Have you ever read a book and thought, “wow, that was absolutely amazing! I can’t wait for the sequel!”. Well, Name of the Wind is a novel that certainly didn’t provoke that response.
Name of the Wind is a fantasy novel about a man named Kvothe in who runs an inn, but he’s keeping his identity a secret. Regardless of his secret, he tells the entire story (not the entire tale in this one book, it’s a trilogy) of his youth to his friend and to an absolute stranger who wants to write it down. Kvothe definitely is a pompous, arrogant man. I didn’t like his high and mighty attitude from the start because it felt like was merely pretending to be humble. The story felt very cliché too. A young boy (Kvothe) has no family because they get killed by a mysterious demon that is super rare and hardly anyone knows exist. It doesn’t matter though because he is a genius, he is ‘chosen’ at a magical university because he mastered some skills faster than other, so excels at everything he tries despite his young age.
I didn’t particularly enjoy reading this book. I heard great things about it from a friend and from other reviews online, but in the end I was severely disappointed. The main character, Kvothe, is presented as perfect, he has no faults. He is sooooo smart, he is brilliant, he is talented, he can overcome everything, blah blah blah. The whole book he describes himself as a guy without a flaw. He’s a talented lute player too! He mastered a musical instrument all alone in a forest in a short time frame because he’s just that amazing. He’s so hot, he’s perfect. Oh, except for the fact he’s poor because his family got murdered. That doesn’t stop him though! He makes it into one of the top magical universities on a scholarship and then later half of the book is him trying to repay his loan for the second semester. But his lute playing is so good so people pay him to play, so he’s got that covered too. There’s also a girl named Denna in the story he loves even though he is only about 15yrs old, but he’s definitely old enough to know what love is and that she’s the one. A lot of the female characters in the book fall for Kvothe, but not Denna. Even though he’s perfect in every sense, Denna doesn’t get with him, her loss though, right? Supposedly it’s because she’s different, more clever, whatever. It really paints the other female characters as shallow.
I guess that his over-the-top description of himself can be due to the fact he is telling his own story and he may be an unreliable narrator, but it doesn’t make for an interesting story. It allows for thought and criticism to when he might be lying, however that is just personal interpretation. I think it’s unimaginative, and doesn’t lead for that much character development. I felt like this story dragged on, especially his time at the university. For a fantasy novel I didn’t think it was fanatical nor did it take me to a different world. More like ‘lame’ fantasy. Am I right? Ha ha.
I felt like the book was also a little bit of a lie, as everything stated to happen on the back cover of book did not happen. It’s a trilogy, so I wasn’t expecting everything to happen, but absolutely none of it did! From what I hear, none of it happened in the second book either! Instead in that book our 16yr old protagonist has sex with any living girl he can, because you know, they’re all dying to be with him. Gross.
Will I read the second book? Only if I’m a masochist and a glutton for punishment.