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Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss(1973- )
Patrick Rothfuss is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point with a B.A. in English. He earned his Masters at Washington State University. His debut novel, The Name of the Wind, is a New York Times bestseller and 2007 Quill Award winner. He is the brainchild behind the Worldbuilders charity through Heifer International. Here’s Patrick Rothfuss’s website. Be sure to read Mark’s interview with the Reverend Rothfuss.

The Kingkiller Chronicle

The Kingkiller Chronicle — (2007-2014) Publisher: My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as “quothe.” Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I’ve had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it’s spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree. “The Flame” is obvious if you’ve ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it’s unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire. “The Thunder” I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age. I’ve never thought of “The Broken Tree” as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic. My first mentor called me E’lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them. But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant “to know.” I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me. So begins the tale of Kvothe — from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more — for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe’s legend.

Patrick Rothfuss The Kingkiller Chronicle: 1.  The Name of the Wind 2. The Wise Man's FearPatrick Rothfuss The Kingkiller Chronicle: 1.  The Name of the Wind 2. The Wise Man's Fear

Related novella:

The Name of the Wind: Doesn’t disappoint

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

You know how sometimes a book, or a movie, or a concert gets so hyped up in the press and you have such high expectations that when you finally get around to reading/seeing it, it disappoints? That's what I was worried might happen when I decided to read The Name of the Wind. I purposely came to it late, hoping to wait until Patrick Rothfuss was nearly finished with the trilogy before I starting it. But, the book has received so much attention that it became inexcusable for me, as the editor of this website, not to read it. So I did — in two days. (It's a huge book.)

And I'm very happy to report that The Name of the Wind did not disappoint — I was completely enthralled. The pace was quick and never lagged. The plot was tight and had just the right amount of mystery — I always understood what w... Read More

The Name of the Wind: Why people read fantasy

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Over Christmas break I managed to catch up on some of the books that other reviewers have raved about that hadn’t yet made it to the top of my TBR mountain. The best book by far was Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind. Since Greg, Kat and Angus have already reviewed this book, I don’t think much needs to be said at this point about the plot. Instead I want to respond to the other reviews, which I had not read in detail until after finishing the book.

I agree with Kat that Rothfuss has done something special. I can usually spot a Harry Potter knockoff at 20 paces, but even though there are some superficial similarities between the characters and plot devices, at no point when I was reading The Name of the Wind did I think of H... Read More

The Name of the Wind: Imaginative but conventional

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

You know what you’ve got the moment you catch sight of Patrick Rothfuss’s debut novel, The Name of the Wind. There it is, your standard, big, fat, epic fantasy. If you’re an experienced fantasy reader, you can tell from the cover of the guy with the lute (one of two dust jackets with which the book was published) that it’s heroic fantasy in a world with magic, Faery, fighting and words of power. And, in fact, upon reading the novel you will find that all the tropes are here, from the university where magic is taught to mysterious beasts to the power of cold iron.

However comfortable the tropes are, though, this book offers something new within a familiar framework. For one thing, The Name of the Wind is so well-written that you will reach page 662 wishing this weren’t the first of an unfinished trilogy (though you’ll be happy that Volume Two, The ... Read More

The Wise Man’s Fear: A heftier tale with a much broader scope

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

If, like me, you were so impressed with The Name of the Wind that you neglected all but the most pressing business until you turned the final page, you may have decided to give it a quick re-read in anticipation of the sequel. If you did, you probably spotted this quote in Chapter 43:
There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.
After a long but worthwhile wait, we now have the second novel in The Kingkiller Chronicle, and its title refers directly back to the quote: The Wise Man’s Fear. (And by the way, if you didn’t feel like rereading book one, Patrick Rothfuss posted a wonderful web comic recap on his blog).

S... Read More

The Wise Man’s Fear: There’s a better shorter book inside

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle is the story behind a legend — the real truth about the famous young man who has come to be known, for various reasons, as Kvothe the Arcane, Kvothe the Bloodless, the Kingkiller, etc. There are many names for, and stories about, Kvothe, but nobody knows which ones are true and which are merely based on some small kernel of truth. The Chronicler, though, is getting the scoop. He’s sitting down with Kvothe, now a humble innkeeper (how did that happen?!), over three days to learn the true story and to write it down. The Name of the Wind was Day One — when we learned about Kvothe’s early childhood and his goal to be admitted to the university so he could find out about the Chandrian — the strange beings who killed Kvothe’s parents and who nobody else seems to believe in.

