Rothfuss, Patrick: The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle I) (2007)

French cover by Marc Simonetti

The Name of the Wind is the first book The Kingkiller Chronicle. It is followed by The Wise Man’s Fear. The Kingkiller Chronicle is turning out to be quite an adventure. Rothfuss’ style of writing is incredibly compelling. He belongs in the talented category – you know, the one I feel flows from word to word, from line to line. There are a few authors out there who belong in that category and even more who do not. There are even a few lousy ones, but hopefully they will not be seen in this blog.

Kvothe is a likeable character. Both as an innkeeper and as a teller of his story, we feel his sincerity and desire to help. At the same time, Kvothe plays tricks and shows off, all done charmingly.

His family is dead, killed by the Chandrian. This kindles a flame in him seeking an outlet in revenge. Well, first of all he struggles just to survive in a world just as selfish as our own. His road out of the first years after the death of his parents show the quality of the later man. In order to stop the Chandrian, Kvothe needs to learn who and what the Chandrian are, their weaknesses and strengths – not an easy task. His first stop on this road is the University, but getting in there for an Edema Ruh is extremely difficult. The Edema Ruh are despised – as all travellers/gypsies tend to be, but Kvothe gets in and learns, plays and loves.

One of my favorite characters says “What, what. Hush, hush”. It’s just a minor character, but somehow my heart was caught by this person.

I would say that The Name of the Wind is a darkish novel interspersed with humor and light. Rothfuss does not present a hopeful future for Kvothe, but at the same time there is a glimmer of something not completely bleak. By now, it is probably a well-known fact that I read the last few pages of every book (yes even academic texts) long before I am close to the end. No help in that now. I’ll just have to wait for the last installment. Bummer. Hope it comes soon.

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