March 2011: After re-reading it in preparation for The Wise Man's Fear, there are five things I want to say about The Name of the Wind:
1. It was just as engrossing ⎯ if not more so ⎯ the second time. I found myself eagerly looking forward to parts I didn't even know were coming the first time around.
2. It struck me this time through how young Kvothe is. The first time, as soon as he hit the University, I began picturing him as a young man of seventeen or eighteen, and all of his actions were colored through that lens, but he was still just fifteen. He just speaks so much older than that, that my mind automatically pictures this confident, handsome redhead. Picturing him accurately really affected the way that I saw the rest of the book unfold (not in a bad way, mind you). More like, wow. You're just a kid. WOW.
3. This in turn led me to a whole new realization that there is SO MUCH MORE STORY FOR ME TO READ, and some of it is currently sitting ON TOP OF MY BOOKSHELF. (You guys: don't let me start that book until next Friday at 4 PM. Otherwise I will FAIL my Master's Exams.)
4. I like to RANDOMLY CAPITALIZE things LIKE Kirstie ALLEY.
5. Number five is something I'm surprised I didn't mention in my first review, although I kind of mentioned it when I talked about running around and screaming and throwing up and such (I cringe whenever I re-read that first review, BTW . . . you guys don't even know how many times I've almost deleted it; there's just something about it I'm not happy with). Number five is about music. Simply put, The Name of the Wind is the one and only book I've EVER read (and I have read so many fucking books, you guys), that has EVER portrayed in words the way that I feel about music. I don't know how Rothfuss did it, that fucker. Even if you don't like fantasy or magic or love stories or revenge stories or growing up stories or school stories . . . read this book for the music. Capiche?
March 2009: This is a hard review to write for such an easy-to-read book. I'm going to preface this review by saying that I haven't read a book this fast or this hard (that's what she said) since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm also going to say that I only have one criteria for how many stars I give a book: how many feelings it can make me feel.
And not bad feelings, mind you, like anger or frustration, good feelings like suspense and nervousness and love and, well, everything the characters are feeling. No book is perfect, this one certainly isn't, but I loved it, and that's enough for me. Por ejemplo, there's this scene in the middle of the book when Kvothe is attempting to prove himself, and I had to put down the book and run around my room screaming for a little because the scene was making me so nervous I was getting sick to my stomach. That's how you know it's the good shit.
Let me explain even further. Pat Rothfuss was doing something different in writing this book. He has broken all the rules, or rather, he doesn't care about them and he admits as much in the book itself. "We have all the groundwork now. A foundation of a story to build upon," says Kvothe, our hero, at the end of 653 pages. That's something you'd expect to hear around page 100 if this were a normal book. But no, this book doesn't follow the traditional story arc. It is a rambling biography of a man who is lost, told in his own voice. It is subjective and flawed. It is also only the beginning of the story. There are two more (yet-to-be-published) books in the Kingkiller Chronicles, so instead of thinking of this as one book, you should more accurately be thinking of it as part one in a giant big ass novel. If you're not feeling closure after you finish this book, that's okay, he's only just begun. If that doesn't sound like something you're interested in, then stay away, but if you feel like pulling the stick out of your butt and trying something new, this comes highly recommended.
[Also, I would like to state that I wish I hadn't read it so soon because now I have to wait for books two and three. Dammit.]