14 July 2009

Writing on Reading: The Name of the Wind


Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind is fantasy novel is an impressive debut. It has sold extremely well, gotten great reviews, and developed a large fan base. The accolades are well-deserved, if perhaps a little over-the-top. The book is well-written, with a fairly unique, complex world and good characterization. My only real criticism of the book is same that I have for many epic fantasies these days: it feels like only part of a book. After a hefty 600 or so of the pages, none of the books major plot lines get resolved. Here's a lot of heavy foreshadowing about exciting things come come, but all of the "answers" to the novel's mysteries have been put off for another day.

As a result, fans have been pestering Rothfuss for the next book since its release in 2007. While I sympathize with authors who are under fan (and publisher) pressure to get our another book, I can see why fans have been so impatient. Reading The Name of the Wind is a bit like being 3/4 of the way through a great book and then having someone steal if from you so you can't finish.

3 comments:

Martin Willoughby said...

Oh, this irritates me no end. Leaving so many unanswered questions is a pet hate.

I don't mind the author setting the scene for a second book, but at least have the first one ended properly.

However, I will concede that what the reader thinks is unanswered may not be what the author thinks.

writtenwyrdd said...

You mean the main plot issue was left totally unresolved? Not even partially resolved, like "we must get to Stage One or else" and the get to Stage One during the novel?

That's a bad mistake. Even Robert Jordan's monumental tomes finished up some of the main threads every book...or at least until the 8th book, I've stalled at that point.

Nevertheless, you make me want to read this, and I will...when the sequel is available.

Jonathan said...

To be fair, Patrick wrote this story as one book. His publisher decided that it would be better to break the story down into three books.