... Read More

The Wise Man’s Fear: 43 hours of amazing story on audio

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

I finally got to read Patrick Rothfuss’ The Wise Man’s Fear. Life and my TBR pile would not allow for me to tackle this book as quickly as I would have liked. Luckily, Brilliance Audio sent me the audiobook and I was able to squeeze it in on my commute to work. Like many fans of The Name of the Wind, I was anxious to see how the story of Kvothe would progress. I was also anxious to see if Mr. Rothfuss could “call down lightning” twice. To say the least, I was not disappointed.

Fanlit reviewers Robert and Stefan both echo the majority of my thoughts on The Wise Man’s Fear. They’ve done an excellent job in analyzing the novel, so I will not take my review to that level. Instead I’ll keep it simple and give a few of my likes and dislikes about the novel.
... Read More

The Wise Man’s Fear: Kvothe is given free rein

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

At one point in The Wise Man’s Fear, the second novel in Patrick Rothfuss’s THE KINGKILLER CHRONICLE, Kvothe is advised to play tok (a board game) in order to produce a beautiful and interesting game rather than just playing to win. Rothfuss appears to have adopted a similar maxim when it comes to writing. The Wise Man’s Fear invites readers to sink into the text in order to revel in the aesthetic moment rather than marching toward resolution. It’s a bold approach, and it allows Rothfuss to attempt something richer than “just” a page-turner with swords and magic.

Adolescent Kvothe is still at the university when The Wise Man’s Fear begins, a setting that Rothfuss confidently manipulates to highlight Kvothe’s strengths. Put briefly, Kvothe is a precocious un... Read More

The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Suggests rather than reveals

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

After I read Patrick Rothfuss's novella, The Slow Regard of Silent Things, I spent some time leisurely cleaning my house, enjoying putting things "just so." Reading it put me in a meditative mood, the mood to organize my life and, in doing so, organize my mind.

This KINGKILLER CHRONICLES story follows Auri, the blonde urchin who befriends Kvothe in The Name of the Wind. Readers get to experience a week of Auri's life in the Underthing, the maze of tunnels and ruins that run under the University. During this time, she forages for food, uncovers hidden objects, and prepares for the arrival, in seven days' time, of a guest — unnamed, but suggested to be Kvothe.

In addition to reading the manuscript, I listened to Rothfuss’s narration. It was lovely to hear this in his own voice; I have spent so... Read More

Other Opinions: The Slow Regard of Silent Things

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss fantasy book reviewsI admired this. However, even though it’s really short, I felt like the conceit went on too long. Auri has a beautiful way of looking at the world, but the personification of every object she encounters wore on my nerves after a while. All objects are coy, bashful, condescending, shy, eager, restless, anxious, etc. The novel is carefully and lovingly crafted (just like Auri crafts things carefully and lovingly), but I found that I only like little bits of Auri and not a 3.5 hour chunk of her. ~Kat Hooper

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below by Patrick Rothfuss (story) and Nate Taylor (art)

Author Patrick Rothfuss and artist Nate Taylor have teamed up again to bring us another picture book about the princess who lives in a marzipan castle and her stuffed teddy bear named Mr. Whiffle. You don’t need to have read the first book, The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed (reviewed by Justin) to enjoy their latest adventure.

In The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below, the princess, whose background we know nothing about, has somehow acquired a baby brother. The princess isn’t too impressed with the boy for several reasons — he’s noisy, he’s perpet... Read More

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss

The Princess and her teddy bear, Mr.Whiffle, live in a marzipan castle and spend their days in various childhood adventures such as fighting pirates, squashing stuffed toy rebellions, and hiding from monsters under the bed. Patrick Rothfuss’s simple and cheery writing style and Nate Taylor’s beautifully comic artwork, full of clean lines and plenty of little details to look for, add to the childish atmosphere.

