If you are a new fantasy reader, it can be hard to know where to start. I read so much fantasy as a child that I am mystified in retrospect why I ever stopped. But in trying to regain my fantasy footing, I have been disappointed and delighted at times by the range of what’s out there.
This year I discovered a truly wonderful fantasy writer: Patrick Rothfuss. A colleague had told me about him and I knew I wanted something as absorbing and epic as George R. R. Martin’s books; I wanted some fantasy I could sink my teeth into. Well, Rothfuss provides that and more. In fact, John Scalzi, who called The Name of the Wind one of the best SFF novels of the decade, chides Rothfuss for having too much genre-typical stew in his books. Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle books do more than serve stew–they serve a veritable ten course meal, a buffet. But I digress.
In The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, Rothfuss creates a complex, memorable character in Kvothe, the legendary magician whose tale is full of adventure with dark foreboding at its core. Storytelling just doesn’t get much better than this.