A couple of days ago, I posted on my facebook page that I had sent an email to my favorite author, and he had written back. I want to expand a little upon this, because it’s just so very cool. Up until about 2 years ago, I was a voracious reader. But I hadn’t actually had a favorite book in a long, long time. Certainly there were authors I admired, books I read for comfort, but really, I couldn’t answer the question “what’s your favorite book?” And then I stumbled across The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and my world changed. I had a favorite book that I think will stick with me for a very VERY long time. I recently saw a fantastic compilation called “13 Fantasy Books that are good despite their covers” – Rothfuss’s book is #12, and the review says
“The (hands down) best high-fantasy series written in the last 20 years. If you haven’t read it yet and you like fantasy, immediately start reading it now.”
That basically sums up my opinion pretty well. It is phenomenal. I like it significantly better than Tolkien, and I’ve read nearly everything he’s written. (I know, blasphemy, but hear me out.) Rothfuss is an extremely thoughtful writer, who has an incredible skill for weaving a story and building worlds, people, languages, and cultures. And as if that weren’t enough for a great story, his prose is some of the most elegant I have ever encountered. Despite being long (when has this ever been an issue?) it is incredibly readable, and I never noticed the length when reading, except that I was so sucked in that I looked up at 3am, 6 hours past my bedtime… Technically, the book is the first in a trilogy (called The Kingkiller Chronicles), of which the first two are published (Book 2 is called The Wise Man’s Fear). Book 3 is in the works, and while I am incredibly excited to read it, I think the longer it takes the better it will be. And besides, I can read and re-read books 1 and 2 again and again. The joy of these books is that each time I read them, I notice something new and amazing. There’s a moment in the second book where I realize that when the main character is in a particular world, he and everyone else speaks in verse. You wouldn’t notice it if you’re reading quickly – it’s written as prose. But slow down and savor the words, and you’ll notice a rhyming and a cadence. That’s just one of the many amazing parts of the book. I could gush for hours about how incredible it is, but I might give some parts away. So go read it for yourselves.
I also follow Pat’s blog (and you can too), because not only is he an incredible writer, he’s just an all-around awesome person. In addition to doing awesome things like writing short stories and collaborating on all number of interesting projects, Pat goes out of his way to help young writers. And he also runs a charity called Worldbuilders, which benefits Heifer International in an incredible way that brings people together in a way I’ve never seen before. But in general, Pat presents as a really cool, nice guy. And so, after months of agonizing, writing, and re-writing, I finally screwed up my courage and hit “send” on an email that I’d written to Pat, which I’ll be posting an edited version of (you’ll hopefully see why I’m waiting soon).
And not only did he read it, he took the time to write me back and thank me for my note and even commented on the content. And I haven’t stopped grinning since. (There’s also been a fair bit of flapping, bouncing, and general excited stimming) So I just wanted to say thank you, Pat, for being amazing, and for taking your precious time to read and respond to your readers hundreds of emails. And for being just as awesome as you seem.
And, dear readers, if you haven’t read his books yet, you 100% should. They are worth every minute and then some.
p.s. What has this to do with Autism? Just you wait, you’ll see… It definitely does. But it also contains a bit of a spoiler alert… so you have been forewarned. Plus, now you have to read the books before I post the letter!😉