The Name of the Wind
Patrick Rothfuss writes a wonderfully natural, high-fantasy world: a world which seems normal. Seamless creation such as that is quite difficult to do, but he arrested my attention with his grace in developing Kvothe, the main character. Kvothe cleverly mirrors our needs and desires, challenges and frustrations, and he follows a similar path to fulfill his dreams. Patrick Rothfuss teaches us about the tough realities of life through Kvothe and, with careful comparisons, we gain hope for where we stand amongst our own difficulties.
Kvothe is the kind of character that we hope to be, at least some of the time. He is young, likable, witty, skillful, intelligent, resourceful, and confident—his pride gets him into trouble too. Yet he is also unfortunate, of low-class, abandoned, and must constantly struggle against foes and the status quo in order to pursue his dream. That is the young-adult Kvothe. We also know him by the name Kote: a middle aged innkeeper who is composed, subdued, wise, kind, sacrificing, hospitable, and veiled. We are told that Kvothe grows into earning great fame and performing miraculous feats, yet, now he is an innkeeper in a poor, backcountry village, while using the pseudonym “Kote.” What happened to tame the energetic, industrious boy Kvothe? If he did such impossible things, like a hero of legend, then why is he a forgotten innkeeper now?
All the while, Kvothe is retelling his story from the beginning, and we start to learn how he went from rags to riches. We understand his internal and external conflicts. We are given his perspective on every situation. And, because of his charisma, we cannot help but begin hoping for his success—we get emotionally involved with a character in a book. Imagine that! I think it’s because many of us, just like Kvothe, must persevere with steadfastness in order to achieve our goals.
So, I highly suggest that you read The Name of the Wind, and not just for the story of Kvothe: there are a myriad of other unique characters that impact his life. It’s a tale of a young man growing to fulfill his dreams; it’s a tale of justice; it’s a tale of revenge. And I assure you, if you read this book, you will read the next one in the series too.