But The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed is not a children’s book. It’s a picture book for adults, and there will be a lot of adults who hate it. That’s right, and I mean Haaaaaaate it. Why? Because they won’t get it — they’ll be looking for a message that just isn’t there. There is no deep hidden meaning that someone must be enlightened enough... Read More

Epic: Legends of Fantasy: Lives up to its title

Epic: Legends of Fantasy by John Joseph Adams (editor)

Epic: Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams, is an anthology of stories written by some of the biggest names in epic fantasy. The book clocks in at over 600 pages not just because it’s very difficult to tell short epic stories (though some of these authors do manage to pull it off) but because here the authors are not just telling epic legends, they are legends in and of themselves. George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Paolo Bacigalupi, Brandon Sanderson, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kate Elliott, Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, Aliette de Bodard, Michael Moorcock, Melanie Rawn, Mary Robinette Kowal, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Trudi Canavan,  and Juliet Marillier all contributed stories to this volume.

Epic: Legends of Fantasy opens with a novella by Robin... Read More

Rogues: A diverse and satisfying collection

Rogues edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

Rogues, a short-story anthology by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is a marvelously diverse collection of stories and genres, tied together by those scoundrels, those tricksters, those rascals, those rogues that you can't help but love. I listened to it on audiobook and loved the experience, especially because a few of the readers were actors from Game of Thrones.

When I picked this up, I was most excited to hear two stories in particular: "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back," by Neil Gaiman, and "The Lightning Tree," by Pat... Read More

A Chat with the Reverend Patrick Rothfuss

FanLit thanks Mark Pawlyszyn for contributing this interview with Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Kingkiller Chronicle Day 1: The Name of the Wind. His sequel, The Kingkiller Chronicle Day 2: A Wise Man's Fear will be published in the future.

Mr Rothfuss won our first ever "Best Book of the Year" award (2007).

Mark: I think what I enjoyed most about The Name of the Wind is the lack of clichés and predictability. I loved that a certain mood would be set up, and in any Hollywood movie you'd expect the hero to start kicking butt or sleeping with the girl at those points, but then it veers off and the story just continues. 

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Patrick Rothfuss discusses his 2013 Fantasy Pin-Up Calendar

Today we welcome Patrick Rothfuss, author of THE KINGKILLER CHRONICLE. You probably know about Pat’s Worldbuilders charity that raises money for Heifer International, but did you know that he and artist Lee Moyer created a 2013 Fantasy Pin-Up calendar to raise money for Worldbuilders? Pat sent me a copy of the calendar (and a copy for one of you!), and then we talked about it. We’d love to hear your thoughts. One commenter will get a calendar.

Kat Hooper: Many of your readers know about Worldbuilders, the organization you formed a few year... Read More

Justin reports: GenCon Indy 2010

Just reports about his visit to GenCon. Comment for a chance to win a FanLit bookmark signed by R.A. Salvatore.

Each year in Indianapolis, thousands gather for what’s called “The Best 4 Days in Gaming.” Gencon Indy was held from August 5th to August 8th, 2010. This gathering of nerds is the largest of its kind in the country. If you are into Dungeons & Dragons or board games, this is your Mecca because over 8600 gaming-related activities are held over four days. Gencon is awesome, but you may be wondering how much it relates to fantasy. The truth is, without fantasy as inspiration, Gary Gygax would never have created Dungeons & Dragons. Without fantasy... Read More

The Gaming Gateway: Gencon 2012

Justin goes to Gencon!

Drizzt Do'Urden & Guenhwyvar at D&D booth

Games have been incorporating elements of traditional epic fantasy since at least the 1950's, but it wasn't until Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson introduced the world to Dungeons & Dragons that fantasy gaming really hit the mainstream. D&D merged fantasy storytelling with game mechanics and forever intertwined the two types of entertainment. Now there's an entire industry built around fantasy-based gaming.

Gygax started another tradition in 1968: Gencon, the largest gaming convention ... Read More

Justin reports on Gen Con 2013

Gen Con, which I attend nearly every year, is the largest RPG/Gaming convention in the world. For the last few years I have gone primarily as the eyes and ears of The fantasy genre and game playing have been hand in hand since the 70's, and maybe even further back if you count the various forms of story-based play acting and parlor games that have been played over the centuries. Gen Con is the culmination of all things Fantasy and game related. There are bigger conventions out there, such as Dragon Con and Comic-Con, but neither of those is as singularly focused on one element of the genre.

My goal when attending Gen Con for FanLit is to capture some images of crazy costumes, find out about upcoming Fantasy games, and meet cool Fantasy enthusiasts. This year I was only able to at... Read More