Escape from reality with ‘The Name of the Wind’

Photo via DAW Books under Creative Commons license

Abigail Zuercher, Reporter

For any fantasy lovers such as myself, I must highly recommend the first book of the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, “The Name of the Wind”- a realistic, original story, combined with equally unique characters. Rothfuss shows a humorous side to his writing, as well as brings up moral questions, conflicts, and darker sides of humanity in a beautifully created fictional world. It was an escape to one of the most precious adventures you may find in our fantastical literature.

The story starts with an old innkeeper, hair red as flame, and a Chronicler, who knows there is more to this mysterious man than he lets on. This man is Kvothe, a being so powerful that in time people began to dismiss him as only a legend. The book is a retelling of his entire youth as he recalls it to Chronicler, the real narrator behind all the stories.

Rothfuss spins his words as fluid as water. Some of the indirect descriptions of characters Kvothe encounters alone are a work of art. You get to know the characters well due to Rothfuss’ expertise, practically able to envision how they will act as the book progresses. The stereotypes of the charachters are obliterated, and each individual alone has a unique story woven into the plot. Which if we think about it, is more realistic to how life really works, each one of us has our own voice, interconnected in small significant ways if looked at as a whole. The deep connection formed between the reader, characters, and the characters themselves is precious.

Kvothe himself is a bit arrogant and impulsive, which just adds to the raw reality that keeps hitting you as you read on. Rothfuss makes you recognize that with each decision the “hero” makes, people around them will view it in different ways, causing them to gain enemies as well as life-long friends. He illustrates that the world isn’t in black and white, you won’t always receive rewards for good deeds, and sometimes even when you’ve done all you can, failure is inevitable. In this way he is emphasizing imperfection, how things don’t always play out the way we want or even expect.

And yet, through all these themes to wonder about, this author can still have you laughing when you least expect it. A good sense of humor is underrated as well as needed in a truly great novel. You start to appreciate Kvothe’s sarcastic tone and spin off of different events in his journey.

If you are really looking for something real to invest into, “The Name of the Wind” is more than worth your time, but be warned, once you’ve finished the first book, you are under Rothfuss’ spell and there is no escape. This adventure is ongoing, and one of three books, the last still waiting to be published!