Tag Archives: Patrick Rothfuss

Best Books of 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, it seemed fitting to look back over the past year and share our favourite reads. There are some duplicates, and there are quite a few we didn’t review… but read on, and share your thoughts!

Meagan’s (ARamone):

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe

What if

What If? is a good read for scientifically-minded and just plain curious people alike. With often high-end science being explained in a down-to-earth, accessible way, this book is going to make you laugh while also making you think.

Dragons at Crumbling Castle, by Terry Pratchett

Dragons

A collection of Pratchett’s earliest work, written and published in his teenaged years, Dragons at Crumbling Castle gives us a look into the mind of a young but already skilled author. A true delight for all Pratchett fans, and a must-have for fans of his work.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss

slowregr

This book focuses on Auri, one of the most relatable characters in The Kingkiller Chronicles, and takes us through a typical week of hers. Rothfuss’ writing makes her odd logic and justifications seem perfectly normal, making this book a delightful read for any fan of the books.

Continue reading


Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss

slowregr

Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows….

In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world. 

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is, without a doubt, one of the best books I’ve read this year.

A short novella, only about thirty thousand words, The Slow Regard of Silent Things isn’t a story in the traditional sense. There is exactly one character, who says not one line of dialogue in the entire book; there’s no plot, or climax. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful book, and I wish I could see more like it.

To be clear, this is not a book for those who have not already read the first two books of The Kingkiller Chronicles; without the content and backstory they give, the book doesn’t make much sense. If you have read them already and then pick this up, however, it comes together wonderfully. The book is a week in the life of Auri, giving us fantastic insight into her mind and worldview and tantalising insight into her past. To us, the logic seems disjointed and odd, but everything makes sense in Auri’s mind. I’ve always particularly liked her and identified with her, and this book fleshed her out to an enormous degree; even if I didn’t understand the basis for her internal logic, the writing of the book drew me in and made me celebrate her victories and sympathise with her downfalls. I was drawn in completely for the entire book, and had to give it a hug when I finished. I only reluctantly put it down.

If you’re a fan of The Kingkiller Chronicles, pick up The Slow Regard of Silent Things; if you haven’t read The Kingkiller Chronicles, read them and then read the novella. You won’t regret it, and you might just discover you love a style of storytelling you’ve never even thought of before.

Overall rating: 5/5


Compilation of ALS Ice Bucket Challenges Completed by authors

For those who have been living under a rock for the past week or so, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a challenge to dump a bucket of ice on yourself. Once you’ve done so, you nominate three others to take up the challenge themselves. However, it’s not just doing it for the sake of doing it. The intent is to promote awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and to encourage donations to fund research and support. More information can be found here. (Link leads to ALS US, additional links have been included at the bottom of the post.)

There’s been no shortage of well-known people who have taken up the challenge, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, George Takei, Bill Gates, The Foo Fighters, and dozens of others. However, I’ve decided to round up videos from authors who have accepted the challenge.I know there’s likely quite a few that I’m missing, feel free to let me know of any, and I’ll add them to the post.

Patrick Rothfuss

Tad Williams (not on Youtube, it’s a Facebook video)

George R. R. Martin

Neil Gaiman

Brandon Sanderson

Jim Butcher

Stephen King

Alex Bledsoe

Dan Wells

Chuck Wendig

Hugh Howey

Pierce Brown

What’s been your favourite one so far? Any that I’m missing and need to be added? Let me know!


ALS Global

ALS Canada (English)

ALS Canada (French)

MND Association (England, Wales, Northern Ireland)

MND Scotland (Scotland)

Stichting ALS Nederland (Netherlands)

The ALS League of Belgium/ALS Liga België (Belgium)

Asociación ELA/EMN (Spain)

Asociación Española de Esclerosis Lateral Amiotrófica (ADELA) (Spain)

ALS-Vereinigung (Switzerland)

MND Australia

MNDA (New Zealand)

Associazione Italiana Sclerosci Lterale Amiotrofia (AISLA ONLUS) (Italy)

 


Unfettered Anthology edited by Shawn Speakman : Review


Unfettered-Cover

Normally in my reviews I’ll take a step back, and try to remove all bias. They’re formulaic: a description, the good, the bad, something else good, a general summary, and the release date of the novel, or the sequel, if there is one. That’s not something I did here. Be warned, this is a long one.

Unfettered is a fantasy anthology, containing stories from many of the biggest names in fantasy out there right now. It’s a wonderful amalgamation of talent, put together by and for the editor, Shawn Speakman. The anthology was put together in order to help Speakman’s medical debt after a fight with cancer back in 2011. The stories in this anthology are exactly what the title says — unfettered. They’re all unique; some take place in familiar worlds, while others are a step away into a different fancy of the authors.

I’ve met a bunch of the authors in the anthology, and for many of those I haven’t  yet had a chance to meet, I’ve read their books, talked to them online,  or heard things about them… and it’s one thing to know them and to think of them as being good people, but it’s another entirely, to realize just how caring, and how close the SF/Fantasy community is. If anything can show it, it’s this anthology — the 20 or so authors coming together to support one of their own in a time of need. It really is amazing, and it made this anthology all that much better. To me, it kind of served as an affirmation of the good that is out there.

