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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

The Narrow Road Between Desires - Patrick Rothfuss. A discussion...

Genre: fantasy

Published: DAW books, November 2023 Marketed as: "latest entry in The Kingkiller Chronicles series", #2.6

As a general rule, i do not review books I haven’t personally read, except for when very problematic stuff is happening. This feels a bit like that, from a marketing perspective.

For years I’ve been a supporter of Patrick Rothfuss and his works. I’ve been in the camp of “let the man take his time with The Doors of Stone”. Unless you’ve already paid for it in advance somehow, no author owes his audience a book. That freedom comes at a price, though. As an author, you do not get to tease, make false promises, and lead your audience on for years, whilst profiting of them. That is what’s happening here. I’m not sure if this is Rothfuss’ doing, or purely a marketing/publishers choice, but it feels a little predatory.

Despite what the deliberately ambiguous marketing leading up to this release might have you believe, The Narrow Road Between Desires is not the new entry into the series that was promised. It’s a rerelease of The Lightning Tree, slightly edited and with additional illustration to bump the page-count. I like The Lightning Tree… I don’t like false promises, especially when money has changed hands, regardless of charity-causes etc. I don’t like publishers rereleasing content at a marketed up price over and over again. And I don’t like relying on a loyal fanbase to excuse the aforementioned discretions.

Pat, with all the respect and understanding for your process and struggles, from a former fan; this has become an honesty-thing. Either continue to work on something new for as long as you need, and keep quiet about it (people will be plenty excited once you do announce a releasedate for The Doors of Stone, trust me!). Or admit that you’re done writing, and it is never coming. Either is fine by me.

What’s not fine is lying, making misleading claims, or promises you know you won’t be able to keep.


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