I enjoyed the story a lot, so I decided to take my time with it and fully grasp it. While this was by no means perfect, there were a lot of moments of sheer brilliance so I could not give it anything less than 5 stars.
The Name of the Wind hits most of my fantasy marks: the world building is especially well done and the magic system is very intricate and fascinating. Moreover, the characters are really nicely fleshed out, and they are flawed and done quite realistically.
The world really seems so vast, and even though we do not see a lot of it, there’s this feeling of knowing that there’s so much of the world beyond so it seems huge and it’s really fleshed out. Meaning, names of places aren’t just thrown at you, there’s background to them, and the world is built throughout the novel, not just on one page or chapter. The setting kind of reminded me of a video game, in style of Oblivion or Skyrim, so I instantly loved it. Most of the Fantasy books I love tend to have that same kind of setting, sort of medieval.
The magic was also really interesting. It was sort of explained in an almost scientific fashion, so it was completely believable. There was a lot of explanation as to why and how the magic exactly works so it made perfect sense. Also, there are a lot of rules when it comes to magic. Some things can be done, and some can’t and I feel that it’s very important to discern those things when creating a magic system, as to avoid using magic to fill any plot holes. Rothfuss explains his magic properly, and there’s no place for that kind of maneuvers, which I loved.
I loved Kvothe as a character, and how he sort of defies what you usually see in that kind of “heroic” character. He is beyond clever, and he actually boasts about it, which I especially enjoyed. Most of the time, you see a character who is unaware of his abilities, and denies them, doesn’t know how to use them etc. There’s none of that. Kvothe is very aware of his capabilities, and he is not shy about it. This also adds a kind of “unreliableness” to the story, which is fascinating. I also loved all of the other minor characters, especially the masters (or teachers) at the University. The only character I did not like was Denna, I kind of hated her. Those sorts of female characters always get on my nerves, and the fact that everyone is enchanted by them is even more annoying. But she was such an interesting character to read about so I did not mind it that much.
The writing is amazing, very atmospheric and it really pulls you into the story. This had a downside though, because the story sort of weighs you down, so anytime I put it down, and picked it back up again, it took me awhile to really get settled back into the story. It was also a bit of slow in the beginning, nothing major, but it does take some time to get into the stories.
I would definitely recommend this, no doubt one of the best Fantasy books I have ever read and I am really beyond excited to read the sequel. Hope you enjoyed and let me know if you have read the book and what you thought about it!