Five-Star Friday: The Name of the Wind

20 Jul

Five-Star Friday is a periodically regular (say what?!) feature that I’m planning on running on Fridays (but not every Friday) in which I talk about (or verbally drool over) a book that I’ve read and ADORED (sometimes they’ll be recent releases and other times they might be older…my piles are tall and the bottoms are old). Yay! I always feel so happy and light and wonderful when I am beside myself with delight over a book, and I want to share the love with you all in the hopes that we can all get together and have an embarrassing, squeal-filled love-fest full of lots of high-pitched “Ohmygod, I KNOW!s” and chest-clutching sighs of contentedness. Huzzah!*

There are not many words for how much I ADORED THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss. I will endeavor to get them all written down here. Because guys? This book is SO LEGIT, I don’t even know if it’s possible for me to do it justice by talking about it.

Book cover for The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Guys. THIS BOOK. I die. Seriously. I’ve been staring at those non-sentences for five minutes, because I don’t even know what else to say about the story of Kvothe, charming, smart, badass, confident ginger who gives me the FEELS ALL OVER THE PLACE. I love him hard, and I love the world he inhabits, and the people he meets, and the dramas he lives through. Patrick Rothfuss is a mother-effing GENIUS OF GENIUSES. 

So before I go on a rant, which I can’t say won’t happen before this gush-fest is over, I feel the need to explain why I haven’t read this book until recently. The reason the cover up there is kind of random-looking, and is not the cover that you might find if you were to buy a copy of THE NAME OF THE WIND, the first book in The Kingkiller Chronicle, now, is because I deliberately hunted down a picture of MY book cover. Guys. This is a first-edition cover. I have a first edition of this book. It has LITERALLY been sitting on my shelf since 2007 (2007!) collecting DUST. Dust! When I finally decided to give THE NAME OF THE WIND a go at the urging of ALL THE PEOPLE, realizing that I’ve been hiding/sitting on it since then made me feel like a huge TOOL. Hiding THE NAME OF THE WIND should be against the LAW. It’s too good.

Now, despite owning a copy of this book, I also took this opportunity to cave to some audiobook pressure and bought the audiobook to listen to in the car. Asheley from Into the Hall of Books and April from Good Books & Good Wine have raved about the narrator, Nick Podehl. Friends? I can’t imagine listening to THE NAME OF THE WIND in any other voice. It’s like smokey honey. You need to listen to him speak at least once in your lives.

But even though I’m gushing about the narrator’s voice, let’s just make one thing clear: It’s the story of THE NAME OF THE WIND that makes it so outstanding. In particular, it’s Kvothe. This series is basically his coming-of-age story, and it is fraught with drama, colorful characters, and a perfectly constructed world. Kvothe is an engaging, clever, complex character. The framework of Patrick Rothfuss‘ book is Kvothe recounting his youth to a chronicler–basically a biographer. Because, see, Kvothe is kind of famous. People all over this world tell stories, which have taken on legendary tones, embellishing Kvothe’s heady days at the University and after. But Kvothe’s life isn’t all grand tales. His early childhood is wonderful, but he tween years SUCK EPICALLY, as he suffers a horribly tragedy and must figure out a way to make his way in the world.

Of all the people that Kvothe meets over the course of his young life, there are a few who make a deeper, more lasting impression on him. There’s his first teacher, Ben. His friends at the University, Sim and Will, his archnemesis, Ambrose. But there are a few people who’s influence on Kvothe’s life is truly huge: his parents, and Denna.

I don’t want to give too much away about his parents, except to say that I just loved them. And one of the reasons that I adore Kvothe so much is that, as he is recounting his life, the way he talks about them is really beautiful. Sweet. It’s not often that you read about a young man who can talk about how he could see the love between his parents and how he looks up to their relationship. It’s just really nice.

Which brings us to Denna. Denna is THE GIRL, and mostly I enjoy her quite a bit. She’s obviously clever, street-wise, beautiful, and magnetic. She has this charisma, and it attracts all kinds of men. Including Kvothe. He spends an incredible amount of time looking for Denna, thinking about Denna. Their relationship is actually pretty great. They’re good foils for each other. The one thing that did bother me wasn’t so much Denna herself, but rather the way Kvothe talks about her. She basically can do no wrong. If Kvothe has any say, Deena shit doesn’t stink. She’s perfect, amazing, the best ever. He ignores the fact that, for all that she’s easily likable, she’s also inconstant, emotionally aloof, variable, and incapable of staying in one place for long, and when she decides to leave, she just up and goes. No thought for anyone else. The fact that Kvothe–both the teenager who is interacting with Denna and the man who is remembering her–ignores these facts seems unfair to Denna, and silly of him.

