As a first time audible listener, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to enjoy novels as much as when I read them myself, but this book convinced me that I can love it even more when skillfully narrated. The plot of the book even focuses on storytelling and masterful storytellers, and made me think deeply about how much more I enjoyed listening to Nick Podehl's performance of it.
The author builds a world as complex and thought out as any story I've read, and it feels much more real than most fantasy books, which piece things together over time, or present too much at once. The magic is fantastic as well, and ranks among the best I've encountered (simple yet brilliant).
It takes a while for the characters to build up steam (with a book of this length, it's no wonder), though the payoff is well worth the investment. The plot could easily be called formulaic, but is still very good, and manages to pull enough twists to keep you listening long into the early morning hours.
As mentioned before, Nick Podehl's performance was excellent, and by midway through the book, I didn't need to wonder who was speaking, as his voices were clear enough to speak for themselves. In the books I've read since, no other narrator has pulled it off better.
In closing, I'd say The Name of the Wind ranks highly among the best fantasy novels of the decade, and this audiobook is a fantastic narration of it.
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