Kingkiller Chronicle author Patrick Rothfuss promised to read the prologue to his much-anticipated upcoming novel The Doors of Stone if his fans raised a certain amount of money for his WorldBuilders charity. They came through, and that’s exactly what he did!
Sure, a mere prologue isn’t much. As Rothfuss himself wrote on his blog, “What is that [a prologue], really? Just a taste. A tease. A paltry page. It’s barely a bite. A meager morsel for those whose hearts are hungry for a story.” But when fans have been waiting for this book for a decade, a bite is plenty.
The prologue itself is similar to the ones from first two books, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. It shares the same title, “A Silence of Three Parts,” and once again finds Kote at the Waystone Inn preparing to tell his tale. Many of the phrases remain the same, with new creative descriptions and metaphors. Just like the other prologue, it flows like poetry. I particularly found it interesting how it seems to focus more on the town of Newarre rather than Kvothe himself.
The stream where Rothfuss read the prologue had a staggering 10,000 concurrent live viewers. You can watch the video below:
The Doors of Stone prologue, “A Silence of Three Parts”
It turns out Rothfuss is a pretty great narrator. Anyway, here’s the full transcript of the prologue:
"It was still night in the middle of Newarre. The Waystone Inn lay in silence and it was a silence of three parts. The most obvious part was a vast echoing quiet made by things that were lacking. If the horizon had shown the slightest kiss of blue, the town would be stirring. There would be the crackle of kindling, the gentle murmur of water simmering for porridge or tea. The slow dewy hush of folk walking through the grass would have brushed the silence off the front steps of houses with the indifferent briskness of an old birch broom. If Newarre had been large enough to warrant watchmen, they would have trudged and grumbled the silence away like an unwelcome stranger. If there’d been music… but no of course there was no music. In fact there were none of these things, and so the silence remained.In the basement of the Waystone, there was the smell of coal smoke and seared iron. Everywhere was the evidence of hurried work, tools scattered, bottles left in disarray, a spill of acid hissed quietly to itself, having slopped over the edge of a wide stone bowl. Nearby the bricks of a tiny forge made small, sweet pinging noises as they cooled. These tiny forgotten noises added a furtive silence to a large echoing one. They bound it together like tiny stitches of bright brass thread. The low drumming counterpoint, a timbre beat behind a song.The third silence was not an easy thing to notice. If you listened long enough, you might begin to feel it in the chill copper of the Waystone’s locks turned tight to keep the night at bay. It lurked in the thick timbers of the door and nestled deep in the building’s gray foundation stones. And it was in the hands of the man who had designed the Inn as he slowly undressed himself beside a bare and narrow bed. The man had true red hair, red as flame. His eyes were dark and weary and he moved with the slow care of a man who is badly hurt, or tired, or old beyond his years. The Waystone was his just as the third silence was his. This was appropriate as it was the greatest silence of the three, holding the others inside itself. It was deep and wide as autumn’s ending. It was heavy as a great river smooth stone. It was the patient cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die."
“That’s not half bad,” Rothfuss said to himself after finishing. I think he’s being magnanimous since the prologue is clearly phenomenal — Rothfuss sets very high standards for himself.
The prologue isn’t the only Doors of Stone content we’re getting. Rothfuss also promised to release a full chapter of The Doors of Stone if his fans could raise $333,000 for WorldBuilders, and again they came through. Rothfuss has confirmed that the chapter will be unveiled soon, perhaps even alongside an audiobook version with voice actors!
Patrick Rothfuss ponders writing a Kingkiller story live onstream
As well as reading the elusive prologue, Rothfuss was happy to answer some questions from fans. Several wondered if he’d ever release an annotated version of all three Kingkiller books, and he sounds amendable:
"After the third book is out and that trilogy is set and complete, I kinda would like to publish a version of the book for like the real deep, deep geeks who are really into it. And all of my notes would be footnotes."
Rothfuss is also considering writing a story set within the world of Kingkiller world live on one of his streams. “If we make enough money, I will write a story on this stream,” he said. “A story from Temerant. I have a cool idea for the story of a girl who lives in Modeg, she makes Gods. I’ve had the first line running around in my head for years.”
And finally, for those interested, Rothfuss revealed that a 10th Anniversary Edition of The Wise Man’s Fear is on the way, despite its anniversary having come and gone. The reason for the delay is the same reason almost everything has been delayed over the last year or so. “It just won’t come out on the 10th Anniversary because that was last year because a bunch of things happened and the pandemic dunked that up.” But it is indeed coming. Better late than never!
The Doors of Stone still doesn’t have a release date. However, with Rothfuss happy to share parts of the book, it sounds like the wait might not go on for much longer. You can donate to his Worldbuilders Team page here.
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