name of the Wind I am desperate for! I also just found Linus Torvald, yes THE Linus Torvald!, recommended the trilogy two years […]

  7. […] the year. I thus tried it and came out quite enthusiastic, even though I still rank Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind as my top recent novel! The setting of Abercrombie’s universe is not particularly novel, a […]

  8. […] volumes. This trilogy has a fairly unusual plot and, while it is much more predictable than, say, The Name of the Wind I posted about last week, it is quite pleasant two thirds of the way. First, the novels oppose two […]

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