Our commenters react to the announcement of Patrick Rothfuss’ new Kingkiller novella

If you’re a fan of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle series, you’ve been having a rough go it these past dozen years. The first book in the trilogy, The Name of the Wind, came out in 2007 to much acclaim; it introduced us to Kvothe, a magical prodigy who becomes famous and then, somehow, bottoms out and ends up running an inn in the sticks. The Wise Man’s Fear followed in 2011, and while it had the compelling prose readers by now expected, it didn’t advance the story as much as many wanted.

In 2014, Rothfuss released a pair of novella set in the world of The Kingkiller Chronicle: The Slow Regard of Silent Things, about a minor character named Auri; and The Lightning Tree, about a secondary character named Bast. The Lightning Tree appeared in a fiction anthology called Rogues which was edited by Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin, another author whose fans have been long waiting to produce another novel.

Since then, we’ve had little to no word on the third and purportedly final book in the Kingkiller trilogy: The Doors of Stone. And then, last week, news: Rothfuss will be releasing another novella. This one is called The Narrow Road Between Desires. It’s an expansion of The Lightning Tree, twice the length of the original.

If it’s not The Doors of Stone, do fans care?

It’s cool that Rothfuss is releasing new material. But to some fans, the ones who have been waiting with increasing exasperation for a new novel for over 10 years, an expansion on an already-released novella seems a poor substitute. Several folks sounded off in our own comments section, and whether the comments are exhausted, apathetic, angry or other, they’re worth a read:

  • Carl: “Novella: A consolation prize provided to readers for the ongoing multi-year failure to publish a book that was (supposedly) already written and there is nothing the publisher can do about it . . . No thanks, I’ll pass.”
  • Ryan Malone: “A novella. He wrote a novella. Oh woo-dippity-hoo. I’ve waited a quarter of my life for Doors, and here’s a novella that is definitely NOT titled “Doors of Stone.” I’m sooooo excited.”
  • Salamander: “I hate to say it, because I would really like to read the final volume of the Kingkiller Trilogy (and find out what the “king killing” is all about), but… meh.”
  • Dells: “Yeah I’ll pass on that one. What is most concerning isn’t the fact that he has not released Doors of Stone but rather that he intentionally deceives his readers telling us its practically done time and time again. It’s beyond bad form.”
  • tophyr: “As much as I want to read this series, not spending a single minute or penny on it until it’s actually finished.”
  • Ryan Mincey: “This guy can’t write one book in 12 years, meanwhile Brandon Sanderson writes 12 books a year.”
  • Bill: “Patrick Rothfuss still has fans?”

I can’t pretend like I don’t understand the frustration, or that I’m not entertained. I hope Rothfuss is well and finishes soon, but until The Doors of Stone has a release date, I’d expect more of this sort of thing.

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