Works of adventure to inspire the heart and the imagination.
The Name of the Wind established Patrick Rothfuss as a rising star in the fantasy community, and its sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear, delivers on that promise, following the adventurer and arcanist Kvothe in his exploits and continuing the Kingkiller Chronicles, which Orson Scott Card called “astonishing”. Here he points us to three works that he returns to often for inspiration.
By Peter S. Beagle
“Simply said, The Last Unicorn is the best book I have ever read. The language is gorgeous without being arty or pretentious. The story is smooth and perfect as a pearl. The characters will ride close to my heart until the day I die. I allow myself to re-read it once a year. Every year, I’m worried it won’t live up to my expectations. Every year it’s even better than I remember.
“You need to read it. If you’ve already read it, you need to read it again.”
By Neil Gaiman
“It’s hard for me to pick my favorite Neil Gaiman novel. For a long time, it was Neverwhere. But as the years go by, Stardust has slowly grown in my affections and taken the #1 spot.
“This is a book for anyone who loves faerie tales. For anyone who loves it when a book takes clever, subtle turns in unexpected directions. This is a book for anyone who loves stories.
“It was originally published as an illustrated novel with gorgeous pictures from Charles Vess. However, I first read it as a straight-up novel, with no illustrations at all. It works amazingly well either way, and over the years, I’ve given away at least a dozen copies as gifts to friends.”
By Edmond Rostand, Brian Hooker (Translator)
“I read this book in 1994, and it changed the way I thought about stories. Up until that point in my life, the vast majority of the books I’d read were fantasy and science fiction. Many of them were good books. Many, in retrospect, were not.
“Then I read Cyrano De Bergerac. For the first half of the play I was amazed at the character, I was stunned by the language. I was utterly captivated by the story. The second half of the book broke my heart. Then it broke my heart again. I cried for hours. I decided if I ever wrote a fantasy novel, I wanted it to be as good as this. A couple months later, I started writing The Name of the Wind.
“Over the years, I’ve read many translations of the original and seen many different movies and stage productions. In my opinion, the Brian Hooker translation is the best of these, head and shoulders above the rest.”