You probably have heard about this saga already. The Kingkiller Chronicle is probably the most popular fantasy series right now. both lots of fans and critics consider this saga the heir of A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) books. Not because these stories are similar, they truly aren’t at all in fact, but because these novels by Patrick Rothfuss are expected to turn into a media phenomenon.
The books are of course already best sellers. That’s not all, these novels are not getting a Tv series like A Song of Ice and Fire did, or a movie adaptation like Mortal Engines, or “just” a video-game series as The Witcher. No, The Kingkiller Chronicle didn’t have to make such a choice, because it is getting all of it! movies/series/video-game, multiplatform experience. Yes, the full pack.
As you see, quite a big deal. Books have already a passionate fan base, and the potential to reach to reach a whole new audience with all these adaptations.
I just love the way the author, Patrick Rothfuss, shared this news on his webpage, let me show you a small fragment:
Then Lionsgate got in touch. “About that whole TV-show-and-a-movie thing you mentioned,” they said. “If we’re going to do some sort of big narratively intertwined multi-platform development deal based on your books, wouldn’t it make more sense to do a video game along with the TV show and movies? Because seriously, why wouldn’t we want to do a video game too?” (I’m paraphrasing a little here you understand.)
I said, “What?”
The films will cover the book’s story while the tv series will be a prequel. I will write about this in detail in “To the big screen” though, let’s focus on the books right now.
What is the series about?
This series genre is Heroic Fantasy. As advanced in a previous post this saga tells the story of Kvothe, a retired legendary hero who will narrate his life adventure to Chronicler (a scribe). The book is structured so it’s the same Kvothe who tells his own story, while there are certain interludes where the interaction between Kvothe and Chronicler is described. Kvothe tells with delightful detail how his life was from his childhood to present.
The story is set in the fantastic world of Temerant. While the story is crude and compelling, the characters are powerfully built, and the action is truly convincing. I love the pace and flow in each chapter, the story is so engaging you really wish Kvothe to succeed! The author made a great work, the writing is a subtle combination of power and beauty.
The book is really accessible, so not only fantasy readers will love this, there is no need to be into medieval fantasy genre to enjoy this book.
How long is The Kingkiller Chronicle?
The King Killer Chronicle is a trilogy. The first two novels are already published while the third and last book has no release date yet.
- The Name of the Wind. 662 pages, published on March 27, 2007.
- The Wise Man’s Fear. 994 pages, published on March 1, 2011.
- The Doors of Stone. To be determined.
Regarding the reading order, there is actually no need for a “how to start reading” for this series. Just take the publishing date as the reference.
This book series have already sold over ten million copies and the two first novels in the trilogy are of course Bestsellers.
Here are some awards achieved by the author and his novels:
- Quill Award (2007)
- “Best Books of the Year” (2007) – Publishers Weekly–
- NPR Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books (2011)
- Ranked 3rd in “Best 21st Century Fantasy Fiction Novels” (2012) –Locus–
How has The Kingkiller Chronicle been received by critics?
The critics are in general positive, all of them praise the author and his manuscripts:
I was reminded of Ursula LeGuin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkien, but never felt that Rothfuss was imitating anyone. Like the writers he clearly admires, he’s an old-fashioned storyteller working with traditional elements, but his voice is his own. I haven’t been so gripped by a new fantasy series in years. It’s certain to become a classic.”
The London Times
“No ordinary fantasy full of pointless quests and overblown drama. Rather, it is a finely tuned coming-of-age story, full of humor, action and the occasional dose of magic.”
“Writers like George R.R. Martin and Gene Wolfe are old hands at revitalizing old tropes, giving fantasy the depth and humanity of the great literary novels, but Rothfuss sets out to retell what should be the most familiar tale of all, in the most familiar mode (the triple-decker). Remarkably, he does make it fresh again in this opening book, complete with an interesting take on magic that adds both emotional impact and intellectual excitement. So bring on volume two!”
As you see, a must-read saga. I bet you will claim this when you end these books: Wottaread! 😀
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