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Science Fiction Fantasy Blog

Our discussion of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard. - Goodreads

Below is a sampling of our comments:

  • The framing story was interesting with the author of The Mating Habits of the Common Draccus, one of Kvothe’s favorite books, becoming his “Chronicler.”
  • Kvothe may be an unreliable narrator, but it was fun that some of the legends were deconstructed.
  • The text went from technical scientific terms to “lodestone,” and contrasted between science and the practice of sympathy.
  • This is a fleshed-out world, but at times it seemed like a set-up for a mini-series instead of a novel.
  • The world-building was similar to Tolkien with history and depth – high fantasy.
  • At the University, there were a lot of similarities to Hogwarts, and initially some of the characters fit into Snape and Malfoy roles.
  • Kvothe was definitely, “the prettiest and most perfect” except as an inn keeper, where he took on the role so well that his earlier self was slipping away.
  • Kvothe suffered through the terrible killing of his family - the years when he was homeless in the city and in denial were wonderfully written.
  • What is the connection between Bast and Kvothe? Are there more Fae? Are Fae the reason the dragon stayed hidden or was it just a part of this world?
  • Maybe Kvothe should have removed a few more letters from his name if he didn’t want to be found?
  • There are very few female characters and the Bechdel test is not passed until page 467 when Mola talks to Auri.
  • I would prefer the author not have dialog showing he (the author) is aware that there is a “paucity of women,” when it is entirely due to the choices he’s made. Better to say nothing!
  • Denna was non-committal, always disappearing, and not trustworthy. She and Kvothe were in the “friend zone” and although he wanted more from the relationship, he didn’t want her to lose him as a friend if it didn’t work out.
  • Mr. Ash – was he linked to the Chandrian? What is the connection between the Chandrian and the spiders?
  • It was a little too convenient that Kvothe was banned from the archives so he couldn’t learn about the Chandrian.
  • I liked how the children’s nursery rhyme told the story of the Chandrian.
  • There is a mini-series in the works with Lin-Manuel Miranda doing the music.
  • A span is eleven days!

Please add any additional thoughts or comments you may have about The Name of the Wind. We gave this title the codes LIT, TOL, MYT, MAG & AGE with an average rating of 4.3.

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