The Name of the Wind 10th Anniversary Edition Review

Whether you've read The Kingkiller Chronicle before or not, this is the perfect tome to add to your collection.

When Patrick Rothfuss released The Name of the Wind, the first book in the planned Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy back in 2007, it became a modern fantasy classic.

Now, a decade later, with the release of a 10th anniversary edition from DAW, it looks better than ever, proving that this fantasy epic is the kind of timeless that will survive long past its initial printings into future generations.

Here’s why you should consider buying a copy of this gorgeous new edition…

For those who have never read The Kingkiller Chronicle.

Maybe you’ve been recommended this book by all of your nerdy friends. Maybe you’ve never heard of it? (She wrote, skeptically.) Either way, now is the perfect time to dive into this rich fantasy world. 

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The Name of the Wind is “Day One” of The Kingkiller Chronicle series, telling the story of musican/magician Kvothe in two separate timelines.

There is the frame tale, in which our mysterious 20-something protagonist is living incognito as a small town innkeeper. When our tale begins, times are not good and serious danger is starting to affect the village. The first book, Day One, sees Kvothe beginning to tell his story to Chronicler, a traveling collector of stories. Kvothe tells Chronicler his story will take three days to tell, hence the planned trilogy.

This is where the second storyline comes in. Narrated by the older Kvothe to Chronicler, we learn of Kvothe’s tragic childhood as an orphan, beggar, and pickpocket following the murder of his family. From there, Kvothe manages to secure a spot at a magical university, the seat of all accumulated knowledge and a place where he might find more information about the Chandrian, the mysterious group of beings who killed his family. 

The Name of the Wind is one part Lord of the Rings, one part Harry Potter, but all parts a storytelling experience all its own. Rothfuss spent more than a decade crafting this story, and it shows in the rich, specific details of this world and these characters.

Why is now the perfect time to dive into The Kingkiller Chronicle? For one, fans are still waiting for the third and final installment in the series. Some may count this as a dealbreaker, but I genuinely believe that speculating and anticipating along with the rest of a book series fandom is one of the best parts of the reading experience.

If you start reading The Kingkiller Chronicles now, there’s still time to be part of this process. In addition to The Name of the Wind, Rothfuss has published the second book in the series, 2011’s The Wise Man’s Fear, as well as supplementary novellas/short stories “How Old Holly Came to Be,” The Lightning Tree, and The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

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Den of Geek wrote a feature back in 2014, explaining why The Kingkiller Chronicle would make the perfect Game of Thrones-esque fantasy TV series. Our prophecy has come to fruition. Lionsgate recently announced they will be developing The Kingkiller Chronicle into a movie, with a TV series expanding the world als planned and the potential for a video game adaptation, as well.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is a huge fan of the series, is even on board as a “creative producer.” Music is a vital part of The Kingkiller Chronicle story; Miranda will lead musical development on the project, and is expected to compose and write original songs for the project.

Miranda penned one of the blurbs for the back of this 10th Anniverary Edition, a work of art in its own right:

No one writes about economic reality within this genre like Pat Rothfuss. The real-world weight of the sometimes impossible distance between the things you want and need and what you have in your pocket.

No one writes about music like Pat Rothfuss. The way it sneaks into your soul, the way it feeds you like nothing else.

No one writes about stories like Pat Rothfuss. How the right story at the right time can change the world, how the teller can shape a life.

No one writes like Pat Rothfuss. Full stop. Read this book.

As goes Lin-Manuel Miranda, so goes the zeitgeist.

For those who have read The Kingkiller Chronicle.

So, you’ve read The Name of the Wind. You may even own (multiple) copies. Why should you shell out money for another edition?

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First of all, this book is gorgeous. The red-edged pages! The gorgeous, red-edged pages!

The red fore edge of this book’s text block has caught my eye across the room pretty much consistently since this book came into my life. It has made others pick it up in curiosity to ask questions, desperate to know what this red-tinged narrative has to offer. It’s enough to make me keep it out on my desk and away from my bookcase forever.

If book aesthetics aren’t really your thing, then maybe the extra features of the 10th Anniversary Edition will catch your attention. The book includes more than 20 illustrations from Hugo-nominated illustrator Dan dos Santos, and the cover imagery comes from Sam Weber, the artist who (as Rothfuss himself gushed about on his blogdid Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. (Check out the photo gallery at the top of the page for some sneak peeks.)

Past that, the 10th Anniversary Edition includes an “extensive” author’s note, appendics discussing the calendar and currency systems, two “better” maps by Nathan Taylor, and — the feature I’m most excited about — a pronunciation guide.

I would also argue that this is the perfect gift to get that friend you’ve been trying to convince to read The Kingkiller Chronicle for years. You know they’ll love it, you want to stay up late debating theories about how it all might end, but they’re ruining your chance at hapiness by dragging their feet on starting the 600+ page tome. Now’s your chance! A book this beautiful is impossible to ignore!

The Name of the Wind 10th Aniversary Edition will be released on October 3rd. It is currently available for pre-order.

Rating:

5 out of 5