Friday, 28 December 2012

Staff Picks - Best Books of 2012: Nick

I absolutely loved this grand fantasy debut from Patrick Rothfuss. The Name of the Wind tells the epic tale of Kvothe (“pronounced nearly the same as ‘quothe’”), an orphaned young bard with a knack for magic and mischief. It is told from the perspective of an older Kvothe recounting his earlier days, and how his story became part of the mythology of his world. The overarching narrative (i.e. the story of Kvothe) is impressively interspersed with flowing tales of the history and mythology of the setting. Patrick Rothfuss has managed to make a brilliant story about stories and the power of storytelling. 

The Name of the Wind is so much more than standard fantasy. It’s that all too rare find – fantasy distinctly different to Tolkien. The Name of the Wind carries on the grand tradition of wizarding colleges introduced by Ursula le Guin and JK Rowling. Rothfuss takes his cast of likeable (albeit lovably flawed) heroes through an immersive, gritty, and believable setting. Although the standard heroism and adventure of fantasy is tempered by tremendous sadness, The Name of the Wind is never without humour. 

It is a rollicking good read, full of myth, adventure, and action. A must read for anyone who calls themselves a fantasy fan. 

What can I say about Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of adventure that hasn’t already been said!? This is THE pirate story against which all others have to be judged. Before Will Turner and Captain Jack Sparrow, Jim Benbow and Long John Silver set off on the high seas with only treasure and adventure in mind. Written in magnificent prose, Treasure Island has it all! Murder most foul, cavalry charges, sailing in rough seas, pirates, mutiny, buried treasure, ancient skeletons, marooning, and more!! If you like adventure and pirates, you have to read Treasure Island. It’s just as perfect for young boys and girls looking for an exciting read, as it is for those of us who are slightly older, but wish we weren’t.

- Nick

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