Meet Kovthe, the protagonist and narrator, a brilliant Ender's Game like hero transplanted into an adult version of Harry Potter Land. It is perhaps unjust of me to compare Mr. Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind with these other works, but as a reader I had the definite impression that as archetypes of good science fiction and fantasy, they were front and center in Rothfuss's head when he birthed this book. Not to push matters too far, but I had the definite feeling that he had recently read the Wheel of Time; at a couple points in the book I stopped reading and just thought: "this guy is channeling Robert Jordan". Now that my little insight into our bearded author (its a great pic) is out of the way, lets get down to business.
Like all decent fantasy books, this one took a little bit to get into. The story starts out with a young innkeeper and his apprentice. As these things tend to go, our innkeeper, Kovthe, is none other that a famous legendary hero hiding out and trying to live the quiet life. One classic turn of events later, he is found by a famous storyteller who has come to collect his story. This, my friends, is where things start to get interesting. Having the protagonist narrate his own story is a pretty ingenious idea if you ask me. It allows Mr. Rothfuss to poke plenty of fun at the classic fantasy story line, and still get away with using some of the most stereotypical plot twists. Cliche or not, Kovthe's story draws you in and keeps you there with its simple yet compelling plot.
I don't want to give out too many spoilers here or bore you with excessive details, but this was a really fun read and most definitely worth picking up. If you enjoy... well, any kind of fantasy at all, then this will tickle your literary taste buds plenty. That said, its not a work of art. Mr. Rothfuss clearly still has some work to do on his writing style. I am no expert, obviously, but it felt rough to me at times, as if I had just taken a bite of an apple that was a little too green. However, I can't wait to pick up the next book, The Wise Man's Fear, which should be out in the not to distant future according to a hilarious cominc by Mr. Rothfuss (he apparently has many talents).
On a quick last note, I had a blast reading A Dribble of Ink's interview with Patrick Rothfuss. If you take a look at his picture you quickly understand how things can get wacky, and quick. I took a brief gander at Mr. Rothfuss's blog and lets just say the word "drugs" comes up pretty often. Most definitely a colorful author if I have ever met one... well I haven't met him, but you know what I mean. Make sure to check out Fantasy Book Critic's review for a more content based post, it seems we share similar ideas good sir!
My Rating: 4/5