The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss


This is the riveting first-person narrative of Kvothe, a young man who grows to be one of the most notorious magicians 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-riddled 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.



Your honor, my good people of the jury,

I stand before you a simple man. A man that would never intend to deceive you or lead you astray with book recommendations. That is why I am taking this opportunity to prove to you, beyond the the shadow of a doubt, Patrick Rothfuss’ debut novel, The Name of the Wind, is worth picking up and reading for the first time in 2023.

My competition, the prosecution, will undoubtedly fill your head with speculation that the series may not ever be finished, or even cast aspersions on Mr. Rothfuss himself. But that is not why we are here. We are here to determine whether this book is worth reading, and in what capacity. So I submit our case to you:

The Name of the Wind is worth reading as a stand-alone. I can tell from your gasps and our esteemed judge’s calling for order in the court you are shocked and dismayed, but before we get further, let’s talk about my client’s strengths.

The Name of the Wind is an extremely popular novel, and for good reason. The worldbuilding and prose quality is some of the finest you will find in any fantasy genre. It shifts gears from Epic Fantasy to Urban Fantasy to Magic Academia seamlessly and has no trouble keeping a reader engaged. The prose, while I would nitpick and say it borders on “purple” or “self-congratulatory” at times, is not only better than average, but it is some of the best in Fantasy.

The worldbuilding instantly captured my attention, and though certain elements of that are never fully realized (at least not yet), you must ask yourself a question. Does everything in fantasy need full explanation or are you alright with going along with the ride? The magic system of calling and binding things based on true names is interesting and has often haunted my own writing brainstorming sessions.

If you are a juror that needs full explanation for these elements or an exact central conflict to enjoy a book, lock my client up and throw away the key! (actually, could I have that struck from the record?) BUT if you are the sort of reader that believes the journey is more important than the destination, you are in for a treat.

Now, to acknowledge our weaknesses. My opponents will say that the main character, Kvothe, is a unlikable narcissist and the story is tainted by framing through his retelling. However, I would like to posit that this is intentional through the unreliable narrator precedent. Kvothe is a fine narrator, but that doesn’t mean you should believe everything he says. Really, any issue with Kvothe the bloodless’s narration doesn’t crop up until The Wise Man’s Fear, and I am not going to sit here and tell you that I agree with all decisions Kvothe and any and all fairy goddesses made in the name of “story.”

The Name of the Wind tells a single cohesive story that is thoroughly enjoyable even without other ancillary materials or continuation. There is an inevitable cliffhanger that in my humble opinion, the sequel doesn’t do enough with. There are bound to be frustrations especially as you become eager to devour more of The Kingkiller Chronicles and find you have run out of story.

But once again I ask you: would you like a rich fantasy world filled with interesting characters, amazing magic, interesting scenes, and well-written prose? Then look no further and enjoy this fantasy cultural touchstone for what it is. Are you an online troll that likes being mad about things? Pick this book up and you will have years to vent your frustration about the lack of resolution.

But whatever you do. Do not skip this.

The defense rests.


2 Comments on “The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

  1. Bad take that ignores the fact the author has on multiple occasions lashed out attacking fans for no reason, and that he is currently cheating donors of his own charity for almost 2 years now with incentives he offered in a legal capacity from his Charity, that he is refusing to comment on.

    If you want to read The Name of the Wind get it from a Library and do not support Pat.

    • The purpose of this review was not to comment about Patrick Rothfuss, but whether or not this book was still worth reading.

      I mention that in the post.

      I do not agree with Patrick’s behavior, but I am also not shilling for him. I am a book reviewer and I am entitled to my opinion on a work.

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