Patrick Rothfuss: Fantasy needs to move past dragons and dwarves

March 28, 2012 | 6:05 p.m.

Patrick Rothfuss was 20 when he started writing his first book, “The Name of the Wind.” It took him seven years to finish the fantasy tale and then an extra four to persuade a publisher it would sell. And he was right; in 2007 the book hit the New York Times and USA Today’s bestsellers lists and was named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly and Reviewers soon compared the first-time author to George R.R. Martin, who wouldn’t mind a bit, “He’s bloody good, this Rothfuss guy.” Rothfuss, now 38 and living in Stevens Point, Wis., just released his second novel, “Wise Man’s Fear,” in paperback and he’s working on his third novel. We sought him out for insights into the traps and teases that vex new writers.

Best-selling author of "Name of the Wind" and "Wise Man's Fear"

Patrick Rothfuss, author of "The Name of the Wind" and "Wise Man's Fear." (Jamie Rothfuss)

HC: What types of books did you grow up reading?

PR: While I’ve grown up as a big reader, I really didn’t want to give up picture books as a kid. I would go to the library and check out whatever the maximum number of picture books was. Then I’d take them home, read them all, and want to go back to the library the next day. Drove my mom a little nuts.

wise mans fear Patrick Rothfuss: Fantasy needs to move past dragons and dwarvesHC: Which books, series or authors made big impressions on you?

PR: Well, we love best what we love first. So C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and Anne McCaffrey do hold a special place in my heart. But honestly, I read pretty much any sci-fi or fantasy I could get my hands on. I wasn’t discriminating. I read about a novel a day between the ages of 10 and 18, and I liked it all. It wasn’t until I’d been in college for a couple years that I started to get a little dissatisfied. When you’re 14, anything with a sword and a dragon is pretty cool. But when you’re 21 and you’ve read 2,000 fantasy novels, you start to realize that some of those books, well, they weren’t really good. OK, let’s be honest. A lot of them were crap.

HC: What really irked you? Pet peeves?

PR: Part of it was just the quality of the writing. After I’d been in college for a couple years I’d read Shakespeare and Frost and Chaucer and the poets of the Harlem Renaissance. I’d come to appreciate how gorgeous the English language could be. But most fantasy novels didn’t seem to make the effort. There are authors who make the effort. Roger Zelazny, Peter Beagle, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Neil Gaiman have lovely language, for example. But they’re the exception, rather than the rule. An even bigger problem was the clichés I kept running into. It felt like I was reading the same story over and over again with minor changes. Like all these books had been put together using the same kit. They all had dwarves with axes, elves with bows, and some evil wizard trying to destroy the world.

HC: : What do you have against dwarves with axes and elves with bows and evil wizards bent on destroying the world?

PR: Don’t get me wrong. I grew up with Tolkien. I read “The Lord of the Rings” once a year for most of my childhood. I loved those books. The problem is, so did everyone else. So people followed in Tolkien’s footsteps. Then other writers followed in those writer’s footsteps. Pretty soon all those shuffling feet wore a deep groove in the ground, and people started to think that dwarves and elves and magic rings were fantasy.  But they’re not. Those things are props. And putting those things in your book doesn’t make you Tolkien. No more than putting an emo prince, a ghost and a sword fight in your book makes you Shakespeare.

HC: How bad does it get?

PR:  I read one book where an evil wizard king guy had plans to do some big magical hoo-ha ritual. The result would be one of three things: 1. He becomes all-powerful. 2. He dies. 3. The world is destroyed. Of course, the plucky young hero sets out to stop him. And that’s fine. That’s good motivation for a hero. You don’t want the world destroyed, because, you know, that’s where your shoes are. Plus, if this wizard guy gets to become all-powerful, that’s going to suck. My problem is with the wizard-king. This guy is supposed to be this big magical genius, but he’s going to do a ritual that has a 66% percent chance of destroying him? Who decides that one-in-three is good odds? That’s just dumb. I hate reading a good book, then getting confronted with something stupid. It’s like getting poked in the eye.

