'Kingkiller Chronicle' Book 3 Author Pat Rothfuss Says 'The Writing Isn't Going Well'

The fantasy setting for Pat Rothfuss' 'The Kingkiller Chronicle,' including lands traversed by Kvothe in his many adventures.
The fantasy setting for Pat Rothfuss' 'The Kingkiller Chronicle,' including lands traversed by Kvothe in his many adventures. Patrick Rothfuss

George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones sequel The Winds of Winter is far from the only rabidly anticipated fantasy installment we’re hoping to read in 2017. Beginning with 2007’s The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy quickly became one of the must-read fantasy sagas of the century, following the red-headed Kvothe (pronounced “quoth”) from his travelling bard origins through his magical studies and growing political influence, all narrated from a darkening future that has found Kvothe in hiding as a roadside innkeeper. A new entry in The Kingkiller Chronicle hasn’t been released since 2011’s The Wise Man’s Fears, but there’s reason to believe that Book 3, currently titled The Doors of Stone, is approaching completion. That is, unless the writing goes really poorly.

D’oh. According to a new blog post from Rothfuss, “the writing isn’t going well.”

In a February livestream Q&A, Rothfuss said he was deep in the revision process on Book 3, though that didn’t mean it was necessary near completion. “Not everything functions in a straight line, he said, comparing it to a car under repair. “I took it apart… the entire manifold has been disassembled and it’s been sitting next to it.”

“Is there a publication date for the third book?” Rothfuss said. “The answer — the obvious, obvious goddamn answer — is ‘No.’ Because if there was a publication date for Book 3 I would have written this ebullient glowing blog post about it… and shared that information with you guys so you’d be happy.”

It all turns on that revision process and Rothfuss finding the right way for all the parts to fit together. It sounds like he’s been struggling:

“Viewed from one angle, my life could not be better. I’ve got a movie and tv deal going. Lin-Manuel Fucking Miranda is involved. I have several successful books out. Translated in 35 languages. Millions of books sold. TWO lovely children….

But I’m a mess. I’m such a mess. And I’m behind on everything. And the writing isn’t going well.”

That said, the blog post is more about Rothfuss’ spirits turning around than sinking into further difficulties. The post is mainly about one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s main characters’ — a powerful, magic moneylender pursuing arcane knowledge named Devi — inclusion in Unbound Worlds’ annual sci-fi vs. fantasy cage match. Devi went up against Lord of the Rings character Tom Bombadil, inspiring Rothfuss to write a quick story about the encounter.

Getting out of the revision mines and flexing his creative muscle enlivened Rothfuss:

“But on Sunday I wrote this thing. And it was fun. And easy. And for the space of about 10 hours I felt really good.”

Even if Rothfuss’ busy life has put him behind revising Kingkiller Chronicle Book 3 and bringing it to completion, it sounds like he’ll soon be back on track. “Soon,” Rothfuss said in the February livestream when asked to describe Book 3 in one word. “And then I’ll follow that up with the Aslan quote, ‘I call all times soon.’”

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