Name of the Wind

tenthousand

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
#1
Hey all,
Is there a place to talk about books you are currently reading? I searched in book club, but didn't find NotW in there which surprised me. Perhaps from searching from my phone, maybe it's there and I missed it.

In any case, I wanted to discuss it! I'm 100 pages from the end, and bought the sequel. I'm a little torn, because the writing is incredibly good, but the author skims over things I wish he'd talk more about. For example, I want to hear more about his classes. Anyway... Is this forum a good place to talk about books while you are reading thrm?


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TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
I've moved to the book club section. Anyone is free to start a thread here if they want to :)
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I enjoyed it, though I felt the story itself was a little weak and often predictable. But then I'm an Erikson veteran...

With the classes, I'd agree to an extent. It's a tricky beast because it's already 700 pages or so; discussion of the classes in detail would probably see it balloon to 800, and I don't think the story would have carried an extra hundred pages (mostly because Kvothe isn't yet a badass).
 

tenthousand

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
#4
I agree. I think I thought it would be a little more adult and gritty, but yes, it's pretty predictable. And also, there's all these times that Denna and Kvothe speak, but he just says "we talked about nothing for hours"... and none of the talking tells us anything about Denna. I get it, she's private, has secrets, etc., but she just isn't well developed.

I think the best part of the book was the first 80 pages before the story gets told. I always enjoy 3rd person writing better than 1st, for character development. Suppose I"m a bit picky.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#5
EDIT: AFTER I CALMED DOWN I REALISED THIS POST TURNED INTO A SOUR RANT. DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT YOUR KKC READING EXPERIENCE RUINED.

I read this series about a year ago. It was pretty hyped up, but I didn't feel it lived up to it to be honest. Rothfuss' prose is great and I really liked the magic system and the setting (shame that we don't see much of the world). However, I thought the story was pretty predictable. Also, there was some stuff that buzzed me off no-end, which kind of ruined the books for me.

First and foremost was Kvothe's omnipotence. He succeeds in everything he sets his mind to. He's also very arrogant about it. These things combined make Kvothe one of the most unlikeable protagonists around (in my opinion).

Besides this I really hated any scene with either Denna or Felurian in it. Denna is a self-centered brat and Felurian is a dumb one-dimensional prop
(of course our Master of the Universe Kvothe manages to seduce her).

But Kvothe really takes the cake. His music is so good he makes grown men cry. He is a master seducer. Super handsome. He's an amazing actor. He's super smart. He's skilled in combat. He's a masterful magician in multiple forms of magic. Argh!

Give me a Fiddler, Logen, Kaladin, Rand or Thomas Covenant any day of the week!
 
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wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#6
hey @Silvion Night don't forget he's modest, self effacing and full of doubt (with a touch of tragedy)

It didn't bother me though. This is your classic hero. I think that's one of the reasons the books are popular. It bucks the trend of grimdark flawed characters. You see a lot of this in things like Trudi Canarvan's books, which Rothuss's stuff reminded me of. I enjoy those as well.

Kvothe is the sort of person we used to pretend we were when we tried to woo members of the other sex (or same - whichever)...

 

tenthousand

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
#7
Give me a Fiddler, Logen, Kaladin, Rand or Thomas Covenant any day of the week!
I agree with your post wholeheartedly - I like flawed characters, especially in the hero role. But this quote really tells me there is so much fantasy for me to learn.

Right now, Rand is making his journey to Tear (not really a spoiler), while the other main characters are in about 3 separate camps. Picking up Dragon Reborn was like a breath of fresh air for me after the stuffy Kvothe.

But more to your quote, I realize, I have no idea who "Fiddler, Logen, Kaladin, or Thomas Covenant" is, although Covenant sounds familiar like maybe I read a book with him in it decades ago. Out of the listed heroes, who was your favorite?
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#8
I agree with your post wholeheartedly - I like flawed characters, especially in the hero role. But this quote really tells me there is so much fantasy for me to learn.

Right now, Rand is making his journey to Tear (not really a spoiler), while the other main characters are in about 3 separate camps. Picking up Dragon Reborn was like a breath of fresh air for me after the stuffy Kvothe.

