What is the name of the wind? The wind is formless, it is unpredictable and it is free spirited. Legend has it that whoever knows the name of the wind and utters it can control wind. At least that is how I remembered it in the book written by Patrick Rothfuss. It had been 4 years since I last read The Wise Man’s Fear and details are sketchy.
The Name of the Wind is part one of The Kingkiller Chronicle by Rothfuss. Personally, I am excited over the prospects of a playing card featuring characters from this book series because this is one of the most beautiful books ever written. I’m going to write something heartfelt feelings and opinion on this series so just bear with me of you can just skip to the playing cards pictures later on in this article.
The Kingkiller Chronicle is probably the number one series in my ranking of all books I have read (which isn’t a whole lot). The main reason is the depth and detail of the writing. Rothfuss spared no effort in writing out so much details of the background and all the characters that the main character, Kvothe, interacts with. I did not understood why he wrote the book the way he did until the end of book one. It finally dawned on me that the book is meant as a oral autobiography of the main character. Of his childhood in a travelling performance troupe. How he always had the inquisitive nature in him and how his name meant “to know”. How his world shattered when the troupe was murdered by a mysterious Chandrian. How he fended for himself, ending up studying in the University and so much more. The way it was written was well paced and had the feeling of somebody narrative his own story.
Now, here comes the bad part of how I feel about the series. It felt like listening to a person talking about how damn great he is and being in 2017 now, it feels like Donald Trump. Before fans of his series start a witch hunt on me, let me explain. The vast amount of achievement Kvothe amassed is just too incredible to be believed. It is more unbelievable considering he did so many things at a relative young age where people older than him can only imagine. He is talented in music, good in studying, good in sex, charming, intelligent, good in martial arts in his teens. You see where I’m going with this? However, I think this is done deliberately and there is more than meets the eye and we will never know until the last book is released. It has been six years since the release of book two and we’re still waiting for book three. Maybe a bigger truth will be revealed.
So much for the books, now let’s return to the highlight! Name of the Wind (NOTW) playing cards is designed by Echo Chernik with Patrick Rithfuss providing inputs on how some characters should look like. If you think you have heard of this project before, you are right. There was an older project by Albino Dragon back in 2013 and is still available on their website if you want a deck.
For anybody who has read the books, you will know that there are many characters in the series and picking 12 for the face cards doesn’t seem to do much justice for other characters who may not be a favourite but is still notable. In this project, that problem is solved but having two decks! I will call one main deck and the other as alternate deck which means there are 24 characters on the face cards plus 4 jokers altogether. Take a look at the pictures on the main deck.
Next we shall take a look at the alternate deck.
Let me point out some differences. The pips are coloured on the main deck with a clear background while this is reversed for the alternate deck where the background is coloured and the pips are clear. What you have seen are the Selas edition. The card back for both main and alternate is red with a lute in the middle.
Below is an excerpt from the project page further explaining why there are two decks.
You can choose your favorite characters from each of the two matching decks and combine them to showcase your favorite characters, all while still having two complete, playable decks of cards.
If you’d rather have Bast in his Fae form in your core deck, you can swap him in for Ambrose. If you want Wilem and Simmon together, swap Wil in for Young Kvothe. Those swapped out cards will live in your second deck, and your favorites will be in your primary deck. It’s that simple.
You can even combine the two decks to make one large deck with eight different kings, queens, and jacks. Games like double-deck Pinochle are made all the more interesting by having all unique cards instead of duplicates.
Basically it means this in pictures…
To make this project even more exquisite, a Chandrian edition is available only on Kickstarter. Essentially the design concepts are the same as Selas with differences in the card back colour and design. Blue metallic ink are used on the card back and the Draccus is used in place of the flute. I’ll let pictures do the talking.
To sweeten the deal for collectors, there is a special gilded deck set for the Chandrian. The box even has the blue flame which is synonymous with the Chandrian. There is a very unique feature on this special deck and that is the UV signature by Patrick Rothfuss himself. His signature will appear under UV light for that added mysterious cryptic feel.
You might have noticed that certain face cards have been left blank because the artwork is still undergoing “construction”. So do check their project update page for new artwork releases.
Lastly, I would like to mention that Expert Playing Cards Company will be making these work of art!