Patrick Rothfuss’ 2011 debut ‘Name of the Wind,’ is a novel that took the fantasy world by storm. Blending contemporary prose and characterization with a mysterious, high-fantasy world has created a story that has captivated readers since its publication.
However, if there’s one thing a fan of the Kingkiller Chronicles knows, it’s that the third book is nowhere to be seen. Because of this, it can be a frustrating experience to be a fan of Patrick Rothfuss.
So what do you do if you find yourself waiting for the third Kingkiller Chronicle book? Are there other books out there for you to enjoy while you wait?
If this is something you’re wondering about—don’t panic! You’ve come to the right place!
If you loved Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, take a look at our list of some of the most cutting-edge fantasy books out there, including Assassin’s Apprentice, The Earthsea Quartet, The Last Unicorn, The Way of Kings and the life’s work of Giacomo Casanova.
Themes In Name of The Wind
Name of the Wind tells the story of Kvothe, a once great hero now confined to living and working in a tavern.
Over the course of three days, Kvothe tells the history of his young life, including his escapades, his achievements, and his mistakes.
Because of this, there is a general theme of stories within the novel, as Kvothe uses many different techniques to tell his own.
A lot of the plot of Name of the Wind revolved around Kvothe trying to scrape together enough money to survive.
Name of the Wind is one of the first epic fantasy novels to really go in-depth with the concept of financial hardship, and Rothfuss explores this deeply through his characters.
Kvothe is a musician, and much of the book is dedicated to his musical escapades. Kvothe uses music as both a way to make money, and an expression of his inner-self.
Music becomes important all the way through the plot of the novel and is most notably symbolized by his lute.
Secrets & Knowledge
A lot of the novel is to do with secrets. As Kvothe searches for answers about his traumatic past, he finds himself hungry for knowledge.
The setting for much of the novel is the University, which acts as a place where anybody can learn the secrets of the world, providing they have adequate talent.
5 Books Like Name of The Wind
The first book we’re going to take a look at is Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. The Farseer Trilogy is a trio of books that introduces readers to the Realm of the Elderlings, and the first entry is Assassin’s Apprentice.
This is a novel that sees the reader taken on a journey through the life and times of court assassin Fitzchivalry Farseer.
Abandoned at the steps of Buckkeep at a young age, Fitzchivalry is forced into his position as a bastard son to the crown. This first novel takes you through the earliest parts of his life as he grows and is fashioned into an assassin.
- Flawed Character: If you like Kvothe from The Name of the Wind, then you will like Fitzchivalry Farseer.
- Rich World: Deep world buildings allow for a world that feels real.
- Slow Pace: A slow pace which can be off putting for some readers.
Themes: Secrets, Family, Betrayal, Identity
If there is a direct ancestor to the work of Patrick Rothfuss, then the chances are that it is Ursula Lequin. The Earthsea Quartet is one of the most forward-thinking collections of fantasy writing of the 20th century.
Where Tolkien had Middle-Earth, Le Guin has Earthsea.
You can see the echoes of Le Guin’s work all over Name of the Wind—from the way the ‘naming’ magic system functions, to the concept of a wizard school and the diverse, nature of both fantasy worlds.
“A Wizard of Earthsea,” which is the first novel of the quartet, follows the story of Sparrowhawk as he discovers his latent magical ability, and goes on a thrilling adventure through the world of Earthsea and becomes a legendary mage.
The later novels follow on from this story, and eventually tell you a wider story of the world.
- Unique World: Set in a world much different from classic Tolkien fantasy.
- Magic: There’s a lot of magic and wizards in the Earthsea Quartet.
- Old Prose Style: The older prose style of Le Guin could be challenging for some readers.
Themes: Mages, Magic, Names, Adventure, Exploration
Next up, we’re going to take you through a book that Patrick Rothfuss says is his favorite.
Although this children’s book might not seem like it has anything to do with something as adult and expansive as Name of the Wind, you should know that it is a huge inspiration for the writing style of Patrick Rothfuss.
The Last Unicorn is a short fantasy novel by Peter S. Beagle. It was first published in 1968 and tells the story of a unicorn who believes herself to be the final member of her species.
It follows this unicorn as she explores the world and tries to find others.
If you’ve already read Name of the Wind, you’ll find this story to be similar in many ways—especially when it comes to the complexity of its prose and its careful choice of language throughout.
- Emotive Story: An emotive story that many readers find to be a tear-jerker.
- For All Ages: Any age can read this book.
- Simplistic: A simple story compared to others on this list.
Themes: Loss, Loneliness, Family
This might seem like a strange choice for our list, but it’s a great choice for wider reading if you are fascinated with the character of Kvothe.
Patrick Rothfuss has mentioned that one of the big inspirations for this character was the life of Giacomo Casanova, who was a famous, 18th-century adventurer. He put down his life story in this autobiography before his death.
If you’re looking for a real-life story that rivals that of our favorite, red-haired fantasy character, then delving into the life of Casanova isn’t a bad choice.
The only downside of this book is that it can be a little tough to read because of its age. However, if you can get through it, you’ll find it fascinating and remarkably relatable.
A fun game to play while reading this account of Casanova’s life is to see how many similarities you can see with Kvothe from Name of the Wind.
- Kvothe Fans: If you want to learn more about the person Kvothe was based off of, this is a good start.
- History: Great for fans of history.
- Old and In Translation: This can make it difficult to enjoy in the same way as the other pieces of fiction on our list.
Themes: Romance, Adventure, Knowledge
At the same time that Name of the Wind was exploding into the fantasy mainstream, so did the work of now legendary fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson.
There’s no comparison between the amount of work that each writer has put out, but we would recommend delving into the Stormlight Archive if you’re looking for another fantasy epic to work through while you wait for book 3 of Kingkiller.
The Stormlight Archive is a long epic fantasy series that takes place in the land of Roshar—a planet where dangerous high storms sweep across the land and change the landscape.
If If you’re looking for something that rivals the epic qualities of Name of the Wind, then you will find a lot to love about the Way of Kings. This first installment primarily deals with the story of Kaladin, a soldier-turned slave who fights to stay alive in the shattered plains.
Another great thing about them is that Brandon Sanderson is a very fast writer, often releasing three to four books a year, so you won’t ever have to wait long for something new to read!
- Epic: Huge, epic story and large, developed world.
- Multiple POVs: Lots of character POVs to follow.
- Only The Start: Way of Kings is the first gigantic book in a huge series.
Themes: War, Knowledge, Secrets, The Past, Wealth
So there you have it, that was our list of 5 books similar to Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
One thing we would like to leave you with is to explain that Name of the Wind (and the Kingkiller Chronicles) are a unique entry into the fantasy genre.
By blending together some of the most enthralling aspects of novels across the 20th and early 21st century, Patrick Rothfuss has created something new.
Regardless, we hope that our list above has given you some ideas for some of the other best books around that you can read as an accompaniment.
If you still have some questions, make sure to keep reading for our Frequently Asked Questions section below. We wish you the best of luck on your reading journey and hope you find something new to capture your imagination!
Frequently Asked Questions
When Is The Next Name of the Wind Book Coming Out?
So far, there have been two entries into the Kingkiller Chronicles, with a planned third and final installment to come.
The history of the publication of the third book (called The Doors of Stone), has been long and controversial.
Although fans first expected it sometime around the middle of the 2010s, it is yet to be published and there is no precise publication date in sight.
Patrick Rothfuss has stated on multiple occasions that the book is not yet ready, and he won’t be comfortable with releasing it until it is close to perfect.