Synopses & Reviews
Patrick Rothfuss's New York Times
-bestselling debut novel is the riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen.
From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet's hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.
"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. Kvothe ('pronounced nearly the same as 'Quothe' '), the hero and villain of a thousand tales who's presumed dead, lives as the simple proprietor of the Waystone Inn under an assumed name. Prompted by a biographer called Chronicler who realizes his true identity, Kvothe starts to tell his life story. From his upbringing as an actor in his family's traveling troupe of magicians, jugglers and jesters, the Edema Ruh, to feral child on the streets of the vast port city of Tarbean, then his education at 'the University,' Kvothe is driven by twin imperatives his desire to learn the higher magic of naming and his need to discover as much as possible about the Chandrian, the demons of legend who murdered his family. 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) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[Q]uite simply the best fantasy novel of the past 10 years....[O]ne of the best stories told in any medium in a decade....[Rothfuss's] debut novel combines the intricate stories-within-stories structure of The Arabian Nights with the academic setting of the Harry Potter series, and transforms it all into a brooding, thoroughly adult meditation on how heroism went wrong. (Grade: A)" The Onion AV Club
"Elegantly told and layered with images of tales to come, this richly detailed 'autobiography' of a hero is highly recommended." Library Journal (Starred Review)
"This fast-moving, vivid, and unpretentious debut roots its coming-of-age fantasy in convincing mythology. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly
"Refreshingly nimble and off-beat...a finely-tuned coming-of-age story, full of humor, action and the occasional dose of magic." The San Francisco Chronicle
"Writers like George R.R. Martin and Gene Wolfe are old hands at revitalizing old tropes...but Rothfuss sets out to retell what should be the most familiar tale of all, in the most familiar mode (the triple-decker). Remarkably, he does make it fresh again....So bring on volume two!" Locus
"The debut of a writer we would all do well to watch. Patrick Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous." Terry Brooks
A high-action novel written with a poet's hand, this brilliant debut fantasy by Patrick Rothfuss is a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through a riveting first-person narrative that allows the reader to "become" the hero.
About the Author
Patrick Rothfuss has a Master's degree in Creative Writing and currently is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.