I wasn’t entirely sure how to write this review — so, I’ve decided I will start at the beginning, and just have a few sentences for each of the stories. For some of them, I could write full reviews on, but I think it will be best this way.

Anyways, without further ado, the stories:

Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks:

This is an older story by Brooks, first published back in 1990, and served as a prototype of sorts for his Word and the Void series. It was an interesting read, and very different for me, as I’d only read his Shannara books previously. It’s an enjoyable read of self-discovery and overcoming challenges.

How Old Holly Came to Be by Patrick Rothfuss:

First off, don’t go into this story expecting a story from the Kingkiller Chronicles world; it isn’t. I’m not entirely sure on my feelings about this story, it’s very different and interesting. It’s written in a very rhythmic and almost simplistic way… I found it to be poetic, and rather sad.

The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams

This story was a bit of a fun twist on the old “Knight vs Dragon” story. In this one, the knight and the dragon work together to con the kingdom. I found it to be a cute read, well written and very enjoyable.

Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn

This was the first story of Vaughn’s that I’ve read, and I think it to be a good introduction to her writing. Her story contained a dynamic world, backstory, and characters — it felt to be that this was part of a novel, not just a short story.

The Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey

This one was another first for me, having never read her Kushiel series or anything else by her before. However, The Martyr of the Roses serves as a precursor to the Kushiel series, and serves as an interesting introduction to the world, though I did find myself feeling a bit lost at times.

Mudboy by Peter V. Brett

Brett’s story is probably amongst the top three stories I was looking forward to reading most in this anthology. Set in the Demon Cycle world, it’s the story of what would have been one of the main characters in the series. It was similar to that of Arlen, Rojer, and a few of the other characters in that it’s an encounter with the corelings. It was quite good, well written; and helps as a tie-over while waiting for book 4. (Plus, it included bacon!)

The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian

Instead of being a short story, this one was more of a novelette, or a novella. Set in the same universe as The Vault of Heaven, it had an interesting magic system based on music. There’s a lot of raw emotion in this story; frustration, anger, regret, grief and mourning. This story is written in response to the question: What would you write if you thought your friend was going to die?

The Coach With Big Teeth by R.A. Salvatore

I expected something very different when I saw that Salvatore had a story in the anthology, after all, I’ve read almost all of the Drizzt Do’urden novels, and yet, this was very different. This story was probably the hardest for me to get through, as it was a baseball story, following a young timid baseball player.

Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood

Lockwood’s story is another that I was really looking forward to. I grew up recognizing his art; seeing it on many of my favourite novels, and admiring his talent. So when I heard that he was going to step into writing, I had an immense curiosity as to if he could write as well as he could draw, and well.. I really enjoyed this story, it was interesting and well-written. I think Lockwood is a promising writer, and I look forward to reading more of his writing.

Heaven in a Wild Flower by Blake Charlton

I was really uncertain about this story at first, quite frankly I found it odd, and I wasn’t sure if that was in a good way or not. However, after a few short pages I found myself loving it. It has an interesting concept; the story was beautiful, and so very sad.

Dogs by Daniel Abraham

I was kind of at odds with this story; as with Salvatore’s story, it wasn’t really fantasy. However, after rereading it, I find that it was a good read, it’s a horror story more than anything, and quite well-written.

The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne

This story was a retelling of The Holy Grail story, only, it was very different. The changes to the story, featuring Attricus O’Sullivan (from The Iron Druid Chronicles) as Gawain, and as the finder of the Grail. It was certainly interesting, and not a bad read at all.

Select Mode by Mark Lawrence

This is a Jorg story from The Broken Empire novels, I found it to be a good read, and it certainly doesn’t require you to have read the series in order to understand what’s going on. Though, it does serve as a good introduction to Lawrence’s writing, and the series in general.

All The Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham

I don’t really have any words for this one other than “cute”. I heard Durham read this story back in November at the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto. It follows Michael Stein, the ghost of a dead cat who won’t let death get in the way of him caring for the girl he loves, and was his companion in life.

Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth

This is the origin story for Iris and Ivan from Bosworth’s Struck. It can be read without reading the novel. The story was interesting, though I think it may be easier to appreciate the story already knowing the characters.

Nocturne by Robert V.S. Redick

Redick’s story is another that took me a little while to get into before I enjoyed; however, after reading a bit of it I found it to be an engaging story. I don’t know if I’d say that it’s a great introduction to his writing, though, that could just be me.

Unbowed by Eldon Thompson

I haven’t read the Thompson’s Legend of Asahiel series yet, but this story serves as an introduction to Kylac Kronus. The series, and Thompson’s writing seem to be interesting and quite good, after reading the story I find myself looking forward to reading the series.

In Favour With Their Stars by Naomi Novik

Set in the Temeraire-universe, fans of Novik’s novels, and readers who haven’t yet picked them up will enjoy this story. I believe it serves as an intriguing introduction to her world, and writing. I’ve only read the first novel so far, but this story reminded me of how much I do enjoy her writing.

River of Souls by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

… Can I skip this one, please…? This story was extremely bittersweet. As a longtime Wheel of Time fan, I had reconciled that A Memory of Light would be it, then shortly after, I heard about this short story. So, there’s a lot of the same feelings, the knowledge that after so many years: this is it. River of Souls is a deleted scene from AMOL, featuring Bao and his time in Shara. Though, readers who haven’t read the series or AMOL should be wary of some minor spoilers.