 Patrick Rothfuss: Fantasy needs to move past dragons and dwarves

Orlando Bloom's Legolas battles Uruk-hai warriors at Helm's Deep in the 2002 film "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." (Pierre Vinet/New Line Productions)

HC: How do you feel about dragons?

PR: Now you’re just baiting me. But fine, I’ll rise to it. The problem with dragons is that everyone uses them. All the time. When that happens, they become commonplace. A lot of people think you can just throw them into a story and suddenly whatever you’re writing is 28% cooler. But that doesn’t work. All that does is make dragons into some boring cliché.

HC: If they are so trite, why do we see them over and over again in virtually every fantasy novel that comes our way?

PR: Here’s the thing. Dragons are cool. Anyone who isn’t totally uptight has to admit that. They’re iconic. They’re archetypal. Plus, a huge fire-breathing lizard is pretty neat, you can’t argue that. Dragons aren’t trite. But a lot of people make them trite with bad storytelling. I was playing a video game a while back. In the game, you fight a dragon. And you know what? It was great. I was running around, getting burned by fire, worried I was going to die. It was exciting, dramatic. Then, a little while later, you fight another dragon. Then another. And another. And eventually, I’m just irritated by them. It was boring. You should never be bored fighting a dragon. When that happens, someone has really dropped the ball in terms of storytelling.

dragon gameofthrones Patrick Rothfuss: Fantasy needs to move past dragons and dwarves

Emilia Clarke in "Game of Thrones." (HBO)

HC: So if you were to make a list, what would be the top five fantasy clichés that people should avoid?

PR: Boy, it’s hard to limit it to just five…

1. Prophecy. I don’t ever want to read another novel about “the chosen one.”

2. The helpless damsel. I’ve known a fair number of damsels in my day. The vast majority of them don’t need saving.

3. Elves with bows who live in trees. Dwarves with axes who live in caves. It was fine when Tolkien did it, but that was 60 years ago. It’s time for us to move on.

4. Brooding vampires. Any sort of vampire should probably be avoided at this point. The genre is kinda overrun.

5. Dragons. As above.

— Alex Pham


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75 Responses to Patrick Rothfuss: Fantasy needs to move past dragons and dwarves

  1. Andrew says:

    Hear, hear. After "LOTR," my vote fo the best fantasy novel is…"Watership Down," book about rabbits.

    • Amy says:

      Couldn't agree more – it's a fantastic book by a fantastic author which is often overlooked. A good indicator for a book's popularity over the past decade is fanfiction net, which is home to 46,000 LOTR entries compared to a mere 160 for Watership Down.

  2. Dave says:

    Really, Rothfuss. Are you kidding me about your cliches? You might want to take a look at your writing and tell me that your tired of "the chosen one." Your little protagonist in that book is something of the "chosen one" branding you seem to be so adament about people avoiding.

    • Sarah says:

      How in any way has Rothfuss’ character Kvothe tr “chosen one?” I agree with the reviews below me completely and I think you should read something properly before you start making derogatory comments.

    • Jam says:

      Oh wait, I was ninja-ed by Mantar …

    • Chro says:

      Main Protagonist != Chosen One. There are no prophecies in his books, only stories people (including Kvothe) made up about him after the fact.

      As Rothfuss stated, there's nothing wrong with a lot of these elements, if they are not used in a cliche way. In Name of the Wind, the main character is said to have fought a dragon. Eventually we find out [SPOILER ALERT!] that it was just a giant eats-everything lizard that was high on opium trees. And of course, George RR Martin has dragons and dwarves in his books, but they sure aren't used in the typical way.

      I had to giggle a little when I read his example of 'how bad it can get' in cliche fantasy. I think a lot of people will know exactly which book he's talking about.

    • kabat80 says:

      Of course he is. Every protagonast has to be something of a chosen one. But unlike every other hack out there I think Rothfuss is trying to make his character a little more realistic (not a hero, rather, someone who keeps getting mistaken for one). I don't see things working out very well for the protagonist in his books.

