by Patrick Rothfuss

Reviewer Rating:
3

Review

I grew up on high fantasy, but lately every time I see a 600+ page sci-fi or fantasy book, I just think "ain't nobody got time for that!" That may be why it took a while to get into this book (it took a few hours of listening before I fully engaged with the story), but eventually I did get wrapped up in this epic tale.

The Name of the Wind is true high fantasy, full of detailed world-building and epic characters and themes. The book, first of a trilogy, and unfolds as a story within a story. At first we meet innkeeper Kote, who when confronted by Chronicler, a traveling scribe, admits that he is in fact the legendary hero Kvothe. He then proceeds to relate his life story to Chronicler over the course of three days (thus the trilogy). This first part of the story covers Kvothe's dramatic childhood (as part of a gypsy-like troupe of traveling performers who meet a tragic end at the hands of the demonic Chandrian), where he is first exposed to science and magic, into his teen years, where he pursues more formal education. His prodigious skills and intelligence earn him a few enemies and land him in some difficult situations, but ultimately further him on his epic journey. Despite the rough start, I am interested in seeing where this tale goes, and seeing how Kvothe develops from cocky, yet naive youth, to a jaded ex-hero who's hiding in a backwater town.

The reader, Nick Podehl, does a good job overall, but I've noticed fantasy is one of the hardest things to just listen to, since you don't have a visual context for how names are spelled and languages written. I ended up hunting down a print copy of the book, just to check on spellings.

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