In my review for this book, I talked about struggling to move past the first 40 pages. Since then, I have heard that a lot of other people either struggled past the first bit or didn’t bother trying – I’m glad I’m not the only one!
This book is well worth the small amount of effort at the beginning and here are my reasons why.
It is SO easy to read!
Excluding any book written by Brandon Sanderson, The Name of the Wind is one of the easiest fantasy books to read. After those initial confusing pages, (When Kvothe’s story begins, basically), you will start flicking through the pages at an incredible pace!
The story moves quickly (except for maybe one point near the middle – I can’t go into much detail for fear of spoilers – but he spends a long time somewhere. There is a reason for this, but it makes it a little slow, nonetheless). This makes each chapter fast to read, so even though it’s a big book, it won’t take that long to read.
The Writing is Incredible
Rothfuss’ beautiful, lyrical writing is my prime example for why the fantasy genre can be literary. It is a pleasure to dive into Rothfuss’ prose and get lost in it. I don’t read a lot of fantasy books that focus’ on language like this.
The Hero Narrative is Different
I am so often bored by the hero archetype. To be more specific, I get bored by the overuse of certain aspects of the archetype. Kvothe is good at everything, and learns whatever he needs to quickly, which allows the story to move quickly. This is, of course, not different to the typical hero, however there are two main differences I love:
- Most of Kvothe’s story is told by him to The Chronicler (a scribe, basically). The story is therefore unreliable and that makes it so much more interesting to read. You can tell what the speaker thinks of themselves, their past selves, and the people around them. There are moments you can see the narrator essentially lying and that’s fun! It’s different.
- Kvothe’s ‘refusal to the call of adventure’ is so long! This might be a negative aspect of the story for some, but I really enjoyed it. We spend a decent amount of the book watching as Kvothe travels and learns skills that have no typical bearing on the typical hero’s narrative. It is a bold choice by Rothfuss, I think, but it works well.
We explore the world with the Narrator
Many fantasy writers create a large, wonderful world and have wizards and other wise old people tell the main character all about the world as the story goes along. Yes, there are a few moments where this happens in The Name of the Wind, however most of the book is Kvothe finding things out for himself.
I like the fact that a lot of what Kvothe wants to learn, he has to go and find out for himself, and most of the things he is taught by others is just the stuff they (the teachers) think is important.
If you have read The Name of the Wind, what do you think of these reasons for reading the book? What would you add or do you disagree with?