So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature - the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.
©2009 DAW Trade; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“The originality of Rothfuss's outstanding debut fantasy, the first of a trilogy, lies less in its unnamed imaginary world than in its precise execution…As absorbing on a second reading as it is on the first, this is the type of assured, rich first novel most writers can only dream of producing. The fantasy world has a new star.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
“Fantasy readers-a notoriously discerning group-tend to dole out praise judiciously, which makes the reception of The Name of the Wind, the first volume in Patrick Rothfuss's The Kingkiller Chronicle, that much more remarkable. Critics are already throwing around comparisons to some of the biggest names in fantasy, including George R. R. Martin, Tad Williams, the recently deceased Robert Jordan, and even Tolkien. (Bookmarks Magazine)
“New fantasy authors are usually overhyped, and it's rare to find one who writes with such assurance and narrative skill right from the start. I was reminded of Ursula LeGuin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkien, but never felt that Rothfuss was imitating anyone. Like the writers he clearly admires, he's an old-fashioned storyteller working with traditional elements, but his voice is his own. I haven't been so gripped by a new fantasy series in years. It's certain to become a classic." (Lisa Tuttle, The Times)
At first glance I assumed just another fantasy novel, but wow, story just blew me away. Pat Rothfuss created an amazing world with very intriguing characters. I never recommend books to anyone with this as an exception. Buy this book!
Loved this book! Must listen! Great narrator. Enjoyed more than the sword of truth, the wheel of time, game of thrones and farseer. In my opinion if you like any type of fantasy or just a really great read, get this book.
Simply great from start to finish!
I would recommend it to anyone with or without a love for fantasy. It plays out like a better, more mature, Harry Potter.
I can not get enough of this book. Do you ever have those books you see in stores right when they come out? You pick it up, read the back, get a little drawn in, but for some reason, you just never get into it. This happened to me. I read the first chapter in a preview on my phone, and it didn't suck me in. A year or so later, my friends were telling me how great it was, but I was knee deep into the Wheel of Time series, and I wasn't about to go jaunting off into another book unprepared. Plus, I just had to finish that series. So finally, about a 7 or 8 months back, I had two credits left, and my audible subscription was about to expire, so on a whim, I used them both on this book, and the second of this series. Wow. This book is written as if the main character is telling the story of his life, over the course of three days, hence day 1 for book 1, day 2 for book 2, and so on. Listening to this Audiobook, I feel as if I am sitting right there around the table, having a slice of his apple pie, and some apple cider to wash it down.
Nick Podehl does an incredible job of getting the right tone out of the excellent words that Rothfuss writes. I can hear the laughter in his voice, the pride, the hate. I have read hundreds of books, and not a single one of them has gotten me as close to tears as this series has. Even my second time through the books, and I find myself tearing up.
And Patrick Rothfuss! This man is incredible. If you ever want to write, I would not suggest reading these books. The details alone. I am currently on my second listen, and the world that he has created, all the tiny details. It makes you feel like every word in this book was written with a purpose. Not a single line is wasted. I have been drawn into books before, but not like this.
Now no review would be complete without a little complaint. Like I said in the beginning, the book is a little slow to start. I have to admit, with a little shame, that I was slightly bored in the first few chapters. Largely due to the voice acting. As much as I love it now, it grated on my when I first started listening. But as I listened more and more, it grew on me. There are a few characters that seem a little out of place, like one of the guys in the very beginning had what seemed like a Brooklyn accent, which sounded so odd to me, but luckily he is a minor character, and listening to it for the second time, it's much easier to handle.
All in all, though, I would highly recommend this book! Sit down, have a beer, maybe even invite a few friends over, and enjoy. You will not regret a single minute spent listening to this masterpiece.
I admit that I did not read the print version and went right for the unabridged audio book. I can't imagine the print being better thou, Nick Podehl did a fantastic job narrating the story and providing unique accents for all Rothfuss' characters. My own narrative voice inside my head could not of done a better job.