The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan

The Jester is a standalone story that takes place after The Rose and the Thorn and before Theft of Swords; it features an adventure that Royce and Hadrian go on. This was quite possibly one of my favourite stories in the anthology, I found it to be a quite enjoyable read, and simply put, I love his writing.

The Duel by Lev Grossman

Set in the same world of his Magicians trilogy, fans of his writing and the series should enjoy this story. This was my first time reading a story by Grossman, and while he’s undoubtedly a talented writer, I couldn’t quite get into his story. Though, I intend on rereading it.

Walker and the Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks

The penultimate story in this anthology, it’s probably more along the lines of what I went into his first story expecting: a Shannara story. This story is exactly what the title says it is — a discussion between Walker Boh and the shade of Allanon. I enjoyed reading the interactions between the two. This story is a short deleted scene from one of the Shannara novels. Though, readers who have no yet read the Shannara series may find themselves lost. I’m not entirely sure.

The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman

Yet another bittersweet moment, though, that was mainly due to it being the final story in the anthology. This story is set in Speakman’s The Dark Thorn world, though, many years before the events of the novel. At first I was a bit put-off, as in the introduction he mentioned that it contains both vampires and urban fantasy — two things I tend to avoid, yet, I’m glad that I stuck through it, as it definitely was an enjoyable read and quite interesting.

Well, that’s my two-pence on each of the stories. I tried to keep it brief for each of them, not wanting to give anything away, while still sharing a bit of my opinion on each — I hope I succeeded in doing so.

I implore you to go out and get a copy of the anthology and support Shawn Speakman. He’s a deserving guy, and can really use the help. Plus, it IS filled with fantastic stories from some of the masters of fantasy, you’ll get a bunch of great reads, and snippets from authors you might not yet be familiar with.

E-copies are available on Amazon, or if you’d like to get a physical copy, head over to Grim Oak Press to order a copy — there’s a limited number of them, so get it while you can.


If you could be any flavour of ice cream…

scoops_of_ice_cream-2229

If you read the interviews that I’ve been posting, you might notice something they (almost) all have in common. (Well, okay, I’m sure there are multiple things they all share, but still…) I almost always ask the same closing question: If you could be any flavour of ice cream, what flavour would you be?

A couple people have noticed this, and they’ve asked me if there’s any significance to that question. Honestly? No. But, on one hand, it does make for an interesting list to compile after doing a number of interviews (and in some instances finding the authors on Twitter/Facebook and asking them.. with no context.)

So, here’s the list! Now that this list has been posted though, I do think I’ll be switching to a new question. If you have any suggestions, please do let me know!

Authors*

Stephen B. Pearl:
“I guess blueberry, to be specific Hewits Goat Milk Blueberry”

Jeffrey J. Mariotte:
“I’d probably be Neapolitan. I’m kind of a basic guy, nothing fancy or overly complicated. But I can’t settle on any one thing …  I couldn’t be any single flavor. Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry is probably just about right for me.”

Tad Williams:
“I would be Sublime Ripple, with Cayenne Pepper bits.”

Karen Dales:
“Strawberry, definitely strawberry.”

Timothy Carter:
“Chocolate chip. Best flavour of ice cream ever. Not mint chocolate chip, mind you – I can’t stand mint.”

Myke Cole
“Dried Seaweed.”

Patrick Rothfuss
“Death and thunder flavour ice cream!”

David Anthony Durham:
” Pistachio. But definitely one that is green. If it’s not green.. It’s not me.”

Brandon Sanderson *new* – February 15th
“I would be Brandon flavoured ice cream.”

*Clicking on their names, in most instances, will take you to the interview where they said it. However, for the few whose answers I got elsewhere, it’ll just take you to their website.

Bloggers

Roger Bellini – A Daily Dose of R&R
“Pineapple coconut chunk ice cream.”

Andy Angel – Ebookwyrm
“Choc. Mint”

ARamone – The Arched Doorway
“I’m not sure.. Probably something sour.”

Why? Because, why not?

If you have any suggestions for silly questions to ask next, please let me know in the comments! (Or, feel free to leave your own answer!)


My Interview with Patrick Rothfuss

As some of you are aware, earlier this month I attended the World Fantasy Convention here in Toronto and had the opportunity to meet some great people, and interview a few authors. My other interviews have all been posted at this point.

Patrick Rothfuss, best-selling author of the Kingkiller Chronicles (The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man’s Fear, and the forthcoming The Doors of Stone) was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time and answer some of my questions.

So, without further ado, here’s my last (but not least), interview from the convention.

For convenience, P = Patrick Rothfuss and R = Rebecca (myself).

R: Thank you Pat for doing this…  So, you’re a popular guy, and pretty recognizable, with the beard and hair and all. But is it odd having people recognize you when you go places?

P: When it’s at a convention, it’s not that odd. Because I know they’ve read my book, or seen an episode of Story Board. [Watch the latest episode of Story Board HERE].

A weird thing did happen to me recently when I was at a book store. Someone looked at me and said “You’re Patrick Rothfuss!” then he said “I haven’t read your books, but I saw you on Story Board. I listen to these podcasts that you’re on.” I was surprised because typically if someone recognizes me it’s from my books. This guy recognized me for other things that I do for fun. That was a little odd.

