Patrick Rothfuss exploded onto the scene quite recently with the first two books of the Kingkiller Chronicles. This story is probably the most well-rounded on the list, with something for everyone. Whether you love music, magic, engineering, language, romance, you will find it in The Name of the Wind.
Rothfuss is a master of poetic prose, and his characterization is excellent. Though he makes use of some clever tropes and hooks—introducing you to the reluctant hero in the beginning and making you wonder what has caused this man's huge shift in disposition—he does it so artfully that you cannot fault him for it. Another criticism is that the main female in the book is a bit, well, simplistic if not whorish. I don't agree. Rothfuss took a risk making her the way she is, and I don't think readers will be able to fully appreciate her until the third book finally comes around. Some people seem to have a problem with Kvothe himself, sometimes stopping their read short before his true character develops. This is a huge mistake. Kvothe is not meant to be perfect, and likewise, you are not meant to idolize him in his youth. Also keep in mind that the story is being told by Kvothe, and that he is critical and honest about himself speaks to the man he's become.
No matter what, everyone should read this series. There are some slow parts, but overall it is one of the most enjoyable things to come from the genre in recent times.
The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet's hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero. More on Goodreads.