Why I Didn’t Finish Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind (a short review)

I finally got around to picking up The Name of the Wind this past week. (The hold list for it at the library is pretty ridiculous.)

I got a few chapters in, to about the point Chronicler where is trying to sell Kote/Kvothe on the idea of letting Chronicler interview him, and then decided the book wasn’t for me, at least not at this point in my life. Why?

It just started to feel too generic.

This was disappointing, because I really enjoyed the prologue. Describing the scene by describing what WASN’T in it was a truly clever way of introducing the story. The rest that followed, however, just didn’t hold up in the same way.

I can tell that Rothfuss wants the reader to be intrigued by Kote/Kvothe. He wants us to want to learn more about his past, but he’s not really giving me a reason why. Not at the point I stopped or any other point before this.

I’m unfortunately not one of those readers who just keeps reading on because there are more pages in the book. I need a reason before I will keep going on to the next chapter and the next. I wasn’t getting one in this case, so I put the book down.

Honestly, besides the prologue, the only chapters I really liked in the main story were the ones where Kote wasn’t the main focus. The chapters where Kote was the main focus felt flatter, and again, generic.

The upside to having read as far as I did was I suddenly figured out the root of a problem I’ve been having with one of my own books. So, I’m still glad to have read The Name of the Wind, even though I didn’t finish it. I can finally say I read at least some of the book many fantasy readers love and others hate, and it turned into a writing lesson worth learning.

If you loved Rothfuss’s book — or loathed it — I’d like to hear your thoughts it.

Spoilers are okay. I may return to the book or I might not. So, no need to worry about spoiling something I might never pick up again.


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