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The Name of the Wind first impressions

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by kjjcarpenter, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. kjjcarpenter

    kjjcarpenter Minstrel

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    Okay, so I wrote this a few months ago on reading "The Name of the Wind". I intended to make a section on my website dedicated to my first impressions on books I read, but it fell through. I haven't really touched it–at all–since writing it. These are just my initial thoughts I wrote down only minutes after finishing the story. So love them or hate them, here they are:


    Today we're looking at 'The Name of the Wind', Part One–or Day One–of 'The Kingkiller Chronicle'. It is written by Patrick Rothfuss.

    The novel details the life of a man named Kvothe, pronounced, as the author mentions, similar to 'quothe'. It is split into two timelines, one taking place in the present, where Kvothe's adventures are now finished, and the other revolving around Kvothe's childhood and early teenage years.

    By far the most interesting aspect of this story, I found, was the duel perspective offered. When the story is in the present day the story is written in a third-person perspective, but when things switch to the past we are presented with the events in first-person as Kvothe both tells the story to us–the readers–and to Chronicler, a scribe who is writing about Kvothe's life and his raise to infamous fame.

    Although I'm not a huge fan on first-person stories, this was one of the few I was able to sit back, enjoy, and become immersed in. That and it took me by complete surprise. Originally picking up 'The Name of the Wind' I expected something much different, and you could even hear me sigh when the noun "Kvothe” morphed into the pronoun "I” outside of speech. But I kept on reading, and to be quite frank, I'm glad I did. Yes, it was at a slow pace while I adjusted to the perspective and read various other books alongside, regardless, I did finish it, and I enjoyed it–for the most part.

    The only major gripe I have with this story, and it's a fairly minor nit-pick, was the enormous focus on The University–a boarding school of sorts, for people of all ages, where they teach many subjects, one of which is the use of subtle magic. I like Harry Potter, I'm sure everyone does, and JK Rowling's series of novels take place in a similar setting, albeit more adult-themed this time around. To me, it just didn't feel like the story it could have been with over a good third of the story taking place in and around The University. It felt somewhat of a drag, but most of that feeling comes from my own detestation toward the atmosphere. I prefer learning on my own through correspondence rather than going to a complex to learn, and so the whole idea didn't stem well with what I am accustomed to.

    Everything else was woven together rather nicely, Kvothe's time in Tarbean made up the most interesting part of the story for me, seeing him battle to survive in a city, which, by all means, should have killed him. The truant trip to Trebon is also on par with his Tarbean adventures, feeling like a breath of fresh air from the University with a new landscape to discover. Both segments were thrilling to read, waiting to see what would come next, and it didn't disappoint.

    I will definitely be picking up the sequel in March, 2011, along with the concluding chapter in the trilogy once it hits bookstores. Rothfuss has done nicely with his debut novel, he has created a rich world full of characters who are hard to forget, along with incredulously detailed events.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  2. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    Excellent review, Kev. You captured my own feelings on the novel, with one notable exception.

    My favorite sections of the book revolved around the University. I couldn't take in enough of the atmosphere and intrigue, as well as the scholarly tradition. I couldn't wait for Kvothe to get into the library, and I wasn't disappointed with what he found there.

    Of course, you and I are coming from different perspectives. Although I'm something of an independent learner, I love university life. I despised elementary school and tolerated high school. But when I arrived in college, I felt at home. In fact I loved college so much that I never left. I just kept hanging around and getting degrees. Eventually I was invited to teach classes. And then one morning I woke up and discovered that I was a professor. :) It's pure bliss for me.

    You indicate that you prefer learning through correspondence. Why do you think that approach seems to work better for you?

    Also, do you know if Wise Man's Fear primarily takes place in the university, or is it less central this time around? Either way, I can't wait to read it.
     
  3. kjjcarpenter

    kjjcarpenter Minstrel

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    My friend had the exact same reaction to the University segments as you did, BD. He found them exceptionally interesting, and by far the favourite segments of the novel for him took place there.

