The Kingkiller Chronicles
Books in The Kingkiller Chronicle Series (1)
Without a doubt, The Blood Song, a recent remarkable debut by Anthony Ryan. This is about as close in style and form to The Name of the Wind. Instead of Kvothe apprentice wizard in training, we have Vaelin, a warrior monk in training. The format of both stories is very similar recounted in an after-the-fact manner by the protagonist. Both are coming of age stories about young men in a school setting. And both books had a (somewhat) disappointing sequel. If you like The Name of the Wind, then read The Blood Song.
If you like The Name of the Wind, the closest you get to a similar series in feeling is Robin Hobb's The Farseer. Though the authors have a different style and radically different plots, both authors really delve deep into the mind of the protagonist. And both series are coming-of-age stories in which the narrator is looking back at their youthful life. Through each series, you really get to know the hero. Both stories are about the rise of a no-name boy into something great.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Another tale constructed around the whole "kids go to magic school to become a wizard" conceit. There's a vast difference in the way the stories are told and the characters however. Grossman's tale is a (depressive) postmodern take on the fantasy genre with references to literature and pop culture while Rothfuss's is a celebration of the classic fantasy tale. Grossman's characters are all flawed and psychologically complex -- if not completely broken individuals devoid of heroism. And that's the beauty of the whole tale. The characters thing they are heroes but find they are not. And over the three books that make up the fabulous series, there's a reckoning and growing that takes place with the characters. One of my favorite fantasy series ever. It's series that some who love the more traditional fantasy might not get or like, but if you want a deeper sort of fantasy, this is some of the best out there.
I would also suggest you read Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. Like The Name of the Wind, Lies of Locke Lamora jumps back and forth between the present and the past of the main character. Both are also coming-of-age stories. This book is something special, and the protagonist (it's a story about a master thief) is an absolute blast to read about. Book two has been out for a while and the third book is coming out this year (2011).
Daniel Abraham's The Long Price Quartet is another fantasy series that you might like -- there's some really good characterization going on in the series, though it's not really your standard "epic fantasy."
If you want a good adventure yarn, The The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V. S. Redick (book one of 5) delivers for part of the series. What's the plot about? There are two great empires clashing, crazy god kings set on world domination, and a medley of different characters sharing a ship (including talking rats, miniature people, evil mages, princesses, assassins, and ship boys) all fighting over a powerful talisman that could destroy the world. It's a complex, dramatic, and mostly wonderful new fantasy series. However, the series goes downhill after the third book, but I feel it's still worth a read.
You might also like Peter V. Brett's The Warded Man -- a book (part of a series, of course, with book three already out) that delivers on action. Brett does a good job creating the hero, from village boy to badass fighter/warder. A good book with an interesting hero character (especially following the whole coming-of-age conceit of a young boy growing into his destiny). This book gets my vote as one of the most exciting fantasy books I've read. Trust me, once you start the book, you are not going to want to stop reading it. However, book 2 and 3 really disappointed. Worth reading? On the strength of the first book, yes.
Want an action-packed story of a gifted orphan boy who goes to magic school (and martial school) to become a great wizard/warrior. Want a detailed magic system about colors? Want plenty of coming of age angst? Absolutely read The Lightbringer Series, Week's best work so far.
Some might also like Brent Week's Night Angel Trilogy which is a sort of gutter-rat to badass assassin story. Weeks' Lightbringer series is better on all regards. However, you still might want to read this one as well if you like The Name of the Wind. The story really follows the main character closely; there are a lot of over-the-top heroics and magic (especially the main character who becomes super-powerful) combined with an interesting hero character which makes the book somewhat reminiscent of The Name of the Wind. Name of the Wind is better written, and the magic is more mysterious and toned down with complex characterization (Weeks falls really short here as his characters are pretty simplistic I feel), but the over-the-top heroic antics of the main character/s does bring to mind some of Kvothe's exploits.
A character-driven epic fantasy would be Tad Williams' classic Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. Though I warn you, it can take a while before the plot gets rolling in a Tad Williams novel!
A good old-school fantasy tale that's managed to age very well is A Wizard of Earthsea. A pretty compelling hero character.
For a gushy heroic old school fantasy that kind of channels the heroic aspect and lyrical prose of The Name of the Wind, read the Riddle Master of Hed series.
And probably the best fantasy novel I've read about a "hero" would be Michael Stackpole's Talion: Revenant. It's one of the best books I've read, period.
The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. Science Fantasy, but there are some similarities. Both are wonderfully written, lyrical works where to emphasis is just not on what is said but how it is said. Words are not just functional entities, but creatures of beauty and both Rothfuss and Wolfe are master wordsmiths. Both tales are recounted by an now world-weary protagonist (in first person) and the tale told by the narrator may not be completely reliable and just might be embellished in the recounting.
If you liked the whole "coming of age talented young nobody who goes to magic school" conceit, you will probably like these:
- Harry Potter by Rowling. The Black Magician by Trudi Canvas.
- The Wizard of Earthsea by Le Guin.
- The Lightbringer Series.
- Magician Apprentice by Fiest.
- Master of Five Magics (the most detailed system of magic system and set of rules I've read in fantasy).
- The Wheel of Time by Jordan
Booklists having this book
Top 50 Best Coming of Age Fantasy Books
Coming of age stories are one of the oldest themes in fiction, providing a sense of progression and growth that can't be rivaled. This is a theme that's as old... Read more
Top 25 Best Fantasy Books
This is a list of books that are the crème de la crème of the fantasy genre. I've carefully chosen the top 25 fantasy books from hundreds of series and... Read more
Best Feel Good Fantasy Books
Tired of grim dark stories where the nastiness of humanity is gleefully celebrated; where heroes and villains are often one and the same? Want a fantasy where good things are... Read more
Fantasy Books That Will Blow Your Mind
Occasionally, there are books that blow your mind; books that once you read, you never ever forget. Perhaps it’s because the startling new ideas in the book find fertile ground... Read more
Top 25 Best Heroic Fantasy Books
Heroic Fantasy is perhaps the most iconic of its class. It carries the flagship heavyweights like The Lord of the Rings; hefty not only in size but in imagination. We... Read more
Best Romantic Fantasy Books
Romance in fantasy is a common theme. But what differentiates romantic fantasy books as a subgenre is how romance is a major part of the plot and the complexity of... Read more
Top 100 Fantasy Books
This list continues directly from where the Top 25 Best Fantasy List ends, starting from #26 and ending at #100 (yes, I know the list shows #1, but 1 =... Read more
Other books by Patrick Rothfuss
The Name Of The Wind
This one is amazing book. every one must have to read atleast once Read more
The Kingkiller Chronicles
If you haven't heard of The Kingkiller Chronicles by now, you'll want to pick it up as soon as possible. Rothfuss' award-winning series took the genre by storm in 2007... Read more
The Kingkiller Chronicle
The Name of the Wind is a stunning work of imagination and storytelling triumph and currently ranks very near the top of my Top 25 Best Fantasy List. I won't... Read more
The slow regard of silent things
"The Slow Regard of Silent Things" is a novella by Patrick Rothfuss set in the world of the "Kingkiller Chronicle" series. The story follows the character Auri, who lives in... Read more
The Kingkiller Chronicles
Though the 2000ÃƒÂ¢s are considered a golden age of Fantasy, one novel that has stood out among the greats is The Name of the Wind ÃƒÂ¢ a remarkable book that... Read more
The Kingkiller Chronicles has multiple magic systems, and the first won’t excite at first glance. As in The Wizard of Earthsea, certain magicians can create powerful magic by learning the... Read more