    • Nate says:

      The idea of the chosen one he is referring to is similar to that of Harry Potter, where a prophecy points out an individual to save the world. Also see Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. What Rothfuss did with Kvothe is nothing of the sort as the world does not need saving. He is out there to seek knowledge of the "Chandrian" to avenge his own family. There is no over ruling evil wizard or entity that is seeking to destroy the world. There is no prophecy making Kvothe destined to save everything. You should try reading a little more closely.

  3. ankitthereviewer says:

    Very insightful interview

  4. atoasttodragons says:

    Dragons rule. Vampires are cool. But… yeah, I guess they can be over-used.

    • renee says:

      imagine what the genre of fantasy would be like if every story avoided the usual "props", as rothfuss puts it. that would be a much more unexpected, imaginative fantasy genre. and that's kind of what we're all looking for in a fantasy book, imagination.

  5. Adrienne deWolfe says:

    Loved Patrick's honesty, especially about dragons: "Dragons aren’t trite. But a lot of people make them trite with bad storytelling." I'll second that! :-) Enjoyed "Name of the Wind" — Patrick has such a fresh writing approach. (Plus, I'm a sucker for mages and minstrels.) Great interview. Thanks.

    Adrienne deWolfe
    Book Writing Coach & Award-Winning Author

  6. matt says:

    Dragons, dwarves, etc are "overused" because they're awesome and we love them. Those aren't the problem with fantasy, the problem is a lack of good stories and quality writing.

    Meanwhile, I put down Name of the Wind midway through – the writing is fine but it's one of the most boring books I've ever picked up.

  7. proftre says:

    So, apparently he's not a big fan of Skyrim.

  8. Sarival says:

    And he's also not a big fan of The Sword of Truth – the evil wizard-king is Darken Rahl form Wizard's First Rule… shame on him….

    • Matt says:

      That was my first thought as well (a reference to SoT). But anyone whose read the book can tell you Darken wasn't gambling. He took all the steps he needed to make sure he was making the right choice. He was just tricked by the hero (Richard).

    • Maggie says:

      I disliked the sword of truth too. Because I got the first two as a birthday present I felt obliged to read the second one, but I couldn't even finish it. The Sword of Truth books are total crap.

    • Jake says:

      I have to say that although some parts are pretty original, SoT is completely cliche in most aspects (love being the worst). And it's just horrible when he tries to put opinions about real world things in it, but makes it extremely obvious and unrelated to the story. When two of the main characters suddenly turned out to be lesbian for example.

    • Nate says:

      Sword of Truth is a pretty stupid series.

    • Jeff says:

      I tend to agree with him. I read most of the Sword of Truth series. After book 5, I realized that every new book had the same basic formula. Richard loses his power, someone gets captured and they must all come together and somehow overcome the evilest of all evils. Kinda reminded me of the Power Ranges. every season a bigger badder villain comes along and they have to find the new most powerful power in the universe.

    • guest says:

      That series ended in the toilet

  9. Mantar says:

    Really? I don't see that. It seems to me that Kvothe isn't chosen by prophecy or destiny, he's just a guy who had bad stuff happen to him, and makes some really reckless choices that sometimes paid off and sometimes made everything worse. About the only "chosen" thing about him is his musical talent he inherited from his parents. Sure, he's the big hero after the events he's retelling, but his whole story is a deconstruction of what that big hero is really at the bottom of it, and how you shouldn't always believe the hype.

  10. Passerby says:

    Kvothe isn't a chosen one, there is nothing in the books that hints that he is some prophesied hero or anything. I'm sorry but I just can't see how you see this whole chosen one business. Kvothe wants to save his parents and confront the Chandarian, there's no chosen one business in that that I've read.

    • ian says:

      There's actually a lot of stuff pointing to him being a chosen one, check out the reread going on at, specifically the first post, titled 'sleeping under the wagon' you will appreciate these books SO MUCH MORE after reading that.

  11. Mitch says:

    Haha I've thought this same exact thing I'm so sick about reading about the choose one. As for dwarves and dragons and elves he makes a good point authors should create their own races and monsters.

