- "THE NAME OF THE WIND is quite simply the best fantasy novel of the past 10 years, although attaching a genre qualification threatens to damn it with faint praise. Say instead that THE NAME OF THE WIND is one of the best stories told in any medium in a decade."
- ―Onion AV Club
The Name of the Wind is the first of three novels in The Kingkiller Chronicle series by American author Patrick Rothfuss. The book was first published on March 27, 2007 by DAW Books in the United States and a revised 10th anniversay edition was published in October, 2017.
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.
The Name of the Wind begins in the frame story, the setting of which is The Waystone Inn located in Newarre. It is owned by a man named Kote, soon revealed to be an alias of the legendary figure Kvothe. The frame story occurs several years after the beginning of the narration, which addresses the man's lifetime as an adventurer and student of The University, being written by the Chronicler over a period of three days.
The first day of the narrative begins when Kvothe is eleven years old, being raised by his parents who lead a troupe of Edema Ruh entertainers. Shortly after this introduction, his troupe is slaughtered by the folkloric group known as The Chandrian, leading to his childhood as an orphan on the streets of Tarbean.
Approximately three years later, Kvothe meets the storyteller Skarpi whose tales spur him to attempt to enter the University, a dream he'd toyed with as a child. Kvothe then sells his meager possessions, gaining just enough to travel to the institution where he makes admissions on a scholarship.
The remainder of the novel chronicles his time here when not alternating to the present day in interludes. It encompasses approximately five years of his early life. He does very well at the University and is a very talented student. However, he is also very poor, which causes many problems for him as tuition at the university is very expensive. At the conclusion, Kvothe uses the name of the wind against his nemesis, Ambrose Jakis; while in the frame story he is accosted by a skin dancer who kills one of his patrons before being bludgeoned to death by another.
The London Times compares the writing style of Rothfuss to that of other great authors of the fantasy genre, like Ursula LeGuin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkien, stating that "he’s an old-fashioned storyteller working with traditional elements, but his voice is his own." Ursula LeGuin expressed that “It is a rare and great pleasure to come on somebody writing the way (Patrick Rothfuss does), not only with the kind of accuracy of language that seems to me absolutely essential to fantasy-making, but with real music in the words as well.... Oh, joy!”.
Michael Berry of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that The Name of the Wind is "No ordinary fantasy full of pointless quests and overblown drama. Rather, it is a finely tuned coming-of-age story, full of humor, action and the occasional dose of magic." Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review, stating that "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." and claimed that the book is "the type of assured, rich first novel most writers can only dream of producing."
Awards and honors
|2007||Quill Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror||Quills Foundation||Winner|
|PW Best Books of the Year for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror||Publishers Weekly||Winner|
|Amazon Best Books of the Year for Science Fiction & Fantasy||Amazon||Winner|
|2008||Alex Award||Young Adult Library Services Association||Winner|
|SF Site Readers' Choice||SF Site||Winner|
|Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Memorial Award||Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc||Finalist|
|Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice for Best Epic Fantasy Novel||Romantic Times||Winner|
|Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel||Locus magazine||17th|
|Locus Award for Best First Novel||2nd|
|2009||Deutscher Phantastik Preis for Bester internationaler Roman (Der Name des Windes)||Phantastik-News.de||Winner|
|Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire for foreign novel (Le Nom du Vent)||GPI||Finalist|
|2010||Xatafi-Cyberdark Literary Awards for Foreign Book (El Nombre del Viento)||Spanish Science Fiction Convention||Finalist|
|2011||Tähtifantasia Award for Best translated fantasy book (Tuulen Nimi)||Helsinki Science Fiction Society||Finalist|
|2012||Geffen Award for Best translated fantasy book (שם רוח)||Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy||Finalist|
- Penguin Books USA. The Name of the Wind
- Patrick Rothfuss Blog. Just a little bit rockstar… (March 21, 2011)
- Patrick Rothfuss Website. The Reviews
- SFGate. His family slain, trickster carries on (June 3, 2007)
- The Locus Index to SF Awards. 2007 The Quill Awards (September 10, 2007)
- Publishers Weekly. PW's Best Books of the Year (November 5, 2007)
- Amazon. Best Books of 2007: Editors' Picks in Science Fiction & Fantasy (November 7, 2007)
- ALA. American Library Association announces literary award winners (January 14, 2008)
- The SF Site. Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2007 (February 15, 2008)
- Science Fiction Awards Watch. Compton Crook Award Nominees (April 13, 2008)
- RT Book Reviews. Epic Fantasy Novel (April 21, 2008)
- The Locus Index to SF Awards. 2008 Locus Awards
- Science Fiction Awards Watch. Locus Award Rumpus Breaks Out (July 8, 2008)
- Phantastik-News. Deutscher Phantastik Preis 2009: Die Gewinner (October 17, 2009)
- GPI. Palmarès 2010 (October 30, 2009)
- Librería Cyberdark. V Premios Literarios Xatafi-Cyberdark
- Partial Recall. Tähtifantasia Award Nominees (March 09, 2011)
- פרס גפן. 2012 המועמדים לשלב ב' של פרס גפן לשנת (May 27, 2012)
|Works in the The Kingkiller Chronicle series|
|Novels||The Name of the Wind (2007) ▪ The Wise Man's Fear (2011) ▪ The Doors of Stone (to be released)|
|Companion tales||How Old Holly Came to Be in Unfettered (2013) ▪ The Lightning Tree in Rogues (2014) ▪ The Slow Regard of Silent Things (2014) ▪ The Tale of Laniel Young-Again (to be released)|
|Derived works||Cealdish Currency (2013) ▪ The Name of the Wind Playing Cards (2014) ▪ Pairs (2014) ▪ TV Series, Movie and Video Game (optioned)|