The Real Reason Rothfuss’ Kingkiller 3 Is Not Here Yet

Kenny Brechner - April 27, 2017

One thing many booksellers have in common is a weariness of answering questions about the publication date of the third book in Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller trilogy. It is a weariness shared by others connected to the book as well. The author is sick of being asked about it, the publisher is sick of being asked about it, and readers are sick of asking booksellers about it. It has been over 11 years since my former Penguin rep, Peter Giannoni, mailed me an ARC of book one,The Name of the Wind, telling me that he thought I would like it (true) and that the author had written all three books while he was in grad school so there wouldn’t be a wait involved beyond the usual one year between each release (not true).
At this point, seven years out from when I read book two, Wise Man’s Fear, it seemed time to get some hard facts about the cause for the continuing absence of book three. The way I decided to approach this was to pull together a list of possible causes, and then ask someone who would know for sure if any of them were true. Fortunately Bast himself, one of the book’s characters, agreed to review the materials and give his assessment. First of all here’s the list.

  1. Though the Chronicler is a fictional character, Kvothe really did make a deal with Patrick Rothfuss himself to relate his story. Unfortunately Kvothe changed his mind after the second day, and disappeared so that the third book will never come out unless Kvothe reappears.
  2. Rothfuss always intended to write a two-book unfinished trilogy as a kind of malevolent art form which he hoped would impress Andy Warhol’s ghost.
  3. Rothfuss has played an infamous  practical joke on the universe by publishing the Kingkiller conclusion without anyone realizing it. Book three, whose announced title is The Doors of Stone, was published with a different title and attributed author, The Darkling Child,  by Terry BrooksThough published as though it were the fourth book in The Defenders of Shannara series it is actually The Doors of Stone written by Rothfuss. This was diabolically clever because no one actually read The Darkling Child so it was the perfect crime.
  4. Though changelings are traditionally infants left in cradles, an enterprising goblin replaced the actual Patrick Rothfuss with the person who is currently masquerading as actually working on book three.
  5. Rothfuss has a rare condition, chronoglacialis, in which the sufferer experiences life at one-sixth the speed of normal time. Thus, those complaining about the long delay are being spectacularly insensitive.
  6. Kvothe cast two interwoven Sisyphean  spells on Rothfuss. The first making perfection a compulsory absolute and the second allowing him to see an infinite number of perspectives on his work making perfection and imperfection alternate indefinitely as the endless supply of perspectives appear successively, each one undoing the perfection attained by the last.

Kenny:  You seem like someone who knows a good deal about what is going on behind the normal field of vision.
Bast: Would you like to have me test that theory out on yourself?
Kenny: Umm. Absolutely not.
Bast: You are not quite as much of a fool as I supposed.
Kenny: Well, there’s still time here to prove yourself right.
Bast: Very true, but how can I help you?
Kenny: I was hoping you could assess the list above and tell us whether any of them is true.
Bast: Yes, one of them is the truth.
Kenny: Aha. Which one?
Bast: Wouldn’t you like to know!
Kenny: I see, well can you rule any of them out?
Bast: Is this part of your effort to have me reassess your character?
Kenny: Not at all.
Bast: Okay then. I’ll tell you that it’s not number two because Warhol is not dead. I personally helped fake his death.
Kenny: I see. Can you tell me where he is now?
Bast: No.
Kenny: Okay, are there any other ones we can eliminate from consideration?
Bast: Yes I would suggest eliminating the five which are wrong. Think, man!
Kenny: Hmmn, well I just took a look at The Darkling Child. Ouch. It is definitely not answer three. There are no goblins in the Kingkiller world so I’ll strike that one out too. If Rothfuss had chronoglacialis he would still be making more progress than he has. Hmmn. I don’t think Kvothe would just run off. I think the casting of the spells, answer 6, is the only really likely explanation.
Bast: I agree.
Kenny: You do?
Bast: I do. and now we turn to the little matter of my fee.
Kenny: Umm. Signing off here!

(See also Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Three – A New Update!)

(And new Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Three: Take Three)

98 thoughts on “The Real Reason Rothfuss’ Kingkiller 3 Is Not Here Yet

  1. An'e

    I think Kenny with your imajination and obvious knowlege of P.R.’s characters that u should finish the darn book. I used to love mr.Rothfussy but that is over. No author who creates a story like that and then leaves those, who adore him for it ,hanging in pain for this many years is heartless. To mr.Rothfussy:
    No man can be awesome without a heart. Have a care Tin man

  2. Donna Martin

    I check periodically for release date, but I think Mr. Rothfuss wants us all to die unfinished like his story. It seems a cruel and unusual punishment for us all
    I would never do that if I wrote such a wonderful story. Perhaps he can’t figure out how to finish.

  3. Ashley Hardwick

    An entertaining read! You showed up on my google search to see what if any progress had been made towards publishing and releasing the third volume. Thus, while I enjoyed your post, I wish you did have some real reasons for the absence of the third volume.

  4. Clifton Hill

    Well, and here’s the issue with writing: The author labors to make a masterpiece to make sure it sells and explodes across the scene. If successful they now have to replicate said success, but make it even better with a sequel. And of course the issue is only compounded by follow-ups.
    Great expectations and all. How can an author of such a respected work do it justice when expectations are so high? They will only want the best for their fans and to do their work justice, but that is like diving down the rabbit hole head first.
    I can only imagine that Rothfuss wishes he had truly finished all 3 books out the gate before the books grew to such unsustainable expectations. The sequels might not have been quite as well-tuned and amazing as they no doubt are—a hypothesis based on Wise Man’s Fear—but any creative can be plagued by the wish to make their work better.
    Here’s hoping that Rothfuss gains the comfort with the final book(s) of the work and his publisher hits “send.”

