Sunday, January 30, 2011

Adult Fantasy: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

About the Book: What happens to legendary heroes when they grow tired of saving everyone, no matter what the cost to themselves. How do you motivate a hero. How does someone go from being an ordinary, albeit talented child to being the greatest hero in a generation. Kvothe already has most of those answers, but the answer he needs the most is the one that he cannot seem to find within himself. Maybe a chronicler who is asking about the past, a plague of demon attacks, and a worried magical friend will help him discover the passion he needs to reclaim who he used to be.

My Thoughts: Relayed mostly through a series of flashbacks, this story is fun fast paced and exciting. Rothfuss has a wonderful writing style and the voice clearly changes when he is writing in the past versus writing in the present. Kvothe is a vivid interesting character, who you cannot help but want to know more about. I had this book highly recommended to me and after reading a bit about it I was excited to read it. I was really enjoying it so much so that I actually turned off playoff football. (granted the game was out of hand and so I did not feel bad about turning it off, but still I turned off football!) My enjoyment of the book was not to last however, as the ending was perhaps the most disappointing end that I have read recently (well, excluding Mockingjay). It was like Mr. Rothfuss lost his voice with 70 pages left to go in the story. One moment he was writing a riveting story with a past and a present voice, then suddenly it switched into a slow boring monotone. Furthermore, the ending was soft and the climax seemed sudden and disjointed. It seemed like this book was cut from a larger book and definitely could not stand on its own but had to because the full book would be too long. Kvothe is a strong enough character that I want to keep reading the series to find out more about his past, but so much of the book is dedicated to Kvothe's past that I am not sure that unless the series goes for 6 books or so that there will be enough pages to tell the rest of the story of the present and the future. The other major flaw of the book is that we are told that Kvothe is a legendary warrior and hero and we are told that there are legendary stories about him. However, since the reader has yet to hear these stories and since references to the stories are frequently made in the story, I felt frustrated that I could not use these stories as reference points the way that many of the characters could. The flaws are not enough to stop me from reading on, unless Mr. Rothfuss cannot find his voice again. I give this book 5 out of 10, which is disappointing because if the story had continued as strongly to the end and it was in the beginning and the middle it would have been an 8 or a 9.

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