R: Yeah, that’s probably going to take a bit of getting used to.

P: Yeah, but I think that was a little bit of an anomaly. Most people know me from my books and my blog.

R: So yeah, you have your much anticipated conclusion to the Kingkiller Chronicles, now what are you going to do after that? What’s next for you?

P: I actually have a novel that I stumbled into, I was trying to write a novella that I promised someone years ago, and it got longer and longer until I realized that it’s really going to be a short novel. So that will be coming out eventually, after I finish it and polish it up.

I also have some ideas for some short stories that could be a lot of fun to write. Some urban fantasy, some sex and violence and all that kind of stuff.

R: About sex, I noticed a lot of people commented on that in your second book…

P. Yeah, some people especially are strange about sex. And you are from Toronto?

R: Yep

P: Now, out of curiosity… In America we have a real problem with sex. You know, it’s weird. Are people like that up here?

R: I would have to say that it varies from community to community. Most people I know are just like “Yeah, sex… whatever, that’s cool.”

P: Okay, I do have to ask, have you read the second book?

R: Yes, I have.

P: Okay, so what was your opinion about the sex?

R: Well, with how you spoke of Felurian, it’s really just what fitted with what you wrote of her in the past. And it wasn’t overdone… Like, it could have been like the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones.

P: <Laughter!> Right, yeah. Nothing approaching that. And the rest of it in the book? Did you find it at all off-putting?

R: I was completely fine with it. But at the same time I can understand that if it was a younger reader they might not be so comfortable with reading that, and their parents may not be fine with it either…

P: Right, although, given that, I start thinking at what point are they considered young readers? A sixteen year old is going to run into worse language, violence and sex like on network television than in my book.

It’s weird. People get unfairly twitchy about sex. And truthfully, Kvothe kills like 30 people in this book… Some of them horrifically. And not one person has ever said “This is really horrible.” If they said that, I’d have to say, “Yeah, it really is.” It lets you know that he’s not all sunshine and moonlight, fluffy bunnies and confetti. There’s some dark stuff to this character.

But nobody says that. Ever. No one has ever emailed me, or in a conversation or interview has said “This is a little dark, y’know, with all the killing” but he has healthy, enthusiastic consensual sex with a couple women and people have a spazm. I mean, how is that horrible?

R: It isn’t… Like sex is perfectly natural, and then you have killing which is illegal and horrible.

P: Right.

R: But they’re just like “Ah, that’s alright. It’s just killing… Sex though? Hell no.”

P: Yeah. It’s okay that you killed those folks, Kvothe. We’ll give you a pass on that. But watch out with the tongue kissing, because that’s evil.

R: Ah yes, it’s dangerous stuff.

P: Yes, it’s dangerous. Lord knows what would happen if we kissed people instead of killing them.

R: I don’t suppose you know at all about the release date of book 3?

P: There is no pub date. As soon as we do have something, I will blow a trumpet and announce it on the blog.

[Update: Pat has said in another interview that “It probably won’t be 2015, but it isn’t going to be this year as well.” Which means the release date for book 3 will probably be in 2014. — Just thought I’d add this is, since most of you have come here from trying to find the release date ;) ] – http://twit.tv/show/triangulation/99 at about 11:50 

R: Alright, cause I have a post on anticipated fantasy novels of 2013, and I was hesitant about adding it on there.

P: I would be surprised if it came out in 2013. I would have to rush things, and I really don’t want to rush.

R: Yeah, it’s better to take the time it needs to make it the story it should be.

P: I really want it to be perfect.

R: Makes sense, I just thought I’d ask! Also – I don’t suppose there are any hints or anything I can tell my readers?

P: <Deep ominous voice> Everyone dies! <Laughs> No, I don’t go in for spoilers.

R: Well, I had to ask… So, what do you find to be the most challenging thing about being a writer?

P: Juggling the time for writing with the time I want spend doing other things. I run my charity, and I love it and I think it does some good in the world, but it takes a lot of time…

Conventions that take a lot of time, but I like meeting my fans. Short stories take time, and there’s my son… You know, I want to hang out with my son and play with him, and that takes time… and together it’s too much time. So where do I get the extra time? Do I stop sleeping? Stop playing with my son? What do I do? Go to fewer conventions? It’s my job, in some ways to go to these conventions. So that’s the hardest part.

R: And can you tell us a little bit about your charity?

(Note: Pat’s Worldbuilders’ charity ended January 21st. If you didn’t get a chance to participate; there is always next year!)

P: I talk about it at no small length online, it will probably be live by the time you post this interview. [Please check out Pat’s post about the Worldbuilders’ Charity: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2012/11/worldbuilders-2012/ ]

Here’s how it works. People donate books. Authors, publishers, bookstores and fans, then we use the books as donation incentives to get people to donate to Heifer International

We also run a lot of auctions. My agent is doing a critique for 100 pages of a novel. So you win the auction for that, you get a real professional piece of advice about a section of your unpublished manuscript. Some authors are offering tuckerizations like cameo appearances in their upcoming books. Ernie Cline and Mary Robinette Kowal are doing that – you come in, you bid on it and you have a chance of being part of their books.

I’m doing one too for Book 3.

R: Oh, that’s awesome!