    That's quite an entertaining story you have. I don't know how much college differentiates from university here in Australian, but I assume they are quite similar from what I know. Not that I know all that much about campus life to begin with. Haha!

    Yes, correspondence is far more appealing to me. I think it's more of a matter that it allows me to be flexible with my writing. One day I may not wish to study but instead go on with my writing, so I will move it to the following day, or if I know I'm in the mood, bring it forward a day. Another reason would be the ease of studying right from my own house. I live with, and care for my grandparents, so if work needs to be completed it can be done forthwith. The ironic thing about all of this is that I am studying to be a teacher, along with undertaking further degrees in editing and publishing. The juxtaposition is almost laughable.

    As for The Wise Man's Fear, I know little to nothing about it. I'm quite anti-spoiler with most things and have steered away from leaked information, if there is any. Judging by Kvothe's quick synopsis of what Day Two's chapter will encompass, it seems we may be moving forward from the University and into more of his travels. We still need to see how he was expelled though, so I'm sure a generous chunk will take place there. I suppose that would be the best of both worlds for us.
     
  4. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    When you say correspondence, are you referring to what is called online learning in the US? If so, this is something that my college has been moving into gradually. What we've discovered, though, is that online learning is disastrous for some students, and a blessing for others. The general consensus seems to be that online learning only works well for highly self-motivated students. Many students simply can't perform without the structure of attending classes.

    I was disappointed when I first learned of the expulsion. I was hoping the Kvothe would complete his education and become a university professor. ;)
     
  5. kjjcarpenter

    kjjcarpenter Minstrel

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    Correspondence in Australia is any learning done away from an actual complex. Essentially, yes, it is online learning, though other correspondence courses I have completed have been completely in paper with no internet access at all. It is all a matter of the teacher and campus, I would imagine. Certainly it is not for everyone, as you say. A friend I used to live with, who has since lost all contact with me, attempted a similar course to me via correspondence and had his mother pay 1200 AUD so he could undertake it. In the end, it was a waste of money because he was not highly motivated, he preferred to sit in front of his television screen and play video games. He never even finished the first assignment. It was a shame. The only reason he finished Year 12 was because he had to go to the complex. So, yes, it's all about motivation in the end. Lucky for me, I fall under that category—no boasting intended. :D

    As for Kvothe's expulsion, I suppose we cannot all have intellectual happy endings. Haha!
     
  6. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    My favourite parts were actually in the travelling group, when he was with his parents. Though as there were more university parts, they would be my close second, as there was more to read and enjoy.

    I enjoy correspondence/online learning also, but it requires the tutor to be just as highly motivated as their best students. I've tried three courses, and two have failed simply because the lessons and assignments weren't easily read or interpreted - in class you can always ask for clarification, whereas online that can sometimes take days, or make things MORE confusing.
    The third was a bit better. ...For half the year. I prefer it to classroom learning, as I can do the work when I feel like it (I get ill quite often, unfortunately) and because I live in rural Australia, there simply is no local alternative.

    But back to the subject at hand... the second book comes out in March! I can't wait to read it, and discuss it with you all :)


    ETA: I've got my copy! The bookstore had it on shelves early. It truly is a beautiful thing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011
  7. Mdnight Rising

    Mdnight Rising Minstrel

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    I lso cant wait to read the second book in this series as i loved the way Name of the Wind sotry was told.......this month.,.. hmmm time to go find me a copy !!
     
  8. kjjcarpenter

    kjjcarpenter Minstrel

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    Ah, another Aussie! Glad to see I'm not alone here.
    Oddly enough, I hear that all of Australia's bookstores had it on shelves early. Got mine about three days before its release. I wonder if this was a massive accident or intentional.
     
  9. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    I know the bookstore here just didn't know it had a specific release date. I called on the 26th to make sure it would be there on the 1st... and they already had it. I have never got out of the house and into the car SO QUICKLY in order to get there before they realised any mistake.

    And Wise Man's Fear was glorious. Rothfuss is so amazing that I'm having trouble putting it into words for a review :)
     
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