So, I should probably wrap this up here by saying this: I can’t imagine what I was doing with my life before I read THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s brilliant. I listened to the audiobook every morning on the way to work and every night on the way home until I was finished, and by then I had bought the second book on Audible and started listening to THAT right away. With no stopping. But THE NAME OF THE WIND is pretty much the perfect fantasy. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you read it, or listen to it. Or both.


*So, I know that this feature is called “Five-Star Friday,” intimating that I have five-star ratings on this blog. Alas, I’m still figuring out whether or not to have a rating system here, BUT I do always diligently rate all the books I read on my Goodreads page. The five-star titles of which I speak here are taken from my “Favorites” shelf there.


13 Responses to “Five-Star Friday: The Name of the Wind”

  1. Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting July 20, 2012 at 12:42 am #

    I loved The Name of the Wind! I’ve had the sequel on my shelf for a while, but want to wait until I have a completely free weekend before I sit down to tackle it. 🙂

  2. Alexa Loves Books (@alexalovesbooks) July 20, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    I have not yet read The Name of the Wind, but based on your enthusiastic review and drawn in by the cool cover, I may just have to read it!

  3. Alyssa July 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    I started reading this on the way to BEA and am LOVING it but I haven’t been able to pick it up lately since I am doing the Outlander Read-along and two big books at one time will take up all of my reading time!! One more week until OutlanderRA is done and then I picking this one up again!! 😀 YAY!

  4. megtao July 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I got about a paragraph into your review and immediately put this book on hold at my library. When a book causes such a reaction, I know that I need to read it immediately. Wish they had the audiobook because Nick Podehl is legit one of my favourite audiobook narrators.

  5. Heidi July 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm #


    I’m so freaking excited to hear for the 50th time how much you loved this book. Seriously. One of my favorite books of all time, and I cannot wait to hear what you think of the second which is very different but just as good in my opinion. I do have to admit I took a 10 minute or so break in the middle of reading your review to look up everything Nick Podehl’s narrated and see what my library has. 😛

  6. attackmoosers July 22, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    I remember purchasing The Name of the Wind back when it had first come out, I tossed $20 bucks up for the thing since it was still in hard back and I never looked back. I have dreams of that book, wonderful, whispering-to-me-from-below-my-pillow-to-read-me dreams. The man is a God.

  7. Lisa July 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm #


  8. Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) July 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    YES, everything here. YES. I don’t even know how to comment on this. Just, YES.

    I will audio The Wise Man’s Fear along with reading it too, just like I did with the first book. But since I read The Name of the Wind from February to July, and LOVED it long time, and am still having yearnings for the perfection that is Kvothe and his world, I will wait a tad bit longer. I can’t get over this story. CAN. NOT. I’m so glad you loved it too.

    I didn’t even use exclamation points here. Barely used capslock. Because words and punctuation just aren’t adequate. You get my point, right? ❤


  1. Recommend A…(12) « Tripping Over Books - August 6, 2012

    […] Kingkiller Chronicle #1 by Patrick Rothfuss. Do yourselves a favor and read this book. Seriously. One of the best books I’ve ever read, and I have basically every bloggy friend I have to thank for pushing me to pick this on up off my […]

  2. Top Ten Tuesday (41) « Tripping Over Books - August 21, 2012

    […] The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss. So this book. I know that basically the whole world loved this book, and I can’t even count how many people recommended it to me. Kvothe is just…perfect. Mostly because he screws up like all young people, and because he has a tendency to be a touch cocky. But he has a gooey center, and he’s easy to love, and even easier to empathize with. Plus the world-building in this series is beyond stellar. I am in love with these books. […]

  3. Top Ten Tuesday (55) « - December 11, 2012

    […] know that I’ve mentioned before how long, exactly, THE NAME OF THE WIND was sitting on my bookshelf not only unread, but literally unopened (hint: I have a first edition […]

  4. Top Ten Tuesday (56) « - December 18, 2012

    […] and fascinating, even the bad guys. But let’s just get to the point here: the reason that THE NAME OF THE WIND is so amazing is because of Kvothe. I would read a book about Kvothe picking his nose or painting […]

  5. Peace Out, 2012: End of Year Book Survey « - December 28, 2012

    […] The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, A Dance With Dragons by  George R.R. Martin, The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams […]

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