While keeping spoiler free it's hard to be so specific but the overall circumstances of the main character were so engaged that I literally hung on every word as to hope the next sentences would a way out of his situation and it was never black & white like some traditional fantasy novels, everything was greyed and blurred lines nothing as clear cut as you hoped, yet it kept you engaged all the same.
Nick did an amazing job and was consistent with the accents used so you could identify the characters speaking even without having thier names mentioned. His voice was consistent and pronunciations exact.
Read the book/listen to the audiobook and make sure you have enjoyed this book proper before giving any false notion on its quality due to film interpretation.
A different performer (he's fine, he just doesn't sound right) and the rest is just the writing and plotting. I realize a lot of people absolutely love it, and that's great. It just doesn't work for me. Characters and dialog seem arbitrary. It's hard to see how a particular reaction is organic to a character, or the dialog feels forced. Some of the names just grate on me: The Creation War/Edema Ruh/The Chandrian/Bast/Chronicler (he has a name and Rothfuss should just use that). Kvothe, at 15, seems to know everything about everything just when the time comes (his purchase of a horse comes to mind; almost nothing about horses at all, and suddenly he's an expert). Things like "a silence in three parts" is overly precious. An ambitious picture to paint with words, and he doesn't quite make it.
Ultimately, very few of these characters feel real to me, and adding tics to them accomplishes little ("what what"). But I'm clearly in the minority here.
Meh. Book's over. Wait for the next one. At the ending, the book stopped.
Someone more like Rob Inglis or Roy Dotrice. Nothing against Nick but he doesn't help me, personally, feel like I'm listening to a fantasy novel.
Kvothe. Ambrose. Since those are the two main characters, that would be difficult. I'd also cut out Chronicler and Bast.
His handling of the University is good. His explanation and use of "sympathy" as magic was very good. Creating the rules of magic in his world is probably the best thing about the book. I actually enjoyed Kvothe's exploration of the Underthing (but, again, it makes absolutely no sense to me as to why he hadn't done it long before; ostensibly because he needed a guide, but that seems arbitrary—one of many cases where the story seems to move arbitrarily rather than organically). Motivation and characterization is weak, to me, but I can't deny the book series is very popular. I listened mostly because it is so popular, and perhaps my expectations were too high. The often lauded prose doesn't work for me, as it often seems forced and overly-poetic. That is, he's trying very hard to paint a picture with words and the picture just doesn't gel. Sometimes it would have been better if he had just moved forward with the story and not tried so hard to craft poetic metaphors and similes. A little too much world building. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but there are too many references to things to demonstrate there are many songs and plays in this world. A little of that goes a long way, in my opinion, unless the song or play is going to be truly revenant to the story.That being said, he's excellent at composing verse, and the songs sound like they could easily be legitimate songs. So that's a plus. I'm about to start on the second book, and hopefully I can engage more fully with it than I did this one.
I didn't know what I was getting into when I started the book, only that two friends had told me for almost a decade to read this.
The comparison to Harry Potter falls short. This is a cruel story, that digs through a man's past and reveals the secrets behind a legend.
As a fan of The Dresden Files, the humanity that we can all relate to is mixed with the fantastic and magical world of Kvothe in a way that lets you forget that it is a story.
I didn't want the book to end and will now have to pace myself through the sequel.
Rothfuss has imagined a new fantasy world that is fun to explore because it is not some cheap copy or lightly disguised ripoff of something done before. The system of magic is very subtle and blends well with the mundane. The main character is complex and flawed, though not in an off-putting way as so many authors fall prey to. There are plenty of mysteries and twists to keep a reader guessing.
Having read a ton of SF/Fantasy, I would rank this first book high on my list...top 20 for sure. For me the jury is out as I am a fan of epic series (LOTR, WOT, Dark Tower, etc.) and I have not yet read the other books. They come highly recommended to me so I look forward to them and hope they deliver.
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