  12. To some extent, I use a couple of the "clichés" that Mr. Rothfuss says should be avoided (although, I call them tropes). The difficult trick is to give the tropes a fresh twist and yet still satisfy reader expectations. In many ways, Mr. Rothfuss has created some newness in his use of the traditional fantasy tropes, but they are still fantasy tropes even including stew. I like "The Name of the Wind" and "The Wise Man's Fear." They give me a benchmark against which I gauge my own attempts to create fresh twist to fantasy tropes.

  13. kylaryn says:

    I really think Rothfuss is missing the point of The Sword of Truth. There is much more going on under the surface than just mere plot. The idea is that smart people do stupid stuff when ambition runs amok is a much-needed commentary in today’s world.

    That said, the craft of Goodkind doesn’t match that of The Greats, that’s for certain. I agree with avoiding cliché, but enjoy a tip of the hat to them.

  14. Trev says:

    One cliche I hate is the One sword of ultimate power.

  15. Albert Ferreño says:

    Cliches are tough to avoid.-That said, Rothfuss is, no doubt, fresh air to the genre. You gotta give him that. Keep an eye on Brandon Sanderson, VERY ORIGINAL on his stories.

    • Aila says:

      I'll second that Brandon Sanderson comment. His Cosmere is overflowing with original concepts.

      • renee says:

        i agree, he comes up with some really unique, interesting concepts. but sanderson isn't as poetic as rothfuss by a long shot. after reading the mistborn trilogy, i think his work could have used a lot more revising. his writing can sometimes be very clumsy, annoyingly so, despite the ideas being fresh and original. i intend to read more of his stuff to find out if that changes in his newer books, but rothfuss still reigns as the best of both worlds for me.

  16. Roger says:

    I'll take a book with any one of cliches Pat listed over trudging my way through one of his books (again). As fun as it was to read 700 pages about a protagonist who is god's gift to everything (300 of which detail the on-the-edge-of-your-seat-biting-your-nails-off chapters of finding out whether Kvothe will finish his homework or not), I never really cared for Oliver Twist or Harry Potter, which this book does a great job of mashing the two together and adding 500% more boring.

    By the end of the book, the only likeable character was Ambrose, since he's the only character that acts in a realistic manner.

    Also, there is a certain irony in an author listing dragons as terribly cliche, and then inserting the same/similar character in your own book (at least that's how the characters in the book describe it).

    • cor says:

      Yes Kvothe is a bit of a power character but his faults are also clearly mentioned throughout the book. He things to rashly, cuts cornors, and for a majority of the series is an absolute failure when it comes to ladies. A lot of characters act realistically. Name one character who does not act realistically.

      • Roger says:

        None act realistically, save Ambrose, who is presented as the villain, but acts appropriately for his station.

        And being rash and poor with the ladies (yes, poor with the ladies, yet able to recite poems and verse to at the drop of the hat to woo them… give me a break) are not realistic offsets to being a 14-year-old magic prodigy, an acting genius, master magician, educated beyond belief in biology, anatomy, history, etc. He is not believable, and knows far more than he could possibly know in any range of subjects. Oh, did I mention Dragon Slayer and master horseman?

        He's an absurd character.

      • Mantar says:

        I gotta take issue with this.

        Magic prodigy? He's an A student concerning the force of his will, but that doesn't stop him from getting his butt handed to him the first time he tries a duel with a real mage. He's fair-to-middling in other studies. Kvothe is a big fish in a small pond, which he parlays into heroic fame with a great deal of trickery and rumormongering. This is what the books are all about, in my mind.

        Acting genius? Yeah, his family were performers. His stage career began shortly after his birth, so he's got a leg up there. Mozart had the same deal, and there's reason to believe that all genius is just practice from an early age.

        Educated beyond belief? I believe it. He's driven, and has studied hard, but the fact that he's ahead of most of the other students is understandable, as the story goes to great lengths to point out that half the student body are just spoiled rich kids whose families had an extra child, and who decided to shuffle them off to university for prestige reasons. These students generally have little talent or dedication at all.
        If Kvothe stands out next to them, it's not surprising to me in the least. It makes them (and him, and you) falsely see him as larger than life and incredibly gifted, but his experiences out in the real world beyond the university to me say that he's more often foolish and lucky than smart and gifted.