P: So, we’ll probably do one auction, and one will go into the general lottery – where anyone can win that one. All you have to do is pitch in $10 for Worldbuilders and you have a chance.

R: I think that’s definitely something I’m going to have to do.

P: Well, if you kick in $20 you have twice as many chances. And Worldbuilders will also match a portion of all donations made, so your $10, $20 actually works for more than that. And there’s a bunch of other stuff.

There are a ton of great authors involved, too. Neil Gaiman has donated some books; there’s a limited first edition copy of Stardust, like it’s actually earlier than first edition, it’s an ARC copy in a slip case, numbered and signed by Neil. That’s going into the general lottery.

R: Okay, That’s really cool. I think I will have to participate in that. And a bit of a topic change, but you’ve mentioned in the past that you don’t believe in writer’s block. So, what about times when you have trouble transitioning words from your mind to the page?

P: Sometimes it’s hard to write, that’s undeniable. But I think to call it writer’s block is a little unfair. No matter what your job is, some days you wake up and it’s hard to do your job. If you’re a teacher, sometimes the thought of getting up in front of your class is exhausting, or in customer service the thought of being polite to someone is just tough. If you do manual labour, sometimes you’re tired, hung over or whatever… or sometimes you pull a muscle, and it’s not just hard, you almost have an impediment from you doing your job.

But nobody calls that “construction workers block.” It’s not treated as some sort of mythic affliction.

Similarly, a writer can pull a muscle in their head. You can have traumatic events, have someone die, you go through a break-up, or someone cuts you off in traffic and it just pisses you off. That can effectively get your head into such a place that writing is extremely difficult. Part of being a professional writer is learning to manage those elements of your life so that you can still be a productive writer.

R: Alright, thank you! Let’s see… Who are your favourite authors?

P: Neil Gaiman, obviously… Terry Pratchett is brilliant. I really enjoy Brandon Sanderson. I love the Dresden Files, the Jim Butcher books, and I just picked up Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey… Blew me out of the water. I can’t believe it’s taken me a couple years to find that book – it’s so much fun, and he’s written like four of them.

I also just read Myke Cole’s first book Control Point, it’s military fantasy, and that’s not my cup of tea, but it’s not *just* military. It has really interesting characters, an interesting world and magic, and it’s great. I love it. It’s not a book you have to be into military stuff to enjoy. It’s just a great book.

R: Yeah, I got Sandman Slim in the big bag of books we got. I’ll be sure to read it. Now, speaking of fantasy, are there any books you’d recommend as a starter book for readers new to the genre?

P: Stardust, maybe Neverwhere for Neil Gaiman is probably where I’d start people.

R: Thanks, because I know there are some readers of my blog who don’t really read much fantasy, and I think knowing a book that would be a good introduction to the genre would be beneficial.. I do reviews, and I’m always reviewing fantasy.. But having something where they can be like “Oh! So this a good one to start with…” and actually get them more into the genre is something I feel would be a good thing. And similarly, is there any advice you can give to aspiring authors?

P: My best advice is the advice that people will find the least satisfying. Live somewhere cheap.. If you’re working full-time job just to pay your rent, you’ll be exhausted and won’t have much time to write. I live in Central Wisconsin, which means I was able to work short hours at crap jobs which gave me enough time to work on my books.
You should also invest on an reliable power supply for your computer, if the power flickers and you lose the last 4 hours of your writing, it’s infuriating. You should back-up your files regularly, you should read a lot – including things outside your genre. It gives your work a breadth it wouldn’t possess otherwise.
You should have a lot of good experiences in your life. Sitting at home all the time reading and writing is not awful, but go hiking, have disastrous relationships, go to the sort of parties that people end up kissing each other.. Because you know, those are useful experiences. They will lead to you being a more experienced human being, and the more you experience in life, the more you have to draw from in your writing.

I’m not saying go hiking then write a story about it. I’m saying that if you go hiking, you’re able to draw from that very small experience and hopefully extrapolate what it’d be like to be a member of the roman legion, walking 20 miles in a day with your heavy pack and armour. But if you’ve never walked a mile, you can’t draw from that experience. If you’ve never carried a pack you can’t draw from that experience. You can’t write a relationship book if you’ve never had a relationship. You can’t write about people fighting if you’ve never had an argument. So diversify your experiences. You can’t help but be a better writer.

R: Though, obviously it has its limits… You can’t practise magic and call forth lightning… But the motions, doing something exhilarating… if you don’t know what the feeling feels like, you can’t write about it.

P: Yeah, and even though you might not be able to do magic, maybe you know what it’s like to bluff someone in a game of cards, give a back-rub, read a story and feel incredibly excited and alive. Those are the emotions you can draw from, and relate to things in your books. You don’t have to kill someone with a sword to know what regret is.

You know, It’s probably a good idea to not experience certain things just to write about them.

R: I can’t imagine police or anyone would be happy if you killed someone with a sword, and your reasoning was “I’m a writer?”

P: “Pat Rothfuss told me to.” No, that is not acceptable… I did not actually say that.

R: Aw… Way to ruin my fun. Also, one last thing… What’s your opinion on the transition from book to movie?

