What was our prejudice? A prejudice against stupid people really didn't seem to apply here, so we had to go another direction. A Reader's Respite fully admits to having unexplainable issues with the Fantasy genre of fiction. Even fantasy books we want to love, for example, let's say the unimpeachable Tolkien trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, turned into one big snooze-fest. We never even made it past the first book of The Chronicles of Narnia. In fact, our only claim to fantasy novels might be Rowling's Harry Potter series, but given the targeted age group of those books, we might be stretching things here.
It might be all the unpronounceable character and place names:
Je'har-eeza, Queen of the Baa'shods on the planet of Zon'rumba fights for truth and justice for all of her oppressed race, all the while trying to keep her boobs inside of her outfit.
Really, if we can't keep the character's names straight, how in the hell are we supposed to follow the plot? Guess our prejudice is pretty evident here, isn't it?
So in order to meet this reading challenge, we decided to pick up a fantasy novel that came highly, highly recommended by one of our bloggy friends over at Passages to the Past. In fact, not only did Amy recommend this book, she BOUGHT it for A Reader's Respite last Christmas. As you can see, we were flat out of excuses.
This was a huge moment for us. At best, we'd break a prejudice. At worst, we'd have 800-plus pages of sleep inducement.
To our immense surprise and delight, A Reader's Respite loved this book. Truly. The Name of the Wind is the first of a proposed trilogy written by Patrick Rothfuss. His characters are lovingly complex, the plot has just the right amount of twists, and his fantasy world is actually believable. We want to live in his world.
First of all, the character names weren't exactly mind-numbing. Our main character is a mysterious inn keeper named Kvothe who, we might add, is one very sexy man. Can a character be sexy in your mind's eye even when we aren't really given a physical description of him and the author doesn't necessarily intend this? We think so.
He is dark, brooding, mysterious, and clearly is not just an inn keeper in the world of.....of.....okay, we're not really sure what planet he's on. But it doesn't really matter. It's a lot like Earth without all of our 21st century gadetry. We're thinking more like the European dark ages, but who knows for sure. Anyway, Kvothe is a man with a past, which is expertly revealed in flashbacks when Chronicler, an infamous lore-writer-downer, appears at the inn and prys all Kvothe's deep, dark secrets from him.
Okay, so we're being overly simplistic here. It's actually much more sophisticated than that. The point is, A Reader's Respite was left wondering what else we've been missing out on. How many other fabulous fantasy novels are just floating around out there, undiscovered by yours truly? We're a little dismayed by the thought.
So our question for you this week is:
1. What reading prejudices do you hold?
2. What other fantasy novels should A Reader's Respite be reading?