When I was growing up, I lived in the land of reality when it came to my reading. I had no interest in Sci-Fi or Fantasy, as their worlds did not exist anywhere in my mind. I didn’t even read The Chronicles of Narnia until I was in college! The only exception to the rule was the occasional talking animal, such as in Charlotte’s Web. Wilbur is totally plausible.
All that changed when I ran out of things to read a few years back, and borrowed a roommate’s copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. My life was completely changed after that. Once my toes touched that sweet, cold pool that is the wonderful water of the gateway fandom, there was no turning back.
Bookworms everywhere will tell you that falling in love with HP is like taking a first hit from a really strong drug. You’ll never be able to find that same high every again, but you’ll never stop looking for it.
I’m going to anger a lot of nerds with this next statement. I think I’ve come as close as I ever will get with Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle. Not that I think the trilogy is the “next” Harry Potter, though I’ve seen it called that. Oh no, I am not THAT blasphemous. Not quite. However, I do think that it’s the series that the HP generation needs now that we are all grown up.
The story is about a young trouper, Kvothe, who loses his family early. He finds himself at the best magic school in the land, and after that it’s just a roller coaster of emotion and trouble.
I usually describe the trilogy as having all the wonderful wizardry from Harry Potter, the legend and travel lore from Lord of the Rings, and the society and scandal from Game of Thrones…without quite so much of George Martin’s need for death and destruction. And of course, you can’t have a great fantasy fiction without a few dragons.
The language in this Chronicle is beautiful, and there’s even a made up written cipher that the Chronicler uses to record Kvothe’s story. A fan has recreated this on Tumblr, and, man, is it gorgeous. Click here to see it, I won’t copy it here for copyright reasons. There are some seriously talented and creative people. See what I mean about wanting to delve deeper into what I’m reading?
The first two books are called The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear and both are fantastic. Both took me a few days to get through, but I couldn’t put either down for long. The last book isn’t due out until 2015 and I can’t wait!
Have any of you read the first or both? What did you think?