His name is Kvothe. Kvothe the Bloodless. Kvothe the Arcane. Kvothe the Kingkiller. He is a legend.
The Name of the Wind is the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy and the debut work of author Patrick Rothfuss.
We first meet Kvothe as an adult who is secretly living out his life as a bartender named Kote in a small town. He is tracked down by a biographer who convinces him to tell his story so that he may separate the rumors of legend from truth.
Kvothe’s tale starts as a young member of the Edema Ruh, a troupe of traveling performers. He loves his life, traveling with his family, performing, and learning bits of magic from his mentor, an arcanist named Ben. Until one day when an attack on his troupe leaves everyone but the young red-headed Kvothe dead. Now a homeless orphan, Kvote spends the next few years begging and just barely staying alive on the streets of Tarbean. As soon as he is old enough, Kvothe makes his way to the famed “University”, the notorious school of magic. He rises quickly through the ranks of the University, quicker than all other students, beginning the earliest of the rumors of legend that follow him throughout his life. While honing his skills and working to survive, a thirst for revenge drives him to learn all he can of the Chandrian, the mysterious demons who murdered his family.
I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but if you’re into fantasy, you’ll want to read this. I’m usually hesitant to read fantasy books from new authors. Or any books from new authors, really. I mean, if something like 50 Shades of Grey can become a thing then I don’t have a lot of hope for the written word, but this book was given to me as a gift by a fellow fantasy fan, so I decided to give it a shot. I’ll admit that during the first two chapters I was very “ho hum”. I’m not sure if the story dragged or if it was just my reluctance to let go of of the previous book I had read and jump into a new world (other big readers will know what I mean). But once Kvothe began his narrative I was hooked. It’s pretty much your typical fantasy book. Boy’s parents are murdered. Boy is unusually talented. Boy either hunts down the one who murdered his parents or they hunt him down to finish the job. But there is something that makes this book different, just… something. I don’t know what. I didn’t really question it, I just read. And read. And read. I quickly finished the book, moved on to the second one, and am anxiously waiting the third. The story is solid. It’s interesting, it’s well written, the magic system is unique, and the world is well-defined. And I’ve seen many a great plot ruined by horrid dialogue, but there’s none of that here. There’s occasional interludes from the story back to present times and Rothfuss easily jumps from the youthful ignorance of a teen Kvothe to the wisdom of experience in adult Kvothe.The book definitely does not read like a debut. It reads like a seasoned author. If you don’t believe me, check it out yourself. You can thank me later.