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Editorial Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - When you finish listening to The Name of Wind for the first time, you'll wonder where the hours went. When you listen again (and if you listen to it once, you will want to listen a second time) you'll marvel at the depth and intricacy of the fantasy world that Rothfuss has created. Details that initially seemed irrelevant will show themselves to be keystones of a greater story you didn't even notice the first time around. By the time your finger hovers over the Play button for a third time you'll realize that, to quote George R.R. Martin, "he's bloody good, this Rothfuss guy." —Michael

Publisher's Summary

"My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I have burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to God's, loved women and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me."

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.

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    37,390
  • 4 Stars
    7,952
  • 3 Stars
    1,943
  • 2 Stars
    656
  • 1 Stars
    515

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    33,271
  • 4 Stars
    7,686
  • 3 Stars
    1,967
  • 2 Stars
    443
  • 1 Stars
    329

Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    34,191
  • 4 Stars
    6,680
  • 3 Stars
    1,849
  • 2 Stars
    632
  • 1 Stars
    461
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Jeremy F.
  • Chandler, AZ United States
  • 01-31-10

Beyond WOW

Patrick Rothfuss has some very unique and interesting ideas on this genre. I was trapped in this story from start to finish. It was a stupendous escape. His play on words and description are some of the best I've ever come across. If you enjoy a deep slow and original story with a refreshing introduction to the genre of myth, magic, adventure, and legend then this is a book for you.

On a side note the Narrator, Nick Podehl, was hands down the best I've come across. This says a lot for someone who listens to 40+ audio books a year. He was on top of his game for this story. Very easy on the ears.

And I can't help but toss in this review: BOOK TWO PLEASE ;-)

25 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ryan
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 09-20-10

solid new fantasy, not perfect, but fun

An entertaining fantasy novel that will delight fans of Robert Jordan, Orson Scott Card, JK Rowling, and other luminaries of the genre. Obviously a fantasy buff himself, Rothfuss wears his influences on his sleeve (literally -- trust a guy who dons a Joss Whedon shirt for his web site photo). Plenty of direct comparisons to various well-loved series can be made: the setting feels reminiscent of that of the Wheel of Time series, the gifted and reckless young hero a little like Ender, and the school for Arcanists a little like Hogwarts. But Rothfuss weaves these familiar elements into the fabric of a story that's all his own. Be patient, reader -- it takes about 80 pages for the tale to really get started, but once it does, it will suck you in with an involving world; a protagonist who's flawed and likable despite the fact he's naturally better at most things than most people (and knows it), and an enjoyable mix of fantastic and familiar problems.

The book does have a few flaws. Rothfuss is clearly in it for the long haul, and readers aren't going to find a clean story arc, but 700 pages of setup for future volumes. Also, his writing can be a bit adverb-happy and overly precious about his character's emotional lives. And a bit of editing wouldn't have hurt a few sections, such as the plodding opening.

But, this is unapologetically only a first entry in one of those in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound fantasy series aimed at readers for whom the whole point of reading fantasy is to get lost in an imaginary world. And there's plenty to get lost in here. The Name of the Wind is an enjoyable coming-of-age story filled with life and discovery. If subsequent books follow suit, this ambitious cycle will no doubt attract as much fan adoration as George RR Martin's Fire and Ice series. Can't wait for the next one!

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • joe
  • KANSAS CITY, MO, United States
  • 03-03-14

Did not live up to the hype.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The story idea is good but the delivery feels inexperienced and a bit safe. It reminds me of a church buddy who wants to tell a scary story but doesn't want to offend anyone.

Would you recommend The Name of the Wind to your friends? Why or why not?

Probably not, see above.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator has the wrong kind of voice for the tone of the story and does not do voices well. The story is supposed to be dark and heavy and the narrator has a higher toned voice.

Any additional comments?

I think the narrator was my biggest hang up. I'm going to try reading it and see if I like it more. Friends swore this book was one of their favorites but I only made it about half way through before I got bored and couldn't put up with the narration anymore.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent new epic...

I picked this book on Amazon. I was looking for something new because at the time I felt that I had exhausted the books by my favorite authors on Audible (i.e. Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, etc.)

I was influenced by the huge number of 5 star reviews on Amazon. I ended up ordering a used out of print hard cover edition for a couple of bucks...

This is a new book on AUDIBLE an so a few negative rankings can greatly skew the average downward. So if you think that you might like this book, ignore the average reviews ranking and take a look on amazon.

This is first book in the series. In this book is the development of the of the main character. A youth, growing up with hardships, learning to use magic, young clumsy romance, violence ... etc.

If you are looking for new authors you might want to try Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (also new on Audible).

42 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Most recommended book of 2011-12

I read A LOT. I'm now approaching 500 audiobooks in my collection. I also read 30-60 additional books a year on my Kindle.

Let me put it this way: I loved this book soooooo much while I was I reading it on my Kindle, that I used a credit so I could listen to it while I drive (which I do a lot for work). That is how compelling this story is. Throw it in the category of books that are under-appreciated, under-read and under-the-radar. I even found myself reading little insights to my fiancé as I read it.

Bottom line: this book a well-written, great story, with interesting characters. I have recommended this book to more friends, who like different kinds of books, than any other book I read in the last two years. To me, it has mass appeal.

If you like good characters, get this book. If you like great, well-written stories, get this book. If you like fantasy stories, get this book. If you like books when the characters seem to have super-human powers, get this book. If you like books that are not predictable but are compelling page-turners, get this book. You WON’T regret it.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great first book

I love the world that Rothfuss has painted and I can't wait for the other 2 books to come out.
I can tell you that if you like fantasy books with lots of details where the world's magic has reason to it this is the book for you :D

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Ron
  • Basehor, KS, United States
  • 05-03-12

Good start to a series

This is what you hope for in the start of a new series. It is well written and the performance from Nick Podehl is all you could hope for in a narrator. The first book in this series is definitely worth a listen.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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This!!!!

If you're looking for epic fantasy, complex stories, magic, and mayhem, look no further! This storyline is as EPIC as they come! It's taken me a week to wrap my head around it, and it took me over a week, before this, to listen to the books so far! A really good online friend came through for me, when I was asking for recommemdations, and if I ever meet her in person, I will rain kisses on her face. It's not a story I would have sought on my own, without prejudice to screenplays, and the like, rather like Lord of the Rings, which I was influenced to watch by the 70's cartoons.This is an epic story on such a scale. I look forward to more from both the author and the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Waaaaay too long

Huge swaths of this book meander and the author spends literally hours and hours explaining about how much money the character has or doesn't have, how much things are worth, and how he's going to earn more. A huge chunk of the rest is spent describing a very slowly developing teen love story. The parts outside of the story-within-the-story are really great, but comprise a fraction of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Returned it...

I really struggled to get into this and then gave up and returned it...I strongly disliked the narrator and was very disappointed. I wanted to like it, and gave many many hours to the attempt, but in the end couldn't do it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful