This weeks novel is my new favorite fantasy novel, “The Name of the Wind,” by Patrick Rothfuss. And I know what you must be thinking, better than Harry Potter? Not possible. Ok, no one can top the ultimate feelings of devotion and nostalgia when it comes to Harry Potter, but in terms of theme, world building and music (yes it is a written book) The Name of the Wind is amazing!
Reason #1: The themes include a discussion on the effects of poverty and the power of storytelling.
- Rothfuss creates a bond between reader and Kvothe, the main character, that allows the reader to suspend all preconceived notions of poverty and experience through Kvothe the feelings of shame, fear, and insecurity that are associated with poverty.
- The story of “The Name of the Wind” is being narrated by an older Kvothe, but within his story, stories, legends, and myths are told. All of these stories are framed by what the reader is actually reading. The different levels of the story allow the reader to experience each story on its own terms rather than putting distance between the reader and the characters.
Reason #2: The world building is well thought out to the degree that you want to visit to experience the magic and meet the culture expressed through the different people.
- The magic system is practical to the degree that as you read the novel you believe that if only your mind could do mental gymnastics faster you could perform all of the magic in “The Name of the Wind.”
- There are some stories that epic adventures, but sadly fall short when it comes to representing the vast differences of people in the world. The Name of the Wind is not one of them. Even within the circle of the main cast, the languages spoken and the types of people described are numerous.
Reason #3: The music.
- Ok, I know you’re confused. Music in a book? Yes. This is the level of mastery of Patrick Ruthfoss. He so perfectly describes the various musical moments that you can hear what it sounds like in your own imagination. It’s no longer as if you are reading about music. It’s like you are standing in front of the musicians listening to their art. If you don’t believe me, then I highly recommend you go and read the book yourself.
If you’re looking for your next gripping fantasy novel, then look no further. You have found it. Comment below if you have read the novel and agree. Look for my future posts where I go in depth on each of the above reasons for why this is such a fantastic novel.
Rothfuss, P. (2008). The Name of the Wind. New York: DAW Books.
Photo by Gabriel Caparo
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