P: Different medium are required for different types of stories. The best you can really hope for is a good adaptation. And if you get that you’ll be lucky.. If you look at the best movies made out of books, they typically diverge pretty wildly. Like Fight Club is a great movie, and it’s a great book and they’re related, but they’re not a direct one-to-one.

Harry Potter on the other hand stays pretty faithful to the books, and they’re good, but I don’t think they’re *great* movies. They’re not great unto themselves.

It’s dangerous, and I’m not eager at the thought of my stuff being put onto the screen.. It’s an exciting thought, it would be cool, but my books are not movie-shaped, so it makes me anxious – the thought of someone trying to put it into a Hollywood movie. It could be a disaster.

R: How about a TV series?

P: TV Series might be a little bit better, but again the writing and story is very important, it’d have to character driven, and most fantasy is action-driven. There’s not a lot of people that could pull off that good character-centred story. I would let Joss Whedon do it… I trust him, and maybe a few others, but it’s really dangerous.. I would much rather wait for the right time/place, rather than just trying to cash out.

R: Especially because Hollywood goes for the well-known, but there aren’t many that suit Kvothe, and they don’t tend to cast unknowns…

Alright, and one last question! If you were a flavour of ice cream, what flavour would you be?

P: Someone told me they asked a group of 5th graders this question, and it started out simple. Though, as it went through the room, people started being more and more experimental… Like lightning flavour ice cream, and once the kids saw that you could do something like that, it went crazy…

And by the time they got to the last kid he was just like “Death and thunder flavour ice cream!”

So that’s what I’m going to go with. I’m Death and Thunder ice cream.

R: I imagine that might be quite a bit different than Death by Chocolate Ice cream. It would be interesting… Anyways, Thank you Pat!

P: Thanks for having me.

I included a few links in this post to Pat’s charity/fundraiser.. And I do urge you to check them out. As he mentioned, there are many great benefits and potential prizes for donating, and it does support a good cause.

Heifer International is working to end both hunger and poverty, working with communities and caring for the Earth. I do recommend checking out their website and finding out more about them [http://www.heifer.org/]
As well, the WorldBuilders team page for donating can be found here.

It was great to meet Patrick, he’s an absolutely fantastic guy, and interesting to chat with. If you get the chance to meet him, I recommend trying to get one of his hugs!

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Highly Anticipated Fantasy Novels of 2013

Last year I compiled a list of highly anticipated science fiction and fantasy novels that were to be released this year. And, with a new year only a couple of months away, the holiday season approaching and many great books coming out in 2013 it seemed only fitting to create a new list.

There aren’t really any Science fiction novels on here, as I’ve had more of a focus on Fantasy this past year and haven’t had a chance to read any of the latest novels in the genre. I’m definitely missing some books, and there are some books on here that you might disagree with. Feel free to let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

1) A Memory of Light – Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

– The Eye of the World (book 1 of the Wheel of Time) was published back in 1990. 23 years later, the series is finally coming to a close. With the Last Battle between good and evil approaching; and  the end of an age, Rand, Mat, Perrin and the rest of the world must unite under a common goal and put their own wars and differences aside to fight the Dark One and the Forsaken, along with their hoards of evil creatures.

Release Date: I had this on my 2012 list as well; but with the date changed, A Memory of Light, the epic conclusion to the Wheel of Time series will be release January 8th 2013. 

  • Read “Eastward the Wind Blew” (Chapter 1) here
  • Listen to “The Choice of an Ajah” (Chapter 2) here

2) The Daylight War – Peter V. Brett

Humanity is fighting back. Although the night still belongs to the demons that arise as the sun sets, new wards and weapons are giving those willing to fight in the darkness a chance to retaliate against their core-spawned enemies.

But, as humanity is about to learn, not all monsters are confined to the dark.

Civil war ravages the north and south, battles fought between those who should be working together. It is up to Arlen – the Painted Man – and Jardir – the self-proclaimed Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer – to put aside their differences and bring their people to terms if they are to have any chance of saving their civilisation from demon-rule.

The Daylight War is another one that was on my list for 2012, but with the date finally announced, I’m happy to say that the third book in the Demon Cycle will be out next year!.

My review for the first book, The Warded Man can be found here.

Release Date: February 12th 2013 – My review for The Daylight War will be posted around mid-January.

3) Bloodfire Quest – Terry Brooks

Long ago, many dangerous creatures were locked behind a magical barrier, bringing peace and prosperity to the land. But now those barriers are eroding, and generations of embittered prisoners are about to escape. War seems inevitable… unless a few brave souls can stem the tide.

While some venture into the forbidden lands, others must undertake a perilous quest – a quest whose success will mean the death of a young girl who has barely even begun to live, but whose failure will have unimaginable consequences.” – source.

Book Two of the Dark Legacy, Bloodfire Quest continues the tale of The Wards of the Faerie in Brook’s world of Shannara
Release Date: March 7th 2013. – My review for The Bloodfire Quest will be posted mid-late February. 

The third, and final book in the Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy will be out shortly afterwards on July 16th 2013.

4) The Gate Thief – Orson Scott Card

“Danny North is still in high school, yet he holds in his heart and mind all the stolen outselves of thirteen centuries of gatemages. The Families still want to kill him if they can’t control him…and they can’t control him. He is far too powerful.

And on Westil, Wad is now nearly powerless—he lost everything to Danny in their struggle. Even if he can survive the revenge of his enemies, he still must somehow make peace with the Gatemage Daniel North.