  5. Zirth of 3 Ghosts

    I hate the wait but will continue to wait as long as the story is told in full. If that means a third and final book or 5 more books at 1100 pages so be it. I prefer the 5 books at 1100 pages.

  6. Steven M. Vance

    I suspect that this series may have gone the way of Diane Duane’s Door Into Fire/Door Into Shadow/Door Into (???). She, apparently, prefers writing Star Trek and young adult novels. A real shame, from my perspective. She came up with something truly original and ahead of its time, then walked away from it.
    I can understand Patrick Rothfuss might be tired of hearing the “When…?” question. Of course, the flip side of that is why would I buy all his “add-on” products (card decks, t-shirts, special editions, etc.) when I don’t even know if the series will be finished? It all comes back to communication. At least take the time to tell your fans how it is going…if you want to keep them.

  7. Addiction314

    Here is the problem with the final book of the trilogy: it is a little-known fact that Tool’s next album is a concept piece based on the Kingkiller Chronicle…and can’t be finished until the final book of the trilogy is complete (Maynard is a HUGE Rothfuss fan throughout all aspects of the wine-making process). No issues yet…Tool can do what they want, right? But Rothfuss has promised himself to base Kvothe’s music in The Doors of Stone on Tool’s forthcoming album to show the angst and darker side of a teenager in his 17+ years…and now you see the problem. Neither artist(s) can finish their promised work until the other does…and we wait in futility.

  8. The Nightguy

    I believe Rothfuss’ delay is an act of professional courtesy.
    He is simply allowing George R. R. Martin to finish his long overdue conclusion(s) to GoT.
    Overall a very respectful attitude worthy of acclaim, not the growing crowd of pitchfork wielding fans in evidence on a daily basis. 😉
    **heads off to sharpen his tines**

  9. Kris

    The real reason? Because he doesn’t have to. Just because something is a non-profit doesn’t mean that he can’t be paid a modest salary from his World Builder charity. As someone else noted, there is no shortage of people willing to buy the various pieces of merchandise that he funds through kickstarter and the like. The most recent deck of cards campaign has over $500K pledged on something that had an original goal of $25K. I will grant you that they are a very well done and beautiful set of cards that I’m sure took a lot of work to collaborate and produce, still it’s a fairly inexpensive thing to actually produce. So there’s quite a bit of profit to be had there.
    I will caveat the above with saying that I firmly believe Mr. Rothfuss is actually one hell of an outstanding guy. I have no doubt that everything he’s involved in is because he believes in it, and honestly wants to make a difference and help people. Nor would I begrudge him a salary from those efforts to help support himself as he takes on the immense amount of work needed to organize and run the fundraisers every year. I am merely pointing out that because he may (and I honestly do not know if he does) be able to support himself and his family from that effort, there might be less pressure to produce the next book.
    And I also believe that he has a bit of a quandary story wise. With one book to go, we have probably 10 years to cover from where we left off the last book, and where we found him at the beginning of the first. You can’t gloss over too much, because the sheer detail and depth of these stories is what a lot of people really enjoy. His universe is broad enough to support more than just a trilogy, but he still has to wrap up THIS story in just one book.
    Brandon Sanderson faced something similar when tasked with completing the Wheel of Time series. Simply too much story to be told to wrap up in one book. I look forward to the next book in the series, and I enjoy re-reading the two he’s published. However I have no illusions that he will finish this trilogy anytime within the next several years.

  10. jim bean

    if i had known he took 18 years to finish the first one i wouldn’t have started reading this most beautiful fantasy. it looks like i might die before pat finishes it. i’m 73.

    1. Bob Narly

      It’s easy to come up with an idea for a story, it’s always harder to come up with a good ending, like the wheel of time books, series should have been a trilogy, but Robert Jordan’s rambling just kept it going(why did I waste my time). Lucky for us he died and we got Brandon Sanderson to finally finish it. My guess is he isn’t creative enough to find a way to end the series and he fears losing his popularity, because as long as he doesn’t publish people still think he is a good writer. I’m sure he already has more money then him or his family will ever need, so it will never be done for that reason.

      1. Joseph Smith

        This coming from Bob the New York Times bestselling author. Thank you for educating us on how easy it is to just come up with a best selling idea for a book and engage us with your inspiring thoughts on how the whole process works. I’m sure the late Robert Jordans family and the millions of fans who loved his series appreciates your thoughtful and heart warming comments on how good it is that he died. I do agree that there was some unnecessary “fluff” in the series, but I for one am thankful for the degree of character development that Robert painstakingly went to. I am certain that both Robert Jordan and other authors who don’t fit into your neat little trilogy world should be nothing if not apologetic to you for breaking the standard format of fitting everything into three books. How very interesting your world must be! As to the subject of Patrick Rothfuss… sigh… I believe he is already losing popularity, as there is truly little excuse for taking this long to finish something that millions of people have invested in, as Victor pointed out in an earlier comment. Even Robert Jordan, upon his untimely death, ensured that his series would be completed for the millions of fans who he made a commitment and a promise to. Rothfuss might have his reasons and for my part I just want him to stand up and tell us the truth. Yes, he does owe that to us. We are all investors in his work of art and commitment to a completion of that work. Thank you again Bob for your insight. I personally hope that a company like apple will come up with an interesting piece of tech similar to the thumbprint access on their phones. It will be a gauge of intelligence and when not up to the standards set forth by the individual website, the “unintelligent” person will not be able to express their opinion. Think of it, it could be glorious, thereby keeping idiots like yourself from publicly expressing their opinion at all except on websites where people of a similar “low intelligence” can all just congregate and carefully form more brilliant ideas just like yours!