But more to your quote, I realize, I have no idea who "Fiddler, Logen, Kaladin, or Thomas Covenant" is, although Covenant sounds familiar like maybe I read a book with him in it decades ago. Out of the listed heroes, who was your favorite?
That's a difficult question. These characters are from the following series:

Fiddler: Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
Logen: First Law by Joe Abercrombie
Kaladin: The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson
Thomas: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson

All great characters in my opinion, but personally I like Logen best. Kaladin is not really an anti-hero. The other ones definitely are. Of these, Logen is the most interesting in my opinion. A broody, violent berserker of a man (kind of like Conan the Cimmerian), yet also prone to acts of unexpected kindness and wisdom.
 

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
#9
I enjoyed it a lot but I think that's because I'm more invested in Kote than Kvothe - and he's no Mary Sue. Anyhow, eagerly awaiting book 3 (and I'm not normally a fantasy reader, being more of a sf gal.)
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#10
A SF gal huh? Knowing Kvothe I wouldn't be surprised if he builds a spaceship and heads out to explorre the universe in book 3. That'd be right up your alley. :p
 

Amaryllis

Journeyed there and back again
#11
At one point, I argued that Kvothe wasn't really perfect, but just a genius child prodigy with typical child genius flaws (poor common sense, extremely gullible, naivety, overconfidence in his own decisions, fake humility that was actually kind of a low-key arrogance, etc.). It's hard to write that in a way people aren't going to have a problem with, because most of us weren't child geniuses of the sort that Kvothe is supposed to be, so we don't empathize. And a child simply being skilled will be a turn off, particularly in a genre that rails against farm children turning into legendary swordfighters, regardless of whether or not it is 'justified.' It doesn't actually mean the character is bad, or perfect.

Maybe it started that way. But having read The Wise Man's Fear, I think I need to retract my earlier position.

Kvothe, being a virgin, manages to be the best a multiple thousand year old alien sex fairy has ever had, seduces multiple women without ever trying to, becomes an expert martial artist in a matter of (weeks?/months?) after never doing much in the way of fighting previously, bloodily avenges a random rape, and is actually hated in the story for being too awesome. This guy is pure wish fulfillment Mary Sue.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#12
I absolutely loved the Name of the Wind and I love Kvothe. The quality of writing was fantastic. This was one of the first fantasy books I read that got me back into reading after years of reading nothing. It holds a special place in my heart. Is Kvothe over-powered and a Mary Sue? I can accept that.

The Wise Man's Fear dragged a bit in spots. The Felurian parts could have been much shorter and Denna's repetitive encounters bugged me at times. Probably 200 pages too long but I still really, really liked it.

Before the final book comes out in 2037 I will re-read both of these books and I'm curious if my love for them will hold up. I've read so much fantasy since then but I have a feeling I will still enjoy them immensely. I never hated Kvothe during my reading.
 

tenthousand

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
#13
I wouldn't say I "hate" Kvothe - he tries to do the right thing, and I have a genuine interest of how he transformed from where he is at the end of NotW to Kote. No matter what great triumphs he's had, he still decided to become somewhat of a hermit (aside from his student), keep to himself, try to live off the radar (he should have dyed his hair). So for that, I'll definitely read the remainder of the books. I'm not sure it was deserving of all the hype, but who am I to say. I just wish it was a bit more gritty.
 

Darwin

Journeyed there and back again
#14
I'm fine with the heroics. Honestly, I wish so many of them weren't delivered as half-measures. He learns kung fu, but only enough so that he can win or lose fights depending on whether its convenient to Rothfuss's intended plot twist. He calls the wind, but again, only randomly when its convenient. He's a master with women, but he is somehow unable to succeed in seducing the whore he falls in love with. He manages to be a Mary Sue who is annoyingly impotent at times.

I'm a fan. I thought book 2 was worse than book 1, but still had many interesting chapters. I find Kvothe's intellect and arrogance charming. He's an academic and an elitist mixed with an artist and a rogue. I like that.
 
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Shorty

Philosophizes with Kellhus
#15
That is I guess the eleventh discussion about this topic this month^^ And the little fanboy that I am, has to give his two cents again.

