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Everywhere I go, people are talking about Game of Thrones. "Winter is coming," my neighbor jokes, when the autumn wind strips the leaves from the trees and clutters up our yards. "A Lannister always pays his debts," a friend says when he slips me the twenty I loaned him the other night at the bar. The novels — and the HBO series — are explosively popular for good reason. Fantasy is more mainstream than ever, and Patrick Rothfuss is equally deserving of such a wide audience.
The Name of the Wind — the first novel in his Kingkiller trilogy — is narrated by Kvothe, a thief, a musician, and perhaps the greatest magician the world has ever known. It is a coming-of-age story — as elegantly written as any so-called work of literary fiction — and will appeal to any age and any audience: first-time as well as the most doggedly loyal readers of fantasy. That's why I'm giving it to everyone and telling them it doesn't feel like a stretch to say that Rothfuss could develop a reputation as lasting and significant as Tolkien.
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Benjamin Percy has won a Whiting Writers' Award, a Plimpton Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of the novels Red Moon and The Wilding, and two short story collections.
Books mentioned in this post
Benjamin Percy is the author of Red Moon