  11. Tracie

    My hat is off to Kenny, as these are my favorite and the best most likely reasons for the delay. Thank you, And may I also suggest you write your version of the “probable” ending to The Doors of Stone.

  12. Vystrel

    We all saw the picture of the completed manuscript from like 5 years ago or whatever it was. The reason why he never appears to be working on the book anymore is because he isn’t. Because it’s done. He just decided he didn’t like it, or that it wouldn’t be well received, or that if he published it that it wouldn’t be his anymore, or who knows what pathetic other reason. He’s a manchild that completely takes his readers/customers for granted. People don’t buy books in a series without the expectation of the series being finished in a timely manner, and authors shouldn’t sell any books of a planned series if they don’t intend to take finishing the series very seriously. As in, ‘hey, this is my job, and I sold something to people on the promise of finishing what I started, so I better get to work.’. In my opinion, Rothfus doesn’t ever want/intend to finish/release the last book. He wants to pull a GRRM (who will also never finish his series now, mark my words) and let a TV show (and team of writers) finish it for him instead. He strikes me as an incredibly lazy guy, and I think this is a very appealing path for someone like him. In any case, his first two books were pretty good, but certainly not the spun gold some people act like. My real anger stems from the fact that I was misled and only realized it after investing many hours of my life on a false promise.

    1. Abenthy

      In the words of Rothfuss himself, authors “are not your bitch”. It’s his story, his property, and he can choose whether to share it with you or not. he does not have some kind of contract with you, or some obligation to appeal to your feelings. try writing for more than 4 hours every day and produce something of perfect substance, all the while having your own family and problems to deal with. you guys act like authors have nothing other then writing for you and it’s ridiculous.

      1. Victor Hester

        It’s been 7 years. He could write a half of a page per day and it would have been done last year. Your a fool if you think he is working on it. there is an implied contract here, so yes he owes me and the other millions of people the last book. So he is my bitch. He is lazy pc of crap, if he had any work ethic at all he would have finished this 5 years ago. You have 10’s of thousands of examples of people who wrote all 3 books in less than 5 years. Many in 3 or less. If he wanted to take 12 years or 20, totally 100% his prerogative, but then hold the first two until the thirds done. Don’t ask us (the people buying the books) to front you millions of dollars and then walk away. You excuse makers make me sick. “Oh, he is just trying to write the best book possible”. Yea right, he hasn’t touched this book in years and until you lame-o’s stop making excuses for him he will never change. I for one am going to boycott DAW books until they force this jerk to fulfill his contract.

        1. Hyde

          You ever thought that maybe he hasn’t released it is because he likes to troll people like you? I mean seriously lol getting so angry over a book… If I were him I’d totally do it. But to go on and to say that he owes you something is kinda stupid if you ask me. You were the one who made the decision to invest in his books. So why be angry about it? It’s not like you have any power to change the outcome. If you don’t like how things turned out then maybe plan your investments better. Personally I’m quite happy with the books and don’t mind the wait. Theres plenty else to do in life then wait around for a book.

      2. Mike Torrisi

        So let’s say you go to a restaurant. The waiter tells you that the special of the day is a 3 course meal for $30. You order that meal. Soup comes, it’s good. Salad comes, delicious. But then the waiter tells you that they’re just not happy with the main course. In fact, the kitchen is being remodeled into a winery. He asks if you’d like to donate some money to help pay for the remodel. You say that you’d just like your main course. Soon, because you have other things to do with your life. The waiter gets offended. The remodel is important, he tells you. He won’t even charge you for the main course. He’s not your bitch and stop bothering him about the damn food.
        You’re right. Rothfuss is not my bitch. But he is *a* bitch. Rothfuss the author is pretty good. Rothfuss the human being is a piece of shit. I was promised a 3 course meal and got soup and salad. Refund me the $50 I wasted on an incomplete story, and I’ll stop bitching about what a ripoff artist Pat is.

      3. Josh

        Um…yeah sure. You’re absolutely right about it being his property…however, as a previous poster commented, he’s also selling a product to people…and people are buying that product based on an implied agreement between author and reader – that the story they invest themselves in will be satisfying, and satisfying stories have ENDINGS. Now, CAN Rothfuss simply refuse to release his final book just to make a point if he chooses to? Of course he can. That’s his prerogative. However, it’s also our prerogative as readers to tell him to go f**k himself. I read the first book when I was 29 years old. I’m now a couple years away from 40 and book isn’t out yet. That sh*t is ridiculous. Realistically, most of us who read the first two books simply won’t care about the third book when it comes out, or we simply won’t have enough time in our lives to read the blasted thing – and he WILL release it. It WILL be published. He just may not get the response he wants from consumers when it is.

