Patrick Rothfuss

Works of adventure to inspire the heart and the imagination.



The Name of the Wind established Patrick Rothfuss as a rising star in the fantasy community, and its sequel, The Wise Man's Fear, delivers on that promise, following the adventurer and arcanist Kvothe in his exploits and continuing the Kingkiller Chronicles, which Orson Scott Card called "astonishing". Here he points us to three works that he returns to often for inspiration.


Books by Patrick Rothfuss




The Last Unicorn

By Peter S. Beagle


"Simply said, The Last Unicorn is the best book I have ever read. The language is gorgeous without being arty or pretentious. The story is smooth and perfect as a pearl. The characters will ride close to my heart until the day I die. I allow myself to re-read it once a year. Every year, I'm worried it won't live up to my expectations. Every year it's even better than I remember.

"You need to read it. If you've already read it, you need to read it again."




By Neil Gaiman


"It's hard for me to pick my favorite Neil Gaiman novel. For a long time, it was Neverwhere. But as the years go by, Stardust has slowly grown in my affections and taken the #1 spot.

"This is a book for anyone who loves faerie tales. For anyone who loves it when a book takes clever, subtle turns in unexpected directions. This is a book for anyone who loves stories.

"It was originally published as an illustrated novel with gorgeous pictures from Charles Vess. However, I first read it as a straight-up novel, with no illustrations at all. It works amazingly well either way, and over the years, I've given away at least a dozen copies as gifts to friends."



Cyrano De Bergerac: A Comedy in Five Acts

By Edmond Rostand, Brian Hooker (Translator)


"I read this book in 1994, and it changed the way I thought about stories. Up until that point in my life, the vast majority of the books I'd read were fantasy and science fiction. Many of them were good books. Many, in retrospect, were not.

"Then I read Cyrano De Bergerac. For the first half of the play I was amazed at the character, I was stunned by the language. I was utterly captivated by the story. The second half of the book broke my heart. Then it broke my heart again. I cried for hours. I decided if I ever wrote a fantasy novel, I wanted it to be as good as this. A couple months later, I started writing The Name of the Wind.

"Over the years, I've read many translations of the original and seen many different movies and stage productions. In my opinion, the Brian Hooker translation is the best of these, head and shoulders above the rest."


April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.