        We'll have to wait and see if the title of Dragon Slayer is more bluff or not, and I don't remember any master horseman passages.

      • Mantar says:

        Oh wait, I just remembered what the Dragon Slayer bit refers to. Killing that big lizard that turned out to be far less invulnerable than campfire legends claimed it was, and thus less of an amazing feat than Kvothe would let them think..

      • Roger says:

        Master magician should have read master musician, my mistake. Lets add to the list…. smarter than everyone, an impossible range of knowledge for his age across all subjects, capable of learning languages in a matter of days (as opposed to months, or even years), master survivalist, master negotiator, and irritant.

        Couple that with the fact there there are very few things in this book that make it a "fantasy", and you find a book that is Oliver Twist at University.

        If Kvothe were amazing in one or two or even three things, that would be one thing. To be unsurpassed in all things (whether realized, or in potential) is absurd. Whether or not these are Kvothe's imaginings is irrelevant, as we are given no information on this in the first book, and what I have done is illustrate but a few of the shortcomings of this first book.

        If Pat takes his next two volumes and begins to illustrate how Kvothe is a liar and is basically a somewhat extraordinary guy in odd circumstances, that's one thing, but that doesn't change the absurdity of NotW as it stands.

        If you liked it, that's fine. It's ok to like absurd books with absurd characters. I just choose not to.

      • Matt says:

        Haha, first of all, I think it's hilarious that part of circumstances was censored.

        Second of all, yes, Kvothe is a hyper-competent character, but I think Rothfuss does a great job of comparing the man of legend to the real face behind the fairy tale. He kind of deconstructs a lot of those fantasy cliches with his story.

        You're going to get some strong responses when you bash such brilliant writing as boring, even if "boring" is just a matter of opinion. The Name of the Wind is literally the least boring I have ever read. I could read it just for the language alone.

      • Tony says:

        And also, someone at every University is in fact smarter than everyone else. And 80% of the time, that someone goes on to be important in the world, if not the most important person of his day!.

        I think Roger has an inferiority complex.

      • Drew says:

        I enjoyed the books for the most part, but I got tired of Kvothe being the best at everything too. One title I don't see mentioned was also world's greatest lover. He really is the most interesting man in the world.

      • renee says:

        so glad you posted this!

    • Jon says:

      19 thumbs down Roger, pretty sure you're wrong :)

      Name of the Wind is for more mature Fantasy Readers

      If you like fast paced The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett is good, honestly

    • Hazel says:

      I am not sure why one would think "Name the Wind" to be boring. I couldn't put it down….riveted. My record for reading 700 pages. Three other members of my family read much more sci-fi and fantasy and all of them highly praised the style of Patrick Rothfuss and his fresh ideas.
      I think you may see recurring themes in fantasy novels but new ideas intermingled. With other stories, a whole new fresh take…new creatures, races, languages (though no one probably could compare with Tolkien on new languages since that was his specialty). I like many of them. No one has to like any particular author but to say "Name of the Wind" is boring is bunk.

  17. Erzuli says:

    I'd rather have dragons than the fictional females of the King Killer series. Martin doesn't do a perfect job but what he does with many of the female characters is diverse and interesting.

    KKC's women are frankly a joke, serving to provide either 2d love interests who apparently have no one to moon over but Kvothe, or porn-based sex partners who have no attachment and to whom Kvothe – a boy of 15-16 – ends up having no sexual attachment.

    Even some of the most ridiculous issues of comic babes have given more thought to female POV and characterization.

    Couple this with his comparison of Hobbit to the "nerd girl turned porn star" and it's clear that the author has much growing up to do in real life, let alone in the writing of his fiction.