For when Danny took that power from Loki, he also took the responsibility for the Great Gates. And when he comes face-to-face with the mages who call themselves Bel and Ishtoreth, he will come to understand just why Loki closed the gates all those centuries ago. –source

The Gate Thief is the second book in the Mither Mages series, picking up from The Lost Gate it continues the tale of the mages of Westil whom have been exiled to Earth.

Release Date: March 19th 2013

5) A Tale of Tales – David Farland
“The great war with the Wyrmling Hordes is over, and mankind has lost. Lord Despair has gathered an army of fell creatures, planning to unleash them like a wildfire across the stars.
Those who oppose him know that the battle is all but lost. Though they stand against the darkness, they cannot hope to win with arms. Indeed, they stand against him armed with little more than principles.
Fallion and Tuul Ra, with only a handful of allies, must hope that with resolve and cunning alone they can win the day — before darkness closes upon them forever.” – source
I haven’t had a chance to read The Runelords series, however — readers of Farland’s Runelords will want to read the ninth, (and final) instalment to the epic series.
Release Date: April 1st 2013
6) River of Stars – Guy Gavriel Kay
River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay is set in the same alternate historical China as his novel Under Heaven, but centuries later. Following the tales of Lin Shan, the daughter of a scholar, whose intelligence capitvates the emperor whilst alienating her from women of the court, and Ren Daiyan after he takes the lives of seven men and joins the outlaws in the forests of Kitai and emerges years later.
Release Date: April 2nd 2013
7) Blood of Dragons – Robin Hobb


Blood of Dragons
 is the fourth and final novel in the Rain Wilds Chronicles. No description of the book has been released yet, but I plan to have a review for the first book in the series — Dragon Keeper up later next week. {Will update when a description is available/review has been posted.}

Release Date: April 9th 2013

8) The Silver Dream – Neil Gaimen and Michael Reaves

“Sixteen-year-old Joey Harker has just saved the Altiverse — the dimension that contains all the myriad Earths — from complete destruction. After mastering the ability to walk between dimensions, Joey and his fellow InterWorld Freedom Fighters are on a mission to maintain peace between the rival powers of magic and science who seek to control all worlds.

When a stranger named Acacia somehow follows Joey back to InterWorld’s Base, things get complicated. No one knows who she is or where she’s from — or how she knows so much about InterWorld. Dangerous times lie ahead, and Joey has no one to rely on but himself and his wits — and, just maybe, the mysterious Acacia Jones.” – source

This book is partly on this list just because I’m a fan of anything Gaimen, however I have heard lots of praise for the first book, InterWorld and I am sure that The Silver Dream will be an excellent follow-up novel.

Release Date: April 23rd 2013

9) The Rithmatist – Brandon Sanderson



The Rithmatist
 is an epic fantasy set in an alternate version of out own world. The Americas are under treat by creatures known as Wild Chalkings (two-dimensional drawings infused with life). Following the tale of Joel, a boy wanting nothing more than to be one of the Rithmatist and his adventures as he follows a trail of discovery which could change their world forever.

This book is primarily on here because I’m a big fan of Sanderson’s writing (if you hadn’t noticed by the number of his books appearing on this list, and by how many I’ve reviewed..) but aside from his Alcatraz series which I’ve yet to read, Sanderson has proven himself to be a great writer of epic fantasy, and I’m sure The Rithmatist will not be an exception to that.

Release Date: May 14th 2013

10) The Ocean at the end of the Lane — Neil Gaiman

I’ve yet to read anything by Gaiman that I haven’t absolutely love, and this one sounds as if it’ll be no exception to that.

It began for our narrator forty years ago, when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.

His only defense are three women on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

To quote Neil himself, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a novel of childhood and memory. It’s a story of magic, about the power of stories and how we face the darkness inside each of us. It’s about fear, and love, and death, and families. But, fundamentally, I hope, at its heart, it’s a novel about survival.” – source

Release Date: June 18th 2013

11) Emperor of Thorns — Mark Lawrence

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To reach the throne requires that a man journey. Even a path paved with good intentions can lead to hell, and my intentions were never good.

The Hundred converge for Congression to politic upon the corpse of Empire, and while they talk the Dead King makes his move, and I make mine. The world is cracked, time has run through, leaving us clutching at the end days, the future so bright that those who see it are the first to burn. These are the days that have waited for us all our lives. These are my days. I will stand before the Hundred and they will listen. I will take the throne whoever seeks to thwart me, living or dead, and if I must be the last emperor then I will make of it such an ending.

This is where the wise man turns away. This is where the holy kneel and call on God. These are the last miles, my brothers. Don’t look to me to save you. Don’t think I will not spend you. Run if you have the wit. Pray if you have the soul. Stand your ground if courage is yours. But don’t follow me.

Follow me, and I will break your heart.

I only just picked up Prince of Thorns recently, but so far I’m loving it. While I’ve heard mixed reviews about the series, I have to say I’m enjoying it so far. I’m sure the sequel, King of Thorns, and Emperor of Thorns are going to be equally enjoyable, if not better.

