Based on Ezra Klein’s professed dislike of really good books that grab you, I would like to strongly recommend that he avoid The Name of the Wind. If you can get through the first 50 pages, you’re going to be totally addicted. And considering that this is the first in a trilogy of three massive books, that’s just not healthy.
I was a little skeptical at first. Patrick Rothfuss has created a world that, at first glance, seems more or less like the typical medieval Europe analogue you find in a lot of places – but he manages to keep a sense of wonder in it and think out all of the smaller details really carefully to give it verisimilitude.
Most importantly, he does something you don’t see in a lot of fantasy – he decided to populate his world with living, breathing people. I feel like I know these characters, especially the main character Kvothe – he’s the most compelling epic hero that I’ve encountered in a long time. He may be superhuman in a lot of ways, but he’s profoundly human in all the ways that matter.