I started reading The Name of the Wind when I first bought it about 4 years ago (I think it was about that.. perhaps closer to 3 and half *shrug* doesn’t matter), in fact, it was the last book I was reading before I stopped reading for a few years, which perhaps left an impression on me that it wasn’t a great book, but honestly, I read upto the part just before Kvothe meets Chronicler, which can’t be must past page 60. Those first few chapters feel very disjointed, as you’re following the story of an innkeeper and his student, but there is clearly more to them than at first glance. And so it goes on, leading you into a “what the frick is going on here?!” mindset, which I think when you barely feel like reading and you’re sat on a train is difficult to shake. This does kind of break off after page 200 or so, but those first 200 pages had me wanting to put the book down so many times, I just kept pushing on.
After page 200 or so it does really pick up. I love the layering of the telling of the tale, and the tale itself. I felt that was very well done, and the idea that he would take 3 days to tell his story really sets up well for a good trilogy. Once he gets to the University, the story becomes fun to read. There wasn’t really much change in pace or events, but it really did improve a lot. And as for the “this is like Harry Potter for adults” comments – I don’t really see it. I suppose that comes from my not liking to compare one good thing to another good thing for fear of ruining one of the good things out of comparison, and becoming disappointed that there isn’t an owl called Hedwig in it. Sorry for the spoilers, but Hedwig isn’t in The Name of the Wind. This is a fantastic fantasy novel, it’s not fair to pin Rothfuss up against another novel that is completely different to this one. His imagination is brilliant and I loved the magic system in place, and the creatures and colours and buildings described. Excellent world building. And such a way with language!
The story is wrapped up as well as you could wrap up something that is so clearly laid out to be written as a trilogy. Many people he said how the story seems to just stop, but now I see why, and if it had wrapped up really well, the way most trilogies do, I don’t think it would have worked as well. My thoughts regarding this book, overall, were, “Wow. If this was the foundation for the story, how good are the next two books going to be?! And will there be a sequel series?” I don’t see a reason why not. This trilogy is the life story of Kvothe, as far as we are aware. What’s to stop Rothfuss from creating further novels based on the later life of Kvothe, or Bast, or perhaps somebody else entirely in the same world? Because it would work. It’s a shame that the third novel won’t be available for a while, but I am glad I waited this long to finally read it, and I did read it at the perfect time. I can’t wait to see where he goes.
Originally, I planned to give it a 3.5 rating, because there were so many times I wanted to put the book down for a bit and pick up the next Mistborn book, but I’m terrible at giving books a break. I knew it might be a long time before I picked it back up, so I kept with it, and I’m so glad I did. I’m still a little torn over whether it deserves a 4.5 or a 5 star rating, because 200 odd pages of wanting to put a book down is a very large chunk, but I really think the rest of the novel picked up enough for it to be worth a 5. It was a very enjoyable read in the end!