Whazzup everyone! Today I am discussing the Kingkiller Chronicles, which I finally finished after, oh let’s see, nine years? Now don’t freak out on me! I started this series way back way in 2008 relatively soon after its release, but I dropped it after being bored stiff by the first book. It was only this last year that my friend reminded me that the series still existed and somehow wheedled me into giving it another try.
Now to start, I really liked this series. I personally think it’s heavily married by an overly self-satisfied and manipulative protagonist, but everything from world-building to plot was pretty solid. However, after reading the second book, I have to say I was a bit more ambivalent about it; there are no signs of an upcoming resolution here, and the fact that the second book ends largely where it started puts me in a dizzy for some affirmation that something of significance is finally going to happen in the next book.
So with that thought in mind, I started digging around the Internet (namely Goodreads) for the third book, only to realize with considerable shock that Patrick Rothfuss had only released two books in the span of eleven years. To which I am like, “What the holy *BLEEP* effing *bleep* has this author been doing in the past decade?!”
Because here’s the thing–some series are worth the wait. Growing up with Harry Potter since the Goblet of Fire, I waited exactly two years between each book, and I don’t think that was an unreasonable wait considering how each installment was getting thicker with each release, and the writing was getting better than ever. Not to mention, all that time spent building up in anticipation for the next book got me re-reading the entire series on a loop, and I think that increased my appreciation for it as a whole.
But the Kingkiller Chronicles? I was in middle school when I first casually encountered it in a bookstore, and now that I’ve graduated from college, do you understand how long ago middle school feels to me?! The fact that the author has written only two books in a span of eleven years is spanking RIDONKULOUS, and to me, it just feels like he’s trying to milk his success as much as he can before this series ends at this point.
Take George R.R. Martin, for instance. I’m not a huge fan of Game of Thrones myself, so I wouldn’t presume to know how his fans feel, but the fact that Martin is now writing books in tandem with the T.V show is beyond unsettling to me. I mean, if I were a fan, I would be thinking along the lines of, “Are you compromising the books for good television?” Or “Are you writing at all?” or “What a money-grubbing asshole.” I understand that this show is a big hit and all, and it’s a huge source of income for Martin, but as a writer, shouldn’t you be trying to preserve the integrity of the books first? Don’t you have an obligation as an author NOT to split your attention like that?
Unfortunately, Patrick Rothfuss is a slightly worse case. Yes, he’s written 3 spin-offs novels for the Kingkiller Chronicles during this time lapse, but that’s exactly why this wait is so infuriating: the author is perfectly capable of churning out books. Thus, the fact that he’s been withholding the third installment for the last seven years to write spin-off novels and make T.V. deals makes it seem like he’s trying to milk as much success out of his series before it ends. I’m not that much of a fan, but I’ve seen die-hard fans starting to feel their leashes are being yanked, and I agree: Rothfuss is really pushing it.
Bottom line, there’s just a point for me where anticipation for a book officially crosses over into “angry” territory. I understand that it’s an author’s prerogative to perfect his or her book before each release, but seven plus years for the next book? Dear author, I would understand if you had cancer or something, but if I were a fan of you, I would’ve burned your house to the ground by now and then peed on it in frustration.
So yeah, don’t you hate it when you start a series and it’s not finished by the time you catch up? And at point does it become irritating that the author hasn’t released the next book yet?
Now just as a disclaimer, I know this rant sounds entitled. However, I’ve rarely been down an author’s throat for a late release; I usually just shrug and wait patiently with the crowd. But the thing with Patrick Rothfuss is that he’s had this series planned/written from the beginning (waaaay back in 2007), so unless he’s been extending the series to include more books, I’m simply not seeing any justifiable reason for this 7-year wait.
Not to mention, Rothfuss recently stated in an interview that the third book would be the final book in this series, but not the last in this world. That sounds somewhat ominous to me. Does that mean the bad guys aren’t going to get crushed in this book? Does that mean this series will end on a cliffhanger of some sort? Is Kvothe just going to DIE?!
Because oh HELL no–if I waited three books and eleven plus years for nothing in the series to get resolved, I will pretty much flip a shit.