      4. J. B. M.

        Bullsh*t. I am a writer and I consider I’ve entered into a contract with my readers the moment my novels hit the shelves for sale. My readers have spent their hard-earned money and their precious time reading my novels and THAT in itself is a binding contract, at least to me. I admire Rothfuss as a writer because he clearly has a unique way with words, but what he’s doing to his loyal readers is bullsh*t. Plain and simple. He should be ashamed of himself not just as a writer but also as a man. What he’s done is akin to you going out to eat and ordering a steak dinner. The waitress brings you your salad . . . then a plate with your baked potato and tells you, “Sorry, hun, but it’s up to the chef how long he decides to make your steak. You’ll just have to wait until he’s ready.” And so you sit there… and sit there… and sit there until you eventually leave. Like most others commenting here I’m done with his books. There’s just too many other great writers to read and too little time to waste waiting.

      5. Meller G.

        1. Pat never said that, Neil Gaiman did. Get your quotes correct. And 2. Authors enter into a silent binding contract with their readers the moment they release a novel that is the first in a series which is a promise that they will continue writing the series in a timely manner until finished. Stop kissing Pat’s butt like it’s going to ascend you to the top of his fanboy mountain. A lot of readers bought Pat’s first novel because he literally said in 2007 the trilogy was already finished. Many of his readers would have never spent their hard-earned money buying or their precious time reading his books if they knew he was lying just to sell his first novel. Imagine taking your broken car to a mechanic and they promise you it’ll be fixed in 3 days so instead of taking it elsewhere you agree to have them fix it. Then a week goes by and they tell you the part they need is back-ordered only they have no idea when it’ll come in and you can’t take your car so you have to wait. And wait. And wait. But the mechanics aren’t your bitch, right? Seriously, how can you be THAT stupid??? 0_O

    2. Linda

      Exactly how I feel. We should all get a refund. If you went to the movies and the power went out 2/3 of the way through everyone would get a refund. Order ANYTHING with 1/3 of the parts missing and it gets sent back for a refund. Time and money was spent here and we were all cheated. Time for Mr. Rothfuss to make it right or Issue a refund.

  13. Gav

    In my opinion there are a couple of main reasons he hasn’t finished the book. Either he has written himself into a corner and is struggling with the conclusion of the book and it has been easier to concentrate on the Wordbuilders stuff and other pursuits as a distraction. Or he is trying to worldbuild (pardon the play on Wordbuild) in the sense that he is getting the merch out there like cards, t shirts, fancy cartography etc. As he agreed a TV deal for the first two books he may be waiting for those to become a complete commercial and financial success it would make sense to try and win over a whole new audience so when the last book is released the expectation has reached fever pitch.
    The guy has a family and deserves to make money like everyone else so I don’t begrudge him holding out for the ideal time to release the book but 7 years is too long and I get the fans frustration at this point. An author can run the risk of leaving it too long and people actually losing interest or forgetting large parts the backstory and becoming apathetic to rereading them again. I think if it drags on much longer (Beyond 2018) fans could become angry and turn away, especially if the TV show bombs.

  14. Phillipe Bojorquez

    I’ve rarely encountered a book as well written and captivating as the name of the wind series, so I can understand fans eagerness to want to know when to finish a novel. I think the point of the stories to me was that stories encapsulate stories, and depending on the speaker, or perspective, the mythology of those stories change, and by doing so change us. I think, though unfortunate, the wait for the final book is a story, one wth many perspectives, its clear to me how it has changed many people from tolerable fans of fantasy, into angry children, upset that they were not given what they consider theirs.
    Something i learned growing up on a reservation is that you cannot own a mans story, just as you cannot own a mans spirit. If attempted to capture it, you cage a force but lose the vessel that guides it. Both separated and longing. There are so many beautiful works of fiction out there, and so many ways to engage our minds in myth that i hope others find their way to deserving authors while waiting for one of their favorite series to finish. I have found some truly outstanding novels to bid my time.
    If Patrick ever reads these things, best of luck man, in all you do. When the novel is ready, I’ll be ready but until then, im chasing the name of the wind in the real world.

    1. leslie sorrells

      After my 5th time reading books 1&2 I was prepared to be upset.. again. Your comment brought me back into my own space and allowed me to access what I also learned from my heritage. Thank you for the solid reminder of where I came from.

    2. Daniel

      You dont get it. We dont want to force him into anything. The only thing we do is complain about him not publishing a book in 2018 when it was said to be released 2012, without him giving us enough reason to expect acceptance from his fans. Not only that, he even dares to act pissed of when asked about bis book even tho there are enough reasons to be asking this question (See above)

      1. Michael

        Yes, and what is it you are getting out of complaining? Reinforcement that the wait is too long, that Pat is bad for breaking down on this (this is my opinion on what’s actually going on, that he had/is having a breakdown), that you get to be right and justifiably angry? None of that changes the fact that the book isn’t out. None of that makes you happier overall (since you spend energy being angry to get that positive little bump when someone agrees). What it does do is train you to be angry about his books, which is a shame, as you let your expectations poison your appreciation for what is. Those three books and short story are beautiful, poignant, fun, heartbreaking, driven, flowing, morose, and that contrast makes its own kind of music.

  15. Tom Sante

    I waited years for book two of Winds of War by Herman Wouk (War and Remembrance) so I guess I can wait a bit longer for The Doors of Stone, however I’m dying here…please…let’s get it published.

  16. Tyre Washington

    I’m giving up on this series, just as the author has given up on me! Nobody would even know who he was if it wasn’t for us investing in him to begin with!! Now he’s too big for his true, original fans?! It’s like a slap in the face. I’m getting antsy waiting for Sanderson’s Stormlight book 3. But at least I KNOW it won’t take 7 years!! Rothfuss is never going to finish and I will never support anything he’s involved in!

