New Books For December: Fantasy I Oxford Open Learning

New Books For December: Fantasy

Fantasy Picks

Last time out, Science Fiction was the theme of my recommended reading, so today’s set fall naturally into the genre of fantasy. The two opposites often have more in common than you might realise. Here are my suggestions for two titles from a couple of the best fantasy authors out there. If you’ve never heard of them, you’ll soon become firm fans.

The Name Of The Wind

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss stands as a mesmerising and sophisticated fantasy novel, the first in the “Kingkiller Chronicle” series, and has garnered widespread acclaim for its lyrical prose, compelling characters, and depth of its storytelling.

At the heart of the narrative is Kvothe, a gifted young musician, magician, and adventurer who grows up to become a legendary figure in the world of Temerant. The story unfolds as a recounting of Kvothe’s life, framed by his current identity as an innkeeper known as Kote. Rothfuss’s narrative technique allows readers to delve into the intricate layers of Kvothe’s past, from his humble beginnings as an orphaned child to his time at the prestigious University, where he hones his magical abilities and unravels the mysteries of the world.

The Name of the Wind stands out for its beautiful language. The writing is vivid and detailed, creating a lively world for the main character, Kvothe. Rothfuss’s skill with words makes the story enjoyable and shows his deep understanding of storytelling.

Kvothe, the main character, is fascinating and easy to relate to. His journey is a classic tale of growing up, with highs, lows, and the challenges of a world full of magic and intrigue. As Kvothe deals with who he is, faces tough situations, and tries to uncover the truth, readers are pulled into a story that goes beyond typical fantasy tales.

Rothfuss introduces readers to a detailed universe with different cultures, magic systems, and a history that unfolds as you read. The attention to detail makes the story rich and believable, offering a compelling place for readers to explore. The themes in the book are deep and make you think. It touches on storytelling, the quest for knowledge, and the results of the choices we make. The mix of myth and reality, as Kvothe’s legend grows, adds layers to the story, making readers consider how stories shape the world and our own futures. You might not notice, mind, as you are captivated by the wonderful storytelling. For any fans of fantasy, Rothfuss’s book is a testament to the lasting impact of stories, making it a must-read for young minds interested in fantasy and literature. It’s also the first in a series.

The Way Of Kings

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is an epic fantasy masterpiece that offers a captivating and expansive narrative, making it an exceptional read for readers, particularly those aged 14 to 18. As the first book in the ongoing Stormlight Archive series, Sanderson introduces readers to the vast and intricate world of Roshar, filled with compelling characters, intricate magic systems, and richly developed lore.

The novel follows multiple characters, each with their own unique perspectives and challenges. One of the central protagonists is Kaladin Stormblessed, a former soldier betrayed by those he trusted, who finds himself thrust into a world of magical wars and political intrigue. As Kaladin grapples with his own demons and strives to protect those under his care, readers are taken on a journey of resilience, determination, and self-discovery.

Sanderson’s world-building in “The Way of Kings” is nothing short of remarkable. The planet Roshar, with its constant magical storms and diverse ecosystems, feels alive and immersive—and almost criminally close to the realm of science fiction. But Sanderson gets away with it, as he weaves intricate details into every aspect of the world, from the flora and fauna to the societal structures and the enigmatic Shardblades and Shardplate. This meticulous attention to detail enhances the sense of wonder and exploration for readers. One of the defining features of the novel is Sanderson’s innovative and thoroughly well-thought-out magic system, known as ‘Surgebinding’. The use of magical abilities tied to specific orders of the “Knights Radiant” adds depth to the story, and as characters uncover the secrets of this system, readers are treated to a narrative that seamlessly integrates magic into the fabric of the world.

The depth of character development in The Way of Kings is another commendable aspect. Each character undergoes a significant arc, grappling with personal struggles, moral dilemmas, and the weight of their responsibilities. This provides readers with characters who are not only relatable but also multifaceted, who grow and change, and you’re often left wondering just how good and how bad they are.


Brandon Sanderson’s storytelling prowess is on full display in this novel, making it an enthralling introduction to the expansive Stormlight Archive series and a must-read. It’s another long one too, which will keep you occupied. It’s split into two parts, but even they are a hefty 600 pages each.

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