RECOMMENDATION ALERT: I have received no compensation of any kind for this recommendation. I bought the book with my own funds, and personally made donations as listed below.
Patrick Rothfuss is one of my favorite authors.
Pat’s book, THE NAME OF THE WIND, took my breath away when it was first published.
I generally have a hard time with epic fantasy, because too often the writer gets carried away with the cool world they created and forget that they’re supposed to be telling me a story. I love a good fantastical story. I hate reading about the cool weird bush that the characters just happen to ride past on their way to slay demons and dragons and evil wizards. The bush has nothing to do with the story. I don’t want to read about it ad nauseum for ten pages. It makes me give up on slogging through it.
This book did NOT do that. It was amazing. I’ve recommended it all over the place. I’ve pushed it on friends who read fantasy, friends looking for gift recommendations for fantasy fans, for wives to buy their husbands, for husbands to buy their wives, for mothers to buy their teenagers, and on and on and on. Words actually fail me when I start trying to explain the awesomeness of this book. It’s just that cool.
So when I got the chance to meet Pat in person last year (2008) at GenCon in Indianapolis, I was surprised that I was actually able to be cool and normal and not the gushing fan goo-girl I was afraid I’d be. Pat’s a hyper guy…but really nice and really enthusiastic about writing and fantasy in general. I actually sent him an email last year as he was getting his first book off the ground, telling him that his was the first in a long time that I’d been able to read without getting out the red pen (since I’d been editing my own work so much). He was gracious enough to personally reply. Cool guy.
Completely unrelated to all of this, Pat last year launched a matching campaign for Heifer International.
Heifer holds a special place in my heart. My siblings and I presented my parents with donations made in memory of both of my grandfathers to Heifer as part of their Christmas presents last year. Both grandfathers spent their entire lives in agriculture, and in working with family farmers. My maternal grandfather was an auctioneer; my paternal grandfather founded the family business, a feed mill and farm supply company that my father runs today. It meant a lot to me that we gave back, in their names, to a charity that would have fit their legacy.
Don’t tell my parents. I’d like to surprise them. I’m planning to do it again this year.
Check out Pat’s fundraiser. He’s got some cool prizes up that you might win. And you’re helping out a worthwhile cause at the same time. And there’s absolutely nothing cooler than that.