A really strong effort, but a few warnings:
It’s border-line young adult fiction.
The plot unfolds slowly. For example, by the end of book one, you have no real idea why its called the king killer chronicles – there isn’t even a mention of a king. I understand that the plot doesn’t progress much further in book two. (I’m particularly wary of beginning unfinished fantasy series have been burned a few times in the past.)
The romance stuff grows tiresome.
Finally, I’m not in love with the narration. Fantasy read out loud is already a dicey proposition. Prodehl doesn’t help matters with a somewhat overly theatrical performance.
This book is completely engrossing! I bought it on the strength of the reviews and am truly glad I did. It has a richer and more varied story line than one usually finds in these epic fantasy series and the complexity of the story line keeps it from being a boring read. I can't wait for the final volume. It should be noted that this series should be treated as a single story that takes three books to tell. The second book is a true continuation of the story begun in the first book, not a separate entity and there will be much that does not make sense if you don't read the series from the beginning.
I must also comment on the narrator, Nick Podehl. He gives an EXCELLENT performance in these books. One of the best I have ever heard in the 700+ audiobooks in my collection. I would now be willing to buy a book just because he is reading it.
I'm a corporate training consultant and adjunct professor who loves to read! I'm always looking for the next big thing.
I had this book on my Audbile.Com Wishlist for a while. I continually read good things about it, including a positive review in Entertainment Weekly. Finally, a student of mine recommended it to me, so I decided to buy the book and give it a read. I guess it's true that word-of-mouth recommendations are the best form of advertising! I was not disappointed.
This book follows a familiar story-within-a-story format. We are initially introduced to a character named Kote who saves a chronicler (actually THE chronicler) from spider-like creatures called Scrael. This causes the chronicler to recognize Kote as the legendary hero Kvothe, and the chronicler very much wants to write the story of Kvothe's life. This is where the story within the story begins.
Although the author periodically returns to the chronicler, who is writing the story of Kvothe's life while having it dictated to him by Kvothe himself, the vast majority of the book is the story of Kvothe's life. Without giving away too much of the story, it's safe to say that Kvothe didn't have a great time in his youth, yet he managed to improve his situation and attend the university where he studied various forms of magic and was involved in numerous adventures.
While I have nothing against the story-within-a-story format, I could have done without it. The only flaw I have with this book is that it takes far too long to get moving to the interesting part of the story. If it had simply started with Kvothe's life story, I would have been happy with that. Of course, the setup to the story will also lead to the subsequent books in this series, so I might appreciate it more later.
In my opinion, the parts of the story at the university were probably the best in the book. The author does a great job of describing the characters that Kvothe meets at the university. The professors and the classes seem very interesting. There were times when I wished that my time at the university had been like Kvothe's! I know that there is a second book in the series, and I can't wait to read it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
The way what we might call magic is treated as a science. It's not the first time I've seen that, but it's done really well.
Any scene that involved his love of music and his lute. Music was also treated really interestingly in this book, but I am not a musician, so I don't know how truthful it is.
When Kvothe realizes he's been suppressing memories and feelings of the tragedies that he experienced and his life before them. That whole part of his life was quite sad, so while it was hard to see him come to terms with what happened, it was also good to see him begin to move on.
The narrator uses a lot of accents and voices. I think it is wonderful, but I know some people don't like that so much, so just a heads up.
The book reviews sounded promising and even the storyline where this very bright and clever boy appears to be able master many things, including mystical powers. It is obvious he is gifted and he is shown what can be harnessed with will and knowledge. He knows he must go to the university... so through all his trials and tribulations there is virtually no signs of his knowledge blossoming, no increased awareness, adolescent and retaliatory thinking, and basically a story about a young boy's first crush on this now you see me now you don't young female who has secrets of her own. The university, which is suppose to be teaching this mystical powers to young minds appears to have forgotten about the teaching part. And in the background there is this major subplot out there about an ancient race of powerful people some evil, some not, that appear to still be fighting it out and going around killing people. There was very little depth of story here for me. I tend to like stories where everyone gets smarter about life. At least the main characters.
Too much of the performance was just flat reading the book and at some points it was hard to tell which character he was reading because he would go back in to just reading mode with the same voice and tone.
I am sure it could be. Almost anything could be.
I am sure the book would be fun to read for those who enjoy watching what happens next, no matter where the journey goes. it was obvious that this was setting up a series, but this was a very slow journey and just did not develop enough to be interesting for me.
I love to read. I also love to write. I'm a harsh critic and very, very, very rarely give five star reviews to anything. Three stars for me is an average representation of literature and not a bad review by any stretch.
The Name of the Wind takes a while to get going. And the beginning of the book has little, if anything, to do with what happens in this first installment of the series. It also tends to wander, or should I say meander through the life of Kvothe as he recalls it for posterity.
Normally those things combined kill a story, but The Name of the Wind recovers just at the right times as it seems to head off into somewhere where you don't want to follow and brings you back in.
Of course, being told from the perspective of Kvothe in the future also takes away any sense of fear you might have that any number of bad things which happen to him might mean his demise. So you never really sense that Kvothe is in any real danger.
But, despite all this, the story is better than good. It's great. Warts and all. You read the story to learn how Kvothe came to be an innkeeper, instead of a man who was once feared. That's what keeps you going.
The unexpected complexity of the story and the nice literary pace from one exciting/interesting thing to the next.
The fact that it is a wonderful robust escape into a fantastic world without crossing over into lame/gimmicky/overly serious or annoyingly fantasy-ish.
Only the second book in the serious, which he also narrates. It is equally well-done. Although I did have trouble adjusting to an American narrator doing a fantasy/science fiction novel, having been a Jim Dale enthusiast, I eventually did adjust and enjoyed Nick Podehl quite a bit!
Not right away, but after about 5-6 hrs of listening 1/2 hr here, and hour there, I eventually was hooked and would have 5-6 hr marathons.
Not sure what to say really. I love listening to audio books. :)
Kvothe of course...he's the main character but the wacky professor was pretty cool too.
This was the first of his performances I've listened to and I thought he did an excellent job.
Absolutely! I liked it so much I've listened to three time already. This one and the sequel. I can't wait for the next volume to be released. I absolutely loved the story, the flow, and the performance.
The writing was incredible. Rothfuss creates numerous timelines well and truly embues the story with his love of story telling. The levels of different stories can become complex, but are very well done and easily comprehended
Quothe, because he's a liar, a thief, a story teller, a magician, a warrior, a bartender, and a musician
The story and the performance were outstanding
Accidentally listened to book 2 first and that was amazing then came back for this one. Can't wait for the third installment. It's just done so well. Mad props to the narrator as he steals the show