Fantasy books are typically designed to be a kind of literary nerd porn, throwing around goblins, dragons and dual-wielding dark elves with nary a care for the reader's intellect. Either that or they are interminably, unnecessarily long. With fantasy we're resigned to getting either the dragon or the drag on.
A couple of years ago, some unknown, struggling teacher wrote one of the greatest books that I have ever read. Not one of the greatest fantasy stories - one of the greatest of any story. Honestly a literary masterpiece. Beautiful turns of phrase, deep characters, fantastic twists and bends in the narrative all told from a refreshing perspective. As soon as I finished it I rushed out (ok, to Google) to see what else the author had written.
It was the fellow's first book. I wailed, gnashed my teeth, and went back to reading the usual pointless drivel.
Until now. I just discovered that the second book, The Wise Man's Fear, came out in March. I literally dropped what I was doing at work and marched straight down to the local book shop. They charge ridiculous prices to the point where I usually just torrent books that I want to read and put them on my e-reader.
But not this one. Some things just deserve the hard copy. And I wasn't alone - the cashier had sold two copies in the last half an hour. I'll be gobbling this up over the next few days - if you haven't read the first book, I highly recommend that you go and pick yourself up a copy, and treat your mind to something special. You can go back to the nerd porn afterwards, but you might not look at it the same way.