But Kvothe really takes the cake. His music is so good he makes grown men cry. He is a master seducer. Super handsome. He's an amazing actor. He's super smart. He's skilled in combat. He's a masterful magician in multiple forms of magic. Argh!
First of all. We don't know that, yet. All we know is the Kvothe who is described by Kote. What of this story is true is not clear, yet. We all know that Kvothe loved to increase his fame by inventing or altering tales about him. Why wouldn't he do that in his biografie?
The Felurian parts could have been much shorter and Denna's repetitive encounters bugged me at times.
That's the part, I can understand. Especially the felurian parts are too long and too bad.
I enjoyed it, though I felt the story itself was a little weak and often predictable.
In my opinion the story is neither. I was really hooked, even if the high tension is forced sometimes (e.g. he has no money but when he earns some, he spends it for useless stuff or great gestures).
The (Kvothe-)story has a lot of turns, so many different and interesting parts (edema ruh, arcanum studend, thief and beggar, musician, shaolin, political sceemer, ...) a lot of the side characters are really good and intersting (Debbie, Ambrose, Elodin, the Mayor,...) and the writing style is the best you can get.
The Kote story is also the best frame story I've ever read.

I cant wait for the doors of stone to find out how Kvothe turns into Kote.
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#16
I've only read TNOTW so far so I can't comment on Book 2 but everything that happened to advance the plot I could call from about five pages away. Hopefully book 2 will be a little more unpredictable.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#17
I think that most people`s problem with Kvothe comes from the fact that he is neither an anti-hero, nor a traditional farming boy grows into power as the time goes., He is something in between, but he couldn't be either too completely.

WHen you think about the difference between Kvothe asnd characters such as Locke, Jorg Ancrath, Fitz, Kelsier, maybe even Matrim Cauthon and Jayme Lannister to some extent - they are all bastards too full of themselves. Some of them manage to pull that off quite nicely, but they all have in common the f*ck-up factor. You know that somewhere along the way they will chew on too much and you wonder whether or not they will manage to survive it, and how.

As with Kvothe, we know he survives whatever mess he've created for himself. And everytime it seems that he is about to finally, finally bet too much on his hand, he somehow pulls it off once more and comes better out of the sitation. And everytime you feel a bit cheated for that, because you know he is going to fail eventually, you know it for sure from the interludes, but you guess it's probably gonna happen in book three, but you still wonder - what if he f*cks up earlier. And then he doesn't. And you could get annoyed that there are little to no repercussions for him. It's natural.

I myself like him. He is fresh breath of air in the genre. Not particullary original by being so good at everything, I admit that, but it's interesting to read about someone who could pull up things like he does.

Maybe I don't have such a big problem with him for being the way he is, because he is Edema Ruh. I don't want to sound racist now, because I don't think I am, but Edema Ruh sounds a lot like a fabled interpretation of the gypsy race and some of their quirks. In one of my businesses I am working with gypsies - they tend to my dairy cows, help out with carrying supplies for the farm, even help out for building or repairing structures from time to time.

And they are know-it-all in a stret-smart kind of way. They are smug, keep to themselves when they can, artistic and unabashed about being passionate even to destructive levels at times. Most of them are used to live day-to-day, most of them are making crazy money( IT level monthly salaries) by working on the fields in the summer, but at the end of each day they are sill peniless. because they don't like keeping money in their pockets. Yeah, in the 99% ofd the cases they aren't academics, but if we agree that Edema Ruh are in fact similar to a traveling company of gypsies, then yeah - Kvothe has a lot in common with them, which is realistically done, but may seem like plot-serving at times if you don't draw the parallel between the Edema nad the gypsies.

I am not really trying to defend Patrick Rothfuss for his artistic choices, nor Kvothe for his awesomeness. I've enjoyed the character and even if I am trying to explain why - it doesn't really matter, because it's like explaining why do you like chicken better that pork. You just do and other people like it the other way around, and the person who sells chicken cannot satisfy both of his 'audiences'. And it is only natural to be so.

