The Name of the Wind is the first novel in the Kingkiller chronicles, and it is the beginning of the story of a character called Kvothe.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. When I first started reading I was hooked, and I enjoyed the writing, Kvothe’s life running a tavern and his mysterious past and the strange spider-like creatures. When Kvothe begins to tell the story of his life to the chronicler who comes to his tavern, I also enjoyed the first part of his backstory, his childhood, his introduction to magic and especially the history and myths regarding the Chandrian. However, gradually the pace slowed down hugely and it dragged. Things did pick up a little towards the end but not enough.
I also found Kvothe highly annoying as a character. He was good at everything and came across as arrogant. Other characterisations were frustrating too, like Dana. She is only ever really described for her looks, and every man seems to find her irresistible and it isn’t clear at all why. She seems to lead so many men on.
Elements of the writing are very good, especially considering that this is Rothfuss’ debut novel. Some descriptions are fantastic but sometimes there were too many, and too much detail. The narrative was also repetitive at times – we are reminded constantly that Kvothe lacks money.
I think I felt cheated while reading this novel, as the story that is hinted at near the beginning isn’t what’s included. It felt like an incredibly long introduction to what will eventually be the main story. I may continue with the series but I definitely need a break! Also from what I’ve read the next novel in the series is more backstory, so maybe I’ll wait until the narrative finally reaches Kvothe’s present day.