Book Review: Name of the Wind

I have to admit I’m lukewarm on this book. In many ways, there’s a lot of talent in these pages. At certain points, I caught glimpses of Rothfuss’ skill – I cared for the characters, I was intrigued by the plot, the dialogue had a nice twist.

Unfortunately, those elements rarely felt like they were all working together for me. I struggled with how to put my finger on it, and I think it comes down to this: The story is a fantastic concept. I simply would have told it in a different way.

Name of the Wind is told in multiple layers, stories within a story.  At times, this worked really well for me. Others, not so much.

Layer 1: Real Time
These were some of my favorite scenes. I actually wished we got more time with these. In my opinion, Bast is the most intriguing character in the entire book. There’s so much left unsaid in these snippets, it drives a lot of emotion and mystery. There is one scene, where Kvothe is alone, reacting to a painful memory – it's one of the most touching moments in the book.

Layer 2: Flashbacks to Kvothe’s life
The best part of these, by far, was any scene involving his music. That’s where the character shines…otherwise, he’s kind of obnoxious and the pacing is a little off.

Layer 3: Storytelling in the Flashbacks
At various points, secondary characters break out into extended storytelling mode, relating the myths and legends of Rothfuss’ world. I actually loved these sections! They felt like mini stories in themselves, and often hung together better than other aspects of the overall book. They had rhythm, emotion and power that pulled me in.

Though I didn’t connect with the book completely, I will probably eventually finish the trilogy because I’m curious to see where Kvothe’s story goes.


  1. I tried reading this book a few years ago (I think it was this one) and vaguely remember a similar reaction. Thought I would love it but then didn't finish it because the storytelling was kind of dense.

  2. I read this book a while back and more recently the second book as well. I feel like it is one of those stories that ends up frustrating me the most because I see great potential in it, but the author always fails to flesh out the aspects I find most interesting. Particularly in the second book where I feel Rothfuss just wastes so much time on boring things and it seems like he's totally forgotten Kvothe's central quest.

    Can't say I'm a fan of Bast. Honestly, I really liked Kvothe in book 1 but in book 2 I sort of started to resent him. I can't say there are any characters I actively like at this point. I'll likely finish the trilogy, but mostly out of vague curiosity.

  3. Good review. Bummer on the lukewarm. It can be hard to make it all work out just right, but that's okay. We're all working on that. :) Thanks for the review.

  4. Sounds like an interesting concept. Too bad it didn't work out just right for you. :-)

  5. It's cool to take concepts from stories that didn't quite work for you and make them better. I like the idea of having the layers of storytelling, but I can see where it can be dangerous and possibly disconnect the reader at times. Nice review. :)

  6. My friend wants me to read this book so badly, but I just cannot seem to pick it up, and I couldn't tell you why. I think the main character sounds cool, but the description of the book kinda makes me thing it'll just wonder through pages.

  7. I'll admit this isn't the type of book I read. Great review, Nicole! :D

  8. Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing!


  9. Wonderful review! It sounds like there is a lot of good things there in the book, even though it was disappointing too.