Don’t expect Kingkiller Chronicle Book 3 any time soon.
Fantasy readers can be pretty brutal. By now, you’ve probably heard the tons of jokes surrounding The Winds of Winter and George R.R. Martin. If you’re in those circles, chances are you’ve heard similar things surrounding author Patrick Rothfuss and his Kingkiller Chronicle series. The first book, The Name of the Wind, hit in 2007 and launched Rothfuss to fantasy stardom. Its sequel, A Wise Man’s Fear, hit in 2011. Since then, fans have clamored for the trilogy-capping novel, but have received radio silence since then.
In those years, debates have raged. Do authors owe their readers these sequels? I personally fall on the “no” side of things. Yes, if an author could finish his or her story, that’d be great, but it is by no means an obligation. If they don’t finish it, fans don’t get a free pass to berate and ridicule the author for taking too long. A recent article on the site Book Riot argued as such a few days ago. But that’s not the interesting part.
The interesting part is that Patrick Rothfuss’ editor, Betsy Wollheim shared the post on Facebook with the following comment, which gave an extra dimension to the conversation.
“This article is right: authors don’t owe their readership books, but what about the publishers who paid them?
“Book publishing is not as lucrative as many other professions, and publishers rely on their strongest sellers to keep their companies (especially small companies like DAW) afloat.
“When authors don’t produce, it basically f**ks their publishers. And I don’t get the “blame the editor” part at all. Don’t you think we editors want to publish the books we buy? That is just nuts. When I delayed the publication of book two, Pat was very open with his fans–they knew what was happening. I’ve never seen a word of book three.”
Given the need for publishers to have a steady stream of income, you can understand her frustration. That being said, her not seeing a word of Doors of Stone (the third book in the series’ title) is odd. Rothfuss himself shared a photo of the manuscript back in 2013. That being said, it’s likely that Rothfuss has spent the past several years revising and revising to make it as good as it can be. But apparently, Wollheim doesn’t think Rothfuss has actively been writing at all for the past several years.
One commenter stated that she got the sense Rothfuss hasn’t been writing much lately, to which Wollheim responded:
“I think you’re right. I don’t think he’s written anything for six years.”
Based on all the follow-ups Wollheim made in her post, it’s clear that while she thinks authors don’t necessarily owe readers anything, neither do readers. Readers are free to read other things and ignore the author if writers aren’t communicating or at least attempting to update readers.
The fact that she comes from the perspective of a publisher also clearly shades her perspective. At the end of the day, there are financial realities when it comes to publishing. If big blockbuster novels they rely on to stay afloat aren’t delivered, they take a huge financial hit. It’s clear that the absence of a Kingkiller Chronicle book has really gotten under Wollheim’s skin. The Book Riot article seemed to be a catalyst of sorts.
“Yes, I don’t like to talk about my authors,” Wollheim wrote in the comments of her Facebook post. “But it’s been ten years now, and I had to address the things said by that Bookriot article. Especially about the editing process. If Pat had finished book three and he was in the process of editing and rewriting, his fans would know about it.”
I can understand her frustration. I don’t think fans have any right to bully Rothfuss, but at the same time, I can understand the annoyance from a publisher who was promised goods from a creator. Do I think it warrants online bullying? Absolutely not, but Wollheim is clearly free to vent her frustrations.
Are you sad that Kingkiller Chronicle doesn’t look like it’s getting a Book 3 any time soon? Sound off down below!
Continue the LRM Online conversation on Discord by CLICKING HERE!
Have you checked out LRM Online’s official podcast feed yet The LRM Online Podcast Network? This includes our flagship podcast Los Fanboys, our premiere podcast Breaking Geek Radio: The Podcast, GeekScholars Movie News, and our morning show LRMornings. Check it out by listening below. It’s also available on all your favorite podcast apps!