Patrick Rothfuss has quickly turned into one of my favorite authors of all time, and that’s saying a lot! The way he wields the theoretical pen is amazing and very inspiring. His ability to make his characters come alive, even those that are only in the story for short periods of time, sets him apart from many other authors I’ve read. If you enjoy a good story with very deep characters, you will love his work.
If you have never heard of him, I suggest checking out his first novel, The Name of the Wind and the second book in the King Killer Chronicle, The Wise Man’s Fear. For my take on The Name of the Wind, you can check out my first post in the Adventures With An Arcanist series Here.
Rothfuss’ “The Author” page on his website talks about how he became the writer he is. It is an inspirational story to someone like me who never really found a knack for any one thing in school. He talks about how, as he grew up, he often failed and never lived up to the potential that his parents knew was there. They encouraged him, even if they weren’t sure what he was good at.
During college, he floated around between majors and took a ton of different subjects for the fun of it, finally graduating with a bachelors degree in English.
The story of Kvothe’s life in the King Killer Chronicles was started during this time in his life and the first book was finished in only 7 years!
I joke about this, but it’s very common for writers to take a long time, especially on their first book (though it seems to be less and less so these days). It was also a side project that he never worked on full time, despite being very passionate about it.
Rothfuss got his break when he used part of his story of Kvothe and entered the Writers of the Future contest. He won this award and was published in Volume 18 of their anthology. He was flown to LA to attend a workshop, where he met his agent and his current editor from Daw Books.
As I mentioned above, I think Patrick Rothfuss’ true power is in his characters. You can tell he is passionate about each and every one he creates and he often goes the extra mile to make them ‘real’. I could only imagine how many different personalities he has floating around in his head!
If it wasn’t for these characters the story of Kvothe’s life might not be anything special. This isn’t because it’s not a compelling story or it lacks in any way, but it is so centered around the characters that it would not work with flat, lifeless ones.
It’s like watching a TV series where the characters are either not relatable or just plain bad. It doesn’t matter how good the plot is, you will most likely forget about the show faster than it took you to watch a single episode!
And I think this goes twofold for novels.
A good novel needs either stellar characters or a stellar plot, but can’t lack on either. The King Killer Chronicles relies on the stellar characters while still having a great plot, excelling over most other novels I’ve read in both areas.
It’s been 10 years since the first book was published and about 7 years since the second. The third was originally scheduled to be released in 2014, but due to things in his personal life, it is still unpublished. However, just recently it was announced that he is shooting for a mid-2018 release!
I think I’ve made it obvious that you should check out the books. They are some of the most well-written Fantasy books out there and on my short list for my favorite book of all time.
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