  17. Rohan Raj

    Who’s Bast and Kenny? And what is this kvothe we are talking about. And I knew the names you mentioned here like “the name of the wind” and “the wise asss’ fear or so”, oh yeah it was a funny cartoony story I read some years ago. Come to think of it I was looking forward for a cartoon show with all that Tom and Jerry colorful stuff.

    1. Andy

      The real reason he didn’t release book 3.
      He is selling his soul to Hollywood do that they can turn in into the hobbit.

  18. not4me

    All I have to say is: I will read Doors of stone, but I will not pay for it. If he won’t finish it he should have said so years ago and been done. If he can’t finish it, fine. If he doesn’t want to, fine. Collectively, his fans have given him fame, $, a way to start a nonprofit using said fame… His story is his, but I will never trust him to actually finish something again . Given, he is not our “bitch,” however, he does owe us something. If anyone knew how long it would be between the 2nd and 3rd books who would have bought it? Where would he be if no one bothered to read anything he wrote just because he won’t finish it and gives lame excuses? Just be honest, whatever the reason, it’s better than being defensive, he should just come clean and tell us. “I F…ing hate this story now” would be better than what we’re getting. Just seems super entitled to not complete the story so many people have been mislead into investing in and not give a compelling reason as to why he has essentially conned us into collectively giving him a career that he is no longer willing to earn.

  19. Bob Marley

    I am lucky enough to pick up the series from not too long ago from 2015, and the second book took until mid-2016 to finish. However I can not imagine the feelings of disappointment some fans feel who started back 2007 when ‘The Name of The Wind’ was released. Patrick Rothfuss has the best and tolerable fans and I hope he does not destroy that loyalty.

  20. Blake

    My question, why the veering away from DAWS books? Is Pat fight a battle between publishers? Is Pat done with some politicle B.S. DAWS has in play, while lately all his works have been published through subterranean lately? Considering Patrick Rothfuss is pretty busy and publishing out of another publisher, can only tell me that something dirty in the background might be going on with DAWS.

  21. Betty

    I think other authors should write their versions of book 3 as they see the plot playing out – who knows there may be several really excellent and very different alternative endings – and the pleasure of punishing Patrick for being so slow…

    1. Erich Honzak

      Brandon Sanderson would be the one to do it. He’s an awesome writer. Stormlight Archive (crazy good) or Mistborn…

      1. Travis

        Brandon Sanderson also has a “% complete” on his website for each book he is currently working on. The man is a beast when it comes to cranking out amazing books. He finished The Wheel of Time for Robert Jordan, I think he would do an amazing job on The Doors of Stone!

      2. Mason Wheeler

        Sanderson has actually said, specifically, that this is not a world he would do a good job writing in, because the prose is just too different from his style.

  22. Loyal

    My father died of Cancer this last summer. He will never see the last book in the series. I survived it. I remember we both had chemo on the same day once. He was in Texas, and I in Iowa. We called each other and actually spoke some of the books and many things. If the book is indeed finished as this thread suggests, I wish my father and possibly many fans who have possibly passed on could have read it. Not as some cheesy dying wishes, but as something that could have helped them in their last days. Simple joys, we all take for granted. Talking about a common book series with someone as your day was otherwise full of some suffering and harshness as the world reminds us of our own mortality. I am good now. Two rounds with cancer and I am what we call “a survivor”. Some surgery, chemo treatments, and tons of tests, I am free for now. I get to play with my kids, go to work, and I am blessed. I keep these books from my kids for now. I let them read pretty much the rest of anything I own. I just tell them they are not finished and not worth starting until they are. They appear to get it for now.

    1. Jason

      Hey there, brother. I can really appreciate your comment here. I also beat cancer a few years ago, with the docs telling me that the statistical chances I would live out the year were very low. It’s incredibly touching that you and your dad fought it together. About this third book: I’m not even sure I want to read it any more. I loved the first one. I’m certain the author told the press and his fans that we wouldn’t have to worry about waiting for the next two because they were already written and he was going to make sure they were released like clockwork annually. He made a big deal about it, really. Talk about eating your words. The second book was not what I expected when it finally arrived; I enjoyed it, but as oversized as it was, it still felt like a continuing preamble. 2 books of inflated exposition in a trilogy is downright weird. Um, when do the EVENTS happen? Kvothe still didn’t even know who the dang Chandrians were. You know, the primary antagonists? Anyway, this far into waiting for the third book and I’ve got to admit the appeal has soured. His writing is wonderful. His influences are so clearly matched to my own. I know his dad died, hes a dad himself, etc. and I am certainly not callous to that. But I am a musician, and I often ask myself when I play shows: how much am I doing this for the people I am sharing my art with, and how much am I doing it for me? It’s a mix, of course. I’ve read much of Pat’s bloggings and interviews and webisodes, and I’ve just finally concluded that he seems to genuinely have lost touch with his fans. When confronted with the outcry at delays, he demonstrates flippancy, countermeasure (we should appreciate the difficulty for HIM), and downright anger, but very little empathic accountability. Just like a little kid who won’t admit they’ve done something wrong even when they know they have. It seems as though, throughout this whole screwup, he’s decided that he’s always been doing this whole thing entirely for himself, not for his readers to at all. Yours is not even close to the first experience I have heard relating to avid fans of his series not living to read the conclusion. That’s heavy, man. The Wheel of Time being left unfinished by Jordan is still on everyone’s mind, too. I’ve never encountered Rothfuss addressing this kind of actual gravity to the situation. He should. I’m soured on the third book, man. Wish it didn’t pan out like that. Thanks for your comment. It would be awesome if Patrick Rothfuss would appreciate a comment like yours as much as I do. Peace n prosperity.

