Narrator: Nick Podehl
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle #1
Published by DAW on March 27th 2007
Length: 27h 58m
Format: Kindle, Audiobook
Buy on Amazon
The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician 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- ridden 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. It is a high-action novel written with a poet's hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.
I thought that this would be an easy review. So many people loved this book and compared this series to one of my favourites; A Song of Ice and Fire. Let me get rid of that notion from now. This is not to be compared to that book in terms of content. It is not an action packed story with multitudes of POV characters. This is not an epic story (at least not yet anyways – I don’t know if it reaches that point in later parts). It is not full of back-stabbing and scheming. I must take George R. R. Martin’s path and refer you to The Iron King if you want something more in lines of “Game of Thrones”.
Now, with that said. This was a beautifully written story, full of youth and song, and lots of foolish mistakes. At points, it was practically poetic, and for that alone I would recommend this book.
This is more like an autobiography of a fictional character. In fact is exactly that, since the main character is literally telling his story to a scribe who is documenting it. This is a story of tragedy and of self discovery. Kvothe starts his life being happy and gaining an interest in learning “Sympathy” which is like magic, but not “magic”. In short, it’s binding something to another something to get a reaction of some sort. For example, binding the heat of your body to a candle to cause it to light.
Unfortunately, at a young age all of his family and friends are killed leaving him orphaned and completely alone. At first, he wonders around and lives in the wild, till he eventually makes it to large city. but there is no hope for him there either. He spends a few years living a very hard life on the street. Eventually, he makes it to the university (the only place one can go to continue his studies on sympathy). His hope is to figure out why his parents were killed and to eventually avenge them.
Along the way he makes a lot of stupid mistakes. But he also learns a lot and his kindness and smarts win him friends as well as one particular enemy. There is also a girl, but really there isn’t much to say about her. She is as mysterious as they come.
In the present day, Kvothe is in hiding with a student of his, pretending to be a innkeeper. What is he hiding from exactly? We are not too sure. Although the synopsis says the story is “action-packed” I found it to be a little slow that times, but it does pick up in the end. I am hoping this is because it was an introductory story. I can buy that. Most of Marvel’s first movies are pretty slow in the beginning too. That’s okay. I do expect to get more action in the second book, A Wise Man’s Fear. Also, I am still on the fence about whether I will read the novella, The Slow Regard of Silent things, a short story that was released after book two, that some people were disappointed with because it didn’t follow the story-line.
Disclaimer: Note that book 3, the final book of the story is not yet released. It has been expected to come out for some time now but has been delayed, constantly. This is one of the reasons why I took my sweet time to start this book, and why you probably shouldn’t expect a review of book 2 any time soon either. Curiousity got the better of me this time, since I was dying to know what all the fuss was about.
At first, I had this idea in my head that the characters spoke with a british accent, so when I started to listen, the narrator threw me off. However, I must say that once I got over that he really did an awesome job. He did different accents, different voices, and you could really tell the characters apart while listening. It was easy to follow. I hope that he is narrating book two as well.
While I wouldn’t say to read this if you are looking for things like Game of Thrones, I still think that it is a great book, great story and that you should give it a chance. It builds it’s own world, with its own gods and stories and in that sense, it does remind one of A Song of Ice and Fire. It was a little slower than I had expected but I managed to finish quickly by using Kindle and Audible whisper sync between compatible books and audio-books. This allowed me to listen and work and then pick up reading at home.