Review: ‘The Name Of The Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss (audio)

The Name Of The Wind

Kingkiller Chronicle, Day 1

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Format: audio book

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Narrated by Nick Podehl

Length: 27 hours, 58 minutes

Release Date: 05-15-09

Acquired: as a gift


Publisher’s Summary:

“My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I have burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to gods, loved women and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.”

So begins the tale of Kvothe—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 difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more—for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe’s legend.

My thoughts:

Before I talk about the story, I want to mention my experience with the audio book. I had rather a hard time getting into this story and I think it was due mainly to the reader, Nick Podehl. I just could not maintain interest and found myself wishing for the book in my hand so I could give it my own voice. Once I got used to the new-to-me reader however, I enjoyed the hell out of this story!

I have a friend that restarts her audio books several times until she gets a feel for the reader and while I’ve never really found that necessary in my own audio book experiences, I wish I had tried that tactic with this book. I missed out on a lot in the first third of the book because I just couldn’t get a feel for it and when I had to pause for whatever reason, I didn’t find myself anxious to get back to it like I began to do once Kvothe arrived at the University. Now that I’m used to  and thoroughly enjoy Podehl’s reading, I’m more than ready to listen to him read The Wise Man’s Fear when it’s released next week. Look for that review soon!

Moving along… as the blurb states, this is essentially a story of Kvothe Kingkiller’s childhood and education, as told by him. However, when we first meet Kvothe, he’s not “Kvothe” but “Kote” and he’s an innkeeper in a small village. He gets the same customers in the inn for dinner every evening and occasionally he gets to listen to Cobb, the eldest of them, tell stories about the legendary Kvothe. On one such evening, one of the regulars staggers into the bar, bloodied and terrified. He’s been attacked by… something. A demon, the townsfolk think but Kvothe knows better.

While he’s out one night, intent on killing the other somethings that he knows must be about, he meets a traveler. Meets him and saves his life from the aforementioned somethings. This traveler happens to be a scribe. He’s The Chronicler, in fact, and he very much wants to get the story of Kvothe’s remarkable life, straight from the source. Despite having another engagement, Chronicler agrees to stay and spend three days with Kvothe in his little inn, writing the story of the legend in his own words. This book, of course, is the first day of that recitation and nearly the entire book is Kvothe recounting the events of his childhood.

Which was wrought with tragedy and loss, might I add. As the blurb states, Kvothe is an orphan and the circumstances surrounding the deaths of his parents instill in him a desire to find those responsible and somehow, to take his revenge. In order to find them, not to mention the whole revenge thing, Kvothe needs to be educated and to do this, he needs to attend the University. So he sets out to do just that.

I absolutely loved Kvothe’s University experience, especially scenes with his mentors and his friends, and the way Kvothe begins to work on building a reputation for himself. His time at the University was interesting and funny, sprinkled with a bit of injustice and some infuriatingly nasty people. I love that teenage Kvothe is so clever and brilliant but the unfairness he encounters is extremely frustrating for me to read. I found myself angry that he was judged so poorly at times and that one certain, vindictive and petty person was allowed to cause him so much misery and grief.

Sadly, that individual will wreak more -and worse- havoc in the next book and while I’m not looking forward to that, I am very anxious to see what comes next for Kvothe. Very anxious to see more of what makes him such a legend. And very anxious to see more of what’s going on the the present-tense of the story, especially after a disturbing visitor comes to the inn on the evening of day 1 of Kvothe’s story. Looks like there’s much to look forward to next week!


Fave quote:

“I will walk back to Imre this very night and set fire to your house. Then, when you run out the front door in your night shirt and stockle cap, I will kill you, cook you and eat you, right there on your lawn while all your neighbors watch!”

(there were more chuckle-inducing moments than this but I didn’t get them written down… there was a lot of funny in this book!)