  23. andrew

    His right to make us wait. His right to act like a child when it comes to his books. But many of us are so sick and tired of waiting we’re getting resentful. We don’t even have an idea of where he’s at. None of us would be offended if he turned it into a four or five part series I think…
    If he ever releases it… I just don’t think his fans will be there. He’s right to say there are other authors to enjoy, but that’s a part of the problem. Lol He’ll pass into obscurity as we lose all interest.
    This is honestly the last time I’m googling his book. I’m just not wasting time with this guy’s work. :/ I just don’t care about his characters anymore. All I feel when I think of kvothe is frustration, irritation, and disappointment. Lol
    I sure as shit won’t be buying any new books into any of his new series. Lol

    1. Chris

      Same. Kvothe was interesting and a really wanted to see what would be revealed about the history of his character and how he got to where we had found him… but that was a DECADE ago. I feel that candle has burnt out.

    2. Bobby Caldwell kid

      I’m betting he is not smart enough to figure out how to make it more than 3 books (as it will need to be to finish). Like bandits burn down the village (can’t remember it’s name since I read it so long ago)) and the chronicler, kvothe, and bast have to hit the road and go on a final mission. Kvothe could spend several more days telling the story amd then a final book with the last day completing the storey and idk… becoming king? I’m with the last post however. . Will not be BUYING or looking forward to ANYTHING Patrick Rothfuss has to write. He is a chump and money Grubbing whore

  24. Dougan Simpson

    But wait, he has time to RELEASE the ” Slow regard of silent things” first and not the third book.
    Here, let me act all philantrophical in the meantime; with worldbuilders
    It appears like a ploy, with the primary intent of MONEY.
    Where can you get the most money in merchandise, TV shows, games, spinoffs etc. Milk those outlets as much as POSSIBLE. Get those directors , gamemakers xyz; milk them purple. And no its no Game of Thrones, if that what he is trying to make on par with. It NEVER will be.
    There comes a point where you just get over the book, I’m starting to forget parts of it already and trust me, I’m over it.
    I looking more into new fantasy authors now, who can actually deliver!

    1. Ravus

      Meanwhile I’m looking at old fantasy writers who did deliver.
      I’ve just ordered the complete works of Jules Verne, I’ve read all the works of Tolkien, including the work published by Christopher; I’ve reread Narnia, which I haven’t done since I was a child; I’ve even thought about trying to finishing Tales from Earth Sea.
      Thanks to Rothfuss and GRRM, I’ve lost faith in authors to finish what they start.

  25. Jeremy H

    I first started reading this series when I was laying in a hospital bed after being injured in Iraq. The first book was sent to me by a caring individual that I did not know. I read that book from cover to cover. Never wanting to put it down. As soon as I finished the book, I immediately ordered the second book. Never in all my years of reading has an author captured my imagination such as Patrick Rothfuss. I’m upset that its taking this long for the 3rd book to come out but that doesn’t mean I won’t read it when it does. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King had a span of almost 20 years and a near death experience before he finally finished the series.

    1. Ben

      But King did write other books, Gunslinger was a project that came full circle be hapstance.
      Rothfuss has written two books in over ten years, just two, so he’s not exactly burning up the literary world.
      I’m more excited about Player One.

      1. Ricardo Walker

        You know he’s written other books besides Kingkiller works in 2007 and 2011? Not just those 2 books.

  26. Luqman bin saffiudin

    I honestly, don’t understand what in the hell he is doing ? I just saw him scratching his ass and waving off questions on Newsweek about Doors of stone. Apparently he has years of material written up, but he can’t be passed revising them. Or maybe it is a money play. It Is SEVEN YEARS since the last book. How insane is that. I don’t see any of the other top fantasy authors doing that. No way in hell, will I support a franchise from this. Dream on mate !

  27. Lynai

    Two authors in my entire life I have kicked to the curb due to huge waits between books in a series. Rothfuss and Martin. Bye guys, I missed you already, so I wont be missing you anymore!
    Thank you HBO for stepping up to bat and giving us an ending for GOT.

    1. Bladnoch

      Yep, I don’t really care about GoT or Kingkiller Chronicles anymore. At least GoT will get an ending of sorts with the HBO series, and at this point I’m fine with that. I don’t really give a crap what GRR does with the series at this point.
      Rothfuss though, I just don’t get it. He has a ton of excuses for not doing anything, they all boil down to whining about how he just wrote for fun and now it’s a job and it’s hard. I guess I’ll play my tiny violin for him.
      The only author I trust to finish any series at this point is Brandon Sanderson. That dude can crank out some content, quality content at that.

      1. Daniel

        Michael Stackpole, Steve McHugh, Eric Asher, Jim Butcher, Brent Weeks, Larry Correia, Terry Mancour, there are tons of good authors out there with series that are complete or that they are busily working on. Asher, particularly, is a favorite of mine.