I've done multiple diagonal re-reads of the series, and one full re-read at the end of last year. I like it. In fact it's one of my most favorite series, mostly because I can go back to it and feel good and amused while reading it. I cherish that in a series, because even thought I like things like The Broken Empire, I cannot put myself into making multiple re-reads of it. I as many other people have some stressful moments in my life, I am into reading for both the sdtories and the good feelings whenever possible, so if I have to choose whether I should re-read something that relaxes me or somethng that makes me feel more stressed - it's series like The Kingkiller Chronicles that I am usually choosing. Not all the time, but often enough to count for something in my book. So with this said, I am probably opened to ignore some/most of the flaws which the series have, in order to get my hour of two of feeling awesomelly satisfied for the sh*ts Kvothe manages to pull off. But that's ust me, of course. :)
 
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sn0mm1s

Knows how to pronounce Kvothe
#18
EDIT: AFTER I CALMED DOWN I REALISED THIS POST TURNED INTO A SOUR RANT. DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT YOUR KKC READING EXPERIENCE RUINED.

I read this series about a year ago. It was pretty hyped up, but I didn't feel it lived up to it to be honest. Rothfuss' prose is great and I really liked the magic system and the setting (shame that we don't see much of the world). However, I thought the story was pretty predictable. Also, there was some stuff that buzzed me off no-end, which kind of ruined the books for me.

First and foremost was Kvothe's omnipotence. He succeeds in everything he sets his mind to. He's also very arrogant about it. These things combined make Kvothe one of the most unlikeable protagonists around (in my opinion).

Besides this I really hated any scene with either Denna or Felurian in it. Denna is a self-centered brat and Felurian is a dumb one-dimensional prop
(of course our Master of the Universe Kvothe manages to seduce her).

But Kvothe really takes the cake. His music is so good he makes grown men cry. He is a master seducer. Super handsome. He's an amazing actor. He's super smart. He's skilled in combat. He's a masterful magician in multiple forms of magic. Argh!

Give me a Fiddler, Logen, Kaladin, Rand or Thomas Covenant any day of the week!
Not sure how you can have a problem with Kvothe and not have a problem with Kaladin or Rand. Kaladin and Rand single-handedly fight armies. Kaladin is also an intellectual who knows medicine, glyphs, and is the greatest spearman in the world, oh and a chosen one of a rebellious spren. Rand has three beautiful women for lovers - and they are all fine with sharing. He becomes a blademaster in no time at all (though he doesn't need to since he can basically kill thousands with a wave of his hand). He is also a chosen one with a destiny to fulfill.
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#19
Not sure how you can have a problem with Kvothe and not have a problem with Kaladin or Rand. Kaladin and Rand single-handedly fight armies. Kaladin is also an intellectual who knows medicine, glyphs, and is the greatest spearman in the world, oh and a chosen one of a rebellious spren. Rand has three beautiful women for lovers - and they are all fine with sharing. He becomes a blademaster in no time at all (though he doesn't need to since he can basically kill thousands with a wave of his hand). He is also a chosen one with a destiny to fulfill.
Bringing Rand in is actually an interesting point. Kaladin is straight up the most unbearable character ever written so let's throw him out of this, preferably onto some sharp rocks. So, Kvothe and Rand. Admittedly, Rand becomes quite hard to stomach after a while, especially when he goes through that awful brooding phase. I think for Rand, the key differential is that he's the reincarnation of one of the most powerful beings ever. He's effectively a tool which bears sentience but is for the most part unable to control its own destiny, and being young, he rails against that to varying degrees of success (and of course being the weapon that he is sort of explains how he . And I suppose being a pawn of so many purely by the circumstance of your birth makes Rand a bit easier to stomach. Kvothe, though... Kvothe is just a dick.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#20
Not sure how you can have a problem with Kvothe and not have a problem with Kaladin or Rand. Kaladin and Rand single-handedly fight armies. Kaladin is also an intellectual who knows medicine, glyphs, and is the greatest spearman in the world, oh and a chosen one of a rebellious spren. Rand has three beautiful women for lovers - and they are all fine with sharing. He becomes a blademaster in no time at all (though he doesn't need to since he can basically kill thousands with a wave of his hand). He is also a chosen one with a destiny to fulfill.
What Maark said, and:

I don't think it's the same. Kaladin and Rand fit the 'farmboy with a sword' trope and the 'shepherd turned chosen one' trope. However, I don't think they're Mary Sue's. Kvothe is the biggest Mary Sue in the history of Mary Sues.