If you find yourself constantly searching the internet for the release date of George R.R. Martin’s next Game of Thrones book, Winds of Winter, and end up closing your browser in disappointment, I have the book for you. I was reading A Game of Thrones in AP Human Geography last year when the teacher, Jared Lutz, recommended The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
“It is the best book of the fantasy genre that I have ever read,” Lutz said.
It was amazing. The Name of the Wind is the first book out of three books in the Kingkiller Chronicles, which features a protagonist named Kvothe whose “super power” is being intelligent. The Name of the Wind is a coming-of-age tale that deals with sorrow, loss, revenge, love and the pursuit of ones aspirations.
The series has three books because Kvothe is telling his life story to a chronicler, appropriately named Chronicler, in three days. Each book represents a day of his story-telling, and the first two books end with wild cliff hangers.
It is evident within the first few pages of The Name of the Wind that Kvothe at some point kills a king. However, at the end of the second book, you have no idea how this can happen; you don’t even know that Kvothe knows of any kings.
The whole series is unpredictable; you have no idea what’s going to be on the next page because character relationships are constantly changing. That is what makes the series so captivating: everything is unexpected.
The lore of the book circulates around a concept called “naming.” It is the idea that someone can understand something so well that they know its name and can then control it. Hence the title of the first book, The Name of the Wind.
Like the the Game of Thrones series, The Name of the Wind takes place in a fantasy world in a medieval setting. In fact, with regards to The Name of the Winds sequel, A Wise Mans Fear, George R.R. Martin commented, “[The Wise Man’s Fear] was worth the wait. I gulped it down in a day, staying up almost to dawn reading, and I am already itching for the next one. He’s bloody good, this Rothfuss guy.”
Martin is right, and if you are into the fantasy genre I strongly recommend it.