  28. Peter

    I one of the people who believe the delays for Martin and Rothfuss are due to the influence of the TV series. If the ending isn’t known, more people will watch the series, they get hooked. If you already know how it ends, some of the tension is lost. With the Harry Potter Series, the book creates a tension at the end, Harry is convinced he’s fated to die. If you’ve read the books, the tension isn’t the same at the same point in the movie. You know how it ends.
    Game of Thrones really exploits this well. main characters get killed off, the series has diverged from the books, anything can happen. There’s still the excitement of trying to figure out how it’ll end, what will be revealed. If the book series was finished, it now becomes “how well did they do the book”
    We won’t be seeing Doors of Stone until the movies are completed. And if they do the “split 3 books into 4 movies” take on it, we’ll be waiting another 10 years.

  29. Heather

    My son and I have been waiting and waiting and waiting…and then to learn of the TV series…and now waiting…and still nothing. And he’s belligerent about it when asked. I will never start a series that is not finished yet again…and I wish I could say for sure that I won’t read book #3 if it ever comes out…but I can say that I would never buy another book written by him.

    1. Joseph

      I hit the point of no return today. Done. Period. If someone put the book into my hands and I had absolutely nothing else in the world to do, I wouldn’t read it at this point.
      Adios, Patrick Bookkiller!


        I am almost to that point Joseph, I’ve now reread the books 4 times!! Yes i discover something new every time, but I would like to discover something new in the 3rd book and reread the entire series over and over. Not just a portion of the series leaving me bereft and wanting for an ending…

  30. Justin

    I’m at the point now where I’m actually pissed off. Patrick Rothfuss is very belligerent. So when the book does come out, I’m not going to buy it. I’m going to pirate it. And when I finish it, I’m finished with Rothfuss. I won’t read anything by him ever again.

    1. Steve

      I’m right there with you The fact that he was taking donations to determine whether he would play a video game or finish his book was just offensive Rothfuss you are just sad

      1. Gino

        Chiming in here, I’m just as infuriated as you are. Blackened damn, Rothfuss! At least tell us if you’re even planning on finishing the series at this point.

        1. Justin

          Hahaha, good luck with that, mate. Personally I’ve just started the Iron Druid Chronicles. There are like 9 or so books already and they are great so far. Not sure how I missed them these past years.

    2. Ricardo Walker

      I want to agree. I get that impatient when I google the publications dates, 2007, 2011, ???. But his writing. It’s like honey and foie gras and creme brûlée. Even angry I have to admit I can’t name someone who consistently writes finer prose, sentences I read 3 times or more before turning the page, to savor them. Then I get to the last page of book 2 and I become Bast in the last scene standing over Rothfuss lol

      1. Justin

        No, it isn’t. Rothfuss is like Terry Goodkind 2.0. Absolute douche canoe. Good, fun books, but the arrogance and the attitude are such a turn of, I don’t care if I ever find out what happens to Kvothe or Richard.
        I hope those of you holding out get what you are waiting for, but I think you are setting yourselves up for disappointment.

          1. Merguez

            Oh I’m absolutely certain you can come back in another two years and the book will still not be published.
            I resigned myself to the fact that the story ended incomplete – if book 3 ever should be released I’d probably read it (second hand only, since I won’t pay Rothfuss and his publisher a single cent anymore).
            And then PR is done for me. No more books from him, ever.

  31. Joseph

    Well, it seems that some people are upset, understandably so. I however, am not. I am just grateful that authors capable of creating such wondrous works of fantasy still exist. I’m ok with waiting, and i will wait patiently until the series is concluded. I want a great ending to a great story, I am tired of seeing unsatisfying endings to what would otherwise be excellent stories. I haven’t read an author that I have enjoyed this much since Tolkien, and I truly believe that if Rothfuss makes me wait 12 more years, then I will enjoy re-reading the series as a whole that much more. Storytelling is an art, we should all be grateful that he has seen fit to share it with us. If he wants to take more time to ensure that he is satisfied with it, who are we to judge an artist’s view of “acceptable”. I am not so purile as to give up on a Master Storyteller for my own lack of patience.

    1. Justin

      Fangirls like you are the reason Patricks head swelled so much that he thinks normal people will wait a decade for book 3.

    2. Daniel

      There may be some truth to what you say. And yet I still remember my disappointment when I learned Louis L’Amour died before writing a sequel to The Walking Drum. At least the story was at a decent stopping point. I really don’t want the same to happen to Mr. Rothfuss. If these books truly are a prequel, I think I will stop with Kingkiller 3 and then after he has published another complete series I will read it.

    3. Scott

      Read some Brandon Sanderson, my friend. Even Rothfuss acknowledges that he wishes he could be as good as him, and the man publishes about an average of three books per year–all pure perfection.

  32. Justin

    Came back to laugh at the fact that Patrick has said the Kingkiller Chronicles is just a prologue. LOL. Any of you going to live long enough to finish this series, given the rate of which the books are released?

    1. David

      I hope so. When the first book came out I was a young man, now I’m middle aged. I’ve learned my lesson from Patrick though; I will never again commit to a new series from an author unless I know his style well enough to trust that he’ll keep cranking them out at a reasonable rate. I appreciate that that’s rough on new authors but they can take that up with him.

      1. Shane

        Here we are 3 years down the road from this articles release and I’m still waiting for Doors of Stone. It’s coming up on a decade since we last had a chance to catch up with our old friend Kvothe. Seems like nowhere near yesterday we tramped through the forest searching for a dastardly band of bandits or plucked a tune on our trusty lute at the grand Eolian.
        Perhaps the current pandemic will whisk away our untrustworthy author and we will forever wonder what might have been. I can’t say I regret my time I’ve spent in the wonderful world Rothfuss has created but I’m most assuredly frustrated at the lack of not knowing. Perhaps it’s a delaying tactic for a film or TV series. Maybe Rothfuss is reworking the story and trying to make perfection. Could even be he’s a spiteful bastard who enjoys letting down his fans and being an arrogant prick about the whole situation. No matter which theory you choose to believe one things for sure, Kvothe wouldn’t abide it, not one bit.

