Sunday, September 6, 2009 | |

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Don't let this incredibly awful awesome cover stop you from checking out Patrick Rothfuss.
Okay, Liz (my wife) will tell you that I’m a nut about The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and it’s somewhat true. I’m a huge fan of this book. I peddle it like crack to everyone that comes into my house.

If you liked anything at all about Harry Potter, you will love these books. Take my word for it.

If you thought Harry Potter was totally lame and predictable, you will absolutely love these books as well. It’s much better than Harry Potter. More beautifully written, more intense, better plot and more depth to the story.The main character is (for a decent part of the book) a teenager, and does go to a school where some magic is taught, but that's where the similarities end. These books seem to ride a line somewhere between Young adult and (regular adult?) regular fantasy. The character is young, and it's very much a coming of age story, at least as far as the first book is concerned. But, you'll understand from just the first few pages that this series will not end as a young adult story by any means.

For those of you who think, “I just don't like epic fantasy. All those dragons and wizards just don't work for me.” Well, how about the story of a boy whose parents die, and who is forced to live a life of fear and abuse on the streets. How about a person that has rumors spread about him that make him sound much cooler than he is? There’s much more to this book than magic, and no dragons (well, there IS a large lizard addicted to drugs, but that's a review for another day).

The Name of the Wind is told from the first person. It’s absolutely fantastic and I can’t help but recommend it to anyone that wants something to read. I even teared up just a little as I read parts of this book, and yes, I’m tough enough to admit it. Great book, just great, especially for a first novel. 9/10.

Several people I've talked to lately have mentioned that they think this book seemed just a little too cliche for them. I think that the style Rothfuss has chosen to write this first book in was chosen on purpose. We've got a first person book here, and I think that he may be playing with the concept of the unreliable narrator just a little bit. I believe the tone and feel of these books will change, especially in the final volume, as Kvothe, the main character, grows to adulthood.

Oh, and if you trust the people that publish books to recommend a good one, know this: The President of Daw books personally wrote to many people to give them advanced reader copies of this book, telling them it was the best book she’d read in decades.


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