First volume in the Kingkiller Chronicle, The Name of the Wind is a can't miss for any fantasy lover.
Story Type: Fantasy
Rating: 5 smileys
Pros: Excellent characters, great story-craft, couldn't put it down.
Cons: None for me.
The Name of the Wind is both a 1st person and 3rd person narrative. The trilogy consists of three days, this being the first day. Each day the main character Kvothe is telling a piece of his story to a scholar that has come looking for him. The parts of the book set in the present occur in 3rd person and then the story reverts to 1st person as Kvothe tells his story.
Rothfuss creates interest and drama in the present day portion of the story that had me salivating for the next book as much as wanting to hear the rest of his story does. Like any story, he starts at the beginning when he is a young boy. We follow him from when he was part of gypsy camp (well, this worlds version of what seems like gypsies to me) to his years as a young man studying at the University. Rothfuss does an excellent job immersing the reader into Kvothe's world, we discover more and more of the world as Kvothe grows up and learns.
The magic is this story is very understated. Superstition and the supernatural play as big a part, or bigger even at this point, than any actual magic use. Readers that enjoy fantasies without heavy magic will love Rothfuss' work in this area here.
As for the plot, he doesn't follow the familiar acts and arcs some readers might be used to. Antagonists consist of students and teachers at the school and other smaller or individual challenges, though we do get a glimpse of what will probably be the main antagonists for the overall trilogy in a few places. It doesn't jump around to different points of view. The reader simply follows Kvothe's story and life as he tells how a boy became a legend.
I can't recommend this story enough. If you like George RR Martin's work or just love good fantasy in general, do yourself a favor and get hooked on this saga.
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Written or Contributed by: Jeremy Shane