The Name of the Wind
|Series||The Kingkiller Chronicle|
|Publisher||DAW Books Hardcover|
|27 March 2007|
|Pages||662 pp (hardcover)|
|LC Class||PS3618.O8685 N36 2007|
|Followed by||The Wise Man's Fear|
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One) is a fantasy novel by Patrick Rothfuss, the first book in a series called The Kingkiller Chronicle. It was published in 2007 by DAW Books with two possible hardcovers: one features the face of the Green Man with the title letters in silver and the other shows the figure of Kvothe with the letters printed in gold. A new cover was released in subsequent reprints, depicting a cloaked figure under a dark sky in a windy field.
Rothfuss wrote The Name of the Wind during his nine-year advance toward his B.A. in English. He drew inspiration from the range of college courses he explored, and from his personal interests and hobbies. A short story excerpted from the novel The Wise Man's Fear (sequel to The Name of the Wind), "The Road to Levinshire", won the Writers of the Future contest in 2002, leading to the book's publication. The Wise Man's Fear itself was released on March 1, 2011 by DAW Books.
Orion have also released audio books of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear narrated by Rupert Degas.
The book is divided into two timelines: the first in the present, described in first person to a travelling scribe; the second in protagonist Kvothe's past, narrated by Kvothe himself.
The story begins in the rural town of Newarre, introducing the innkeeper Kote and his assistant Bast, revealing that Kote is the renowned Kvothe: an unequaled sword fighter, magician, and musician, rumored to have killed a king and caused the present war. His assistant and student Bast is a prince of the Fae. Kvothe saves Chronicler, a traveling scribe, from spider-like creatures called Scrael, whereupon Chronicler asks to record Kvothe's story. Upon consenting, Kvothe tells Chronicler that this will take three days (corresponding to the planned trilogy of novels).
Kvothe begins his story during his childhood amongst the Edema Ruh, a troupe of traveling performers. The troupe acquire the scholar 'Abenthy', who trains Kvothe in science and "sympathy": a discipline of causing changes in one object by manipulating another (a system drawing equally from modern thermodynamics, quantum entanglement, and voodoo dolls). Kvothe also witnesses Abenthy calling the wind to fend off suspicious townspeople and vows to discover the titular "Name of the Wind", permitting this control.
Mistakenly summoned by Kvothe's father Arliden, the mythical "Chandrian" kill all members of the troupe, leaving Kvothe alive but alone. Heavily traumatized, he spends three years in the city of Tarbean as a beggar, and later approaches their nation's 'University' to continue his education. En route Kvothe becomes enamored of a talented young woman known as Denna. Kvothe enters the University despite his lack of tuition funds, and performs admirably as a student, but faces continuous poverty and rivalries with the wealthy student Ambrose and the arrogant Master Hemme. Kvothe's research of the Chandrian is marred by a sustained banishment from the University's Archives. Kvothe buys a lute despite his poverty, and performs at a famous musical tavern to earn money, where he also befriends Denna again. Hearing reports of blue fire and murder at a rural wedding, he suspects the Chandrian, and visits the site. There, Kvothe and Denna meet a local farmer who reported blue fire, and later a draccus, which nearly destroys the local town before it is slain by Kvothe. At the University, Ambrose taunts Kvothe, who breaks Ambrose's arm by summoning the wind; whereupon Master Namer Elodin accepts Kvothe as an advanced student of his own.
In the inn in the present day, a mercenary possessed by a demonic force attacks the patrons and kills one of them before he is killed by a young patron. The first day ends when Kvothe finishes the first chapter of his story and the town settles down for the night. At night, Bast breaks into Chronicler's room and urges him to focus Kvothe on the more heroic aspects of his story, in the hope that Kvothe will abandon his apathy.
Awards and honors
- Quill Award (2007) - Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
- "Best Books of the Year" (2007) - Publishers Weekly - Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
- Alex Award (2008) - Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
In popular culture
- Finnish metal band Nightwish wrote and performed a song called Edema Ruh on their album Endless Forms Most Beautiful (2015), named after the traveling people in The Name of the Wind
- Rothfuss, Patrick. "A Glimpse of Things to Come". Patrick Rothfuss. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- The Quill Awards list on www.bookweb.org Retrieved September 10, 2010[dead link]
- Staff (November 5, 2007). "PW's Best Books of the Year". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 4 June 2012.[dead link]
- "Alex Award Winning Books for Mature Teenagers – Another Book List". Word Press. September 1, 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Ala.org[dead link]