  33. Cédric

    There is a huge difference in hype between an ongoing trilogy and an ended one. Once again comparing Rothfuss’ trilogy with Martin’s work is spot on. Rothfuss, like Martin, is making a lot more money from his unfinished story than he would if it was concluded.

  34. jason tilli

    I regret having read the first two installments. I regret giving this man and the publishing company ANY money. I regret supporting his charity. I regret making the assumption that I was watching the emergence of the next big author when i read T.N.O.T.Wind.
    I’ll go throw my money at authors that actually care about their audience.
    Aleron Koing
    Brandon Sanderson
    Stephen King
    James Hunter
    Dakota Krout

  35. Olga

    Well, now my only hope is that Mr. Pat will survive Corona virus! I was waiting, then tired of waiting, then furious, then two kids and wrinkles on my face 🙂

  36. Kenny Young

    My cousin who is an aspiring novelist, and quite good says Patrick is a better writer than Brandon Sanderson. lol. Brandon can actually plot and finish a story! I actually didn’t like name of the wind. I thought the prose was excellent, the mythology building exceptional in parts, but from a plotting perspective, not a lot happened. Side characters were bland, and we know nothing more about the truth behind myth and the chandrian at the end of the novel, or why his parents were killed, then we did at the beginning. He set up a premise for a mystery and a revenge—and then didn’t deliver. So why should I act like he is the best writer ever if he can’t deliver on his plot premises? Just because he writes amazing prose? I haven’t read book 2, and part of the problem is my expectations may have been too high. Maybe I should give it another go. Personally I think based on interviews he can’t stick the ending, and all the setup about an amazing story is a bunch of hot air, in the end it didn’t come together, and there was nothing epic or amazing about the third book. If anything the third book from a story telling perspective is probably terrible–hence why he can’t publish it. Now if it all comes together beautifully I will eat my words. My family has given me crap for not liking his work, but I find that many people are distracted by the prose and don’t see that the story really isn’t that great. Unless there is something that I am missing. It kind of irritates me when people compare him to Martin. Martin has a far more complex world, with far more complex plotlines. I find Patrick opposite to Brandon. Brandon writes pedestrian prose, at times stiff dialogue, especially between male and female characters, but has interesting characters and is amazing at plotting and setting things up in a logical way. Patrick has amazing prose, but can’t plot cohesively, and so stating that he is a better writer is well false. Because in the end who cares how good the prose is if the story doesn’t come together correctly.

  37. a saved soul

    Glad I saw this blog post before starting the series. He must be having problems. Maybe the publisher paid him in advance? They are in worse off than all you poor readers of an uncompleted trilogy.

  38. Chiepah

    My guess would be the book is actually done, but any time anyone askes when the book will be done he adds a week to the release date. I suspect the date is now summer of 3157… give or take a month.

  39. Rudolph Sotelo

    I bought the first book when it first came out in 2007. When i first started it, i was reluctant to finish it because i didnt want to be stuck waiting for the rest of the series. Then i read a post by him on his own webpage back then saying “I finished the entire story in college and have spent the last 7 years fine tuning them and trying to get them published. The publisher picked up this finished story i had to seperate into 3 books, so they will all be released in close succession no need to worry”. I am sure plenty of other people read this before he erased it from existance and he now denies ever saying it. I am sure his publisher told him if he wanted to make any money he would have to milk it for everything its worth. So everyone that is sticking up for him and saying we need to wait for greatness needs to realize that we are being strung along on purpose and he has already funished the work. He said the publisher picked up his finished series as a whole not just the first book. The entire series wich he had already rewritten and perfected for 7 years starting in college. This is the sad truth. That he knew he wouldnt make as much money that way and he could only get mega rich by screwing his fans. I told my mother who was just diagnosed with cancer to read it in 2008. Good thing she hated it. ” She was into harlequin romance novels” . I just wish all of his fans could of read his online statments before he erased it so he wouldnt be able to hide who he really is. And what he is putting them through.

  40. AntGod

    Its hilarious coming here and reading the post and all the comments at 2023.

    Twelve years.

    I wonder if some other dude will enter at 2033 and ROFL on us all (Pat deceased and no book).

    I am just laughing so hard at this point, life is so meaningless.

    Cheers and thanks.

    1. PR LAZY

      That would be a fantastic turn. Then his estate could give his notes to someone like Brandon Sanderson, who actually publishes his books when he says he will and isn’t a huge liar, who could actually finish writing the book, just like he did for Robert Jordan when he finished up the Wheel of Time.

  41. Bored of Stone

    I used to recommend this series to people, but for the last five years I haven’t. I don’t want any more people holding me responsible for waiting.

    Every now and then I think of Kvothe and do a search for Patrick Rothfuss and every now and then I am disappointed.

    If I die before book three is released, I’ll be waiting for Mr. Rothfuss at the pearly gates, sharpening my sword.

  42. Patrick Rothfuss is LAZY

    Ummmmm…. He’s Lazy? Or, he is so obsessed with George R.R. Martin that he has lost his own personal identity.


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