Release Date: August 1st 2013

12) Republic of Thieves – Scott Lynch

“After their adventures on the high seas, Locke and Jean are brought back to earth with a thump. Jean is mourning the loss of his lover and Locke must live with the fallout of crossing the all-powerful magical assassins the Bonds Magi. It is a fall-out that will pit both men against Locke’s own long lost love. Sabetha is Locke’s childhood sweetheart, the love of Locke’s life and now it is time for them to meet again. Employed on different sides of a vicious dispute between factions of the Bonds Sabetha has just one goal – to destroy Locke for ever.” – source

I haven’t actually read The Gentleman Bastard Sequence yet, however, I have heard great things about it, and have heard a lot of praise for Scott Lynch. With the release date being repeatedly pushed back, fans of the series have had to be patient and wait for the next instalment in the series — hopefully though, this time the release date will hold true.

Release Date: I’ve found conflicting data.. My guess is either September 3rd, 2013 or May 6, 2014. I’ve been told that there’s no official release date yet.

10) Stormlight Archive Book 2 – Brandon Sanderson

Continuing in Sanderson’s epic world he created in The Way of Kings (My review for tWoK can be found here). Not much information has been released about what the unnamed sequel will be about, but with the the intriguing characters, and expansive system he set up in the first book in the Stormlight Archive, I’m sure it’ll be great.

Release Date: December 2013

11) The Blood Mirror – Brent Weeks

The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks is the concluding novel in the Lightbringer Trilogy. Wrapping up the tales of Kip, Gavin, Karris and the rest of the Chromeria. While no official description/cover of The Blood Mirror has been released yet, I am sure it will be a great conclusion to the series, and I’m highly looking forward to reading it.

Read my review of The Black Prism (Book 1) here
Read my review of The Blinding Knife (Book 2here

Release Date: Sometime in 2013, potentially.

Possibly being released:

Kingkiller Chronicles Book 3 – Patrick Rothfuss

The story of Kvothe; a young man who has killed kings, spoken to gods and rescued princess. A man who has known the name of the wind, trained with the legendary Adem and has sought out the secrets of the Chandrian.

Readers have followed him on since his days travelled as the Edema Ruh, through University, love and pain, and as he has slowly turned into a figure of legend. In this third book, we see the conclusion to Kvothe’s tale.

Update: This won’t be getting released in 2013. No release date is set yet, but 2013 highly unlikely.


You tell me: What books have I missed from this list? What are you looking forward to reading in 2013?

Keep checking back! I’ll be updating this list frequently over the next couple months as more information on upcoming books is released.


Review: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

MY NAME IS KVOTHE.

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 made the minstrels weep. 

You may have heard of me. 

Kvothe (pronounced “quothe”) is a young man who became a legend. Unfortunately, legends have a way of changing, and Kvothe’s turning from a legendary hero to a legendary villain. It’s not his fault, but legends are like a giant game of broken telephone, and details were getting changed by accident that threw him in a less-than-favourable light. In an effort to preserve the truth, a scribe convinces Kvothe to set the story down in his own words, and it’s pretty good he did, ’cause otherwise we wouldn’t get to read this awesome book.

The book starts with Kvothe as a young man – probably in his mid-twenties or so. After the first couple of chapters, the story switches to flashback mode as Kvothe tells his story, starting when he’s eleven and ending when he’s fifteen. It describes the major players in his life, the things he did, and (in some cases), the things he didn’t do. Besides the flashback, which makes up the main story, a side story seems to be developing that takes place outside of the flashbacks. But besides the story, we get to see a lot of Kvothe’s character, and that, in my opinion, is just as good as the plot.

Kvothe’s actually a pretty cool guy. He spares no detail – he doesn’t gloss over the bad things he did. That’s pretty refreshing, I think, because Kvothe fully admits to being stupid, spiteful, and a bit of a bastard at times. At other times, he’s sweet, caring, and lovable. In other words, he’s exactly what a typical teenager is. How his personality develops and changes through time, and the different bits of his personality we get to see, is quite fun.

Besides the characterisation, the story has several other things going for it, as well. The story is gripping, the writing engaging. It’s hard to put down, and, while it moves at a slow pace, it all adds to Kvothe’s character and the overarching plot. Rothfuss gives enough information to keep readers engaged while also making them ask questions, and read for the answers. Rothfuss avoids clichés – in fact, a couple of times Kvothe starts off saying, “If this were a story, I would…” only to end up saying what he did instead. It’s a bit refreshing, especially considering a lot of the latest fantasy books have employed quite a lot of clichés.

Nevertheless, for all this book’s high points, there are some odd things about it: namely, the metaphors, which in some cases (mostly in dialogue, though that’s 90% of the book) are quite unusual. Case in point: “He touched her, and she felt like a bell that had just been struck for the first time.” In other words, she feels round, brassy, in pain, and like she’s been stuck on the back of a bus driving at high speeds down a country rode full of potholes. The rest of the book is more than enough to make up for these, though, and for the most part the metaphors pass unnoticed.

As for the ending, well, it didn’t wrap things up – but then again, it wasn’t supposed to. Kvothe leaves off telling his story whenever he feels it’s getting too late to go on talking, meaning we still feel like we’re in the middle of the story. The same goes for its sequal, The Wise Man’s Fear. With the third and final book not coming out until Spring, this is distinctly unfair. I have a feeling that when the end does come, though, it’ll be well worth the wait.

Overall rating: 5/5


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