15 thoughts on “Review: ‘The Name Of The Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss (audio)

  1. Yes… yes, I have changed up my post style a bit.

    Again, yes… I did kind of borrow ideas from both Waiting For Fairies and On A Pale Star. Hope you girls don’t mind, your posts just look so tidy! *smooches*


  2. great review for a great book!! I’m actually kind of surprised that more early reviews of the second book aren’t already floating around the interwebs.

    I just got my first audiobook (yesterday, in fact!) and can say that yes, it takes some time to get used to the person’s voice. at first you’re not quite sure what they are trying to tell you. . . and then you get used to it and suddenly everything is peachy.


    • Thanks for commenting! I have yet to look for reviews for the new one but I’ll definitely be getting the audio from Audible next week!

      Welcome to the ranks of audio book listenership. Or something. ;o) Which book did you get on audio, if I may ask?


      • I got a Doctor Who audio. I’m not sure if I should call it an audiobook as there isn’t an actual book version, and there isn’t a tv ep either. they made about a half dozen just audio “episodes”. ahhh, David Tennant’s voice. I love that man. 😉


  3. I LOVE this book. I’m glad you finally read it, and loved it! My favorite scene was when Kvothe convinces the University to pay him for the privilege of having him as a student. 🙂


    • I’m so glad you mentioned your favorite scene! I loved that one, too… BUT I actually whooped out loud… a few times… when they un-expelled him and Ambrose was all, “What?!” *chuckle*

      That was SO awesome! :o)


  4. For whatever reason, this book didn’t strike me as a “fantasy book”. It was just a pure good book on its own. I really can’t say what it was about it that made it that way 😛 It immediately went into my top favorites. I am still trying to get my wife to read it even though she doesn’t like swords and lasers.

    (That reminded me of the S&L podcast, so I just went and pulled it up for the first time in quite a while. Coincidentally, their latest entry has an interview with Rothfuss.

    I am going to have to go back and re-read this. I didn’t realize that the second book was getting ready to be released.


    • Awww, you commented. Thanks!

      I really enjoyed it, too… almost wish I’d read the actual book rather that listening to the audio the first time around. Still, it was captivating enough to make me happy that book 2 will be out in a few days!

      And yeah, all the hype over the impending release of A Wise Man’s Fear is what prompted me to read this book! That and the enthusiastic endorsement from Brandon Sanderson. :o)


    • Jared, I felt the same way, that this wasn’t “fantasy”. It was, but it wasn’t, you know? I didn’t really get into fantasy until a few years ago, Name of the Wind was definitely a game changer for me, when it came to suddenly being interested in fantasy. if there was a gate-way drug for fantasty, this book would be it!


    • Jared, I felt the same way, that this wasn’t “fantasy”. It was, but it wasn’t, you know? I didn’t really get into fantasy until a few years ago, Name of the Wind was definitely a game changer for me, when it came to suddenly being interested in fantasy. if there was a gate-way drug for fantasy, this book would be it!


  5. I also read this book in anticipation of the release (tomorrow now)! Though I don’t think I’ll be getting Wise Man’s Fear until the 10th at a book signing.

    So, this was his story for a day, minus some interruptions… I’m curious how long the audio was. And man do I feel sorry for the Chronicler, short hand or no. 😉


    • 28 hours. That was one reason I changed up my post style, to include time on audio books and page length on book books.

      The Wise Man’s Fear will be longer. I saw Brandon Sanderson post on how huge it was, comparable to The Way of Kings IIRC, and he said something about the gauntlet being thrown down… so I’m kind of scared to see the size of the second Stormlight Archive book! Scared and ridiculously excited!


  6. Pingback: The Name of the Wind « The Double Phoenix

  7. You can borrow formatting ideas from me all you want, dahlink. Much of the way I format my reviews came from cherry picking what I liked about other reviewer’s formats, after all. 🙂

    Annnnd I’m getting more and more interested in these books. They’re moving up my tbr list. 🙂


  8. Pingback: Audiobook Review: The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss | Good Books And Good Wine

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