    • cor says:

      You obviously enjoy his literature to read his blog enough to catch that particular post about hobbits. Is it really that odd for a 16 year old male to have no sexual attachment to a faerie? Not really, I'm sure plenty of real life males have gone through the same things but with less attractive mortal women. Also, the comment about the 2-d love interest is slightly confusing. Do you mean Denna mooning over Kvothe or Kvothe mooning over Denna? Denna mooning over Kvothe is understandable because of the life she leads. If I was constantly suited by men day and night I would love to have somebody who isn't trying to buy his way with me or hold onto me. If you are talking about Kvothe mooning over Denna, I would like to point you into the direction of a concept called puppy love.

    • Greg says:

      I love both these books, but gotta say there is some truth to what you say about the female characters – maybe Fela, or Devi could give us more if the author would wish. The platform for more interesting females is there, but will it happen ???

      • K.V. says:

        Devi is a pretty strong character and she doesn't "moon" over Kvothe, in fact she threatens to kill him. I'd say she's far from 2D. Denna doesn't moon over Kvothe much either. She's constantly disappearing on him, often busy with her own life, and displays herself as a confident, intelligent, a witty girl when she's around him.

        Felurian is as emotioanlly detached from Kvothe as he is from her. She's a sex fairy who views love making as an art, not a relationship. There's only one Adem woman who "moons" over Kvothe. The others are a bit mocking and skeptical of him and even go as far as to call him a whore for showing his emotions.

        The Fae and Adem cultures don't value sex the same way we do. Judging their actions as two dimensional and detached is misunderstanding their culture.

  18. lpstribling says:

    Good on you, Pat. Well told.

  19. cor says:

    I agree with you Pat. I usually avoid reading adult fantasy purely because it is more or less the same story just with different names. Youth fantasy, while not always written beautifully, usually has more creativity.

  20. Rob says:

    Wow!! Ouch!! Reading the loads passion here has cooled my own. I think asking a writer to talk about what fantasy content he dislikes because it is cliche is setting him up to sound like a jerk. In fact, in general I think it's a poor question. Anything can sound completely overused and cliché if it's written poorly or if it's in a story for no good reason. There'll always be dragons and wizards, damsels, knights, and barbarians and whatever other iconic clichés you can think of in fantasy literature. Why? Because we friggin love them! that established do not get me wrong, I also think fantasy as a genre as an obligation to come up with new iconic imaginary people, places and objects that we will also love and use over and over again in fresh ways. I also think that it's the fantasy genre obligation to come up with many new and inventive plots and ideas too, But but I think trying to learn fantasy into fashion is simply a load of tripe I have read Patrick's blog and seen a number of different YouTube interviews with the guy and I feel confident enough to say that from what I've seen he is not some naysaying jerk. The problem here is the question itself. when make something cliché or interesting and novel is not whether or not it's been used before, But whether or not the item being used in a fresh real and compelling way in the story that you're reading now. In short, it really all about the execution of what ever you're writing then it is about any content faux pas. Anytime you just particular imaginary contacts over another imaginary context you might lose a reader because they're looking for a different flavor fantasy with in the bookstore a particular time. But so long as what you've written is well executed and fascinating, the Reader will respond favorably to it. I applaud Patrick for being willing to take such a loaded question and generally find such questions tiresome and annoying.

  21. Rance says:

    Rothfuss has written 2 great books so far which I have completely fallen for. We need to remember and appreciate that he has begun to create a unique fantasy world and have yet to see what it turns into. At the rate of which the story has progressed through only 2 books, I will be sorely disappointed if he ends in the next book just to satisfy the intent of a true trilogy. Rothfuss essentially has 2 story lines going which will eventually intersect; then what? I have always been a fan of Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind and Tolkien. Rothfuss stands to follow these successful writers if he keeps the story going on which I like to think he will based on the pov these first 2 books are written.
    I understand the dislike of using cliches but this can be looked at in two different ways. Avoiding traditional fantasy components such as dragons and dwarfs may show the inability to keep these things interesting or, true originality. I think that Rothfuss falls somewhere in between these two based on his minimal incorporation of these components into these first two books.
    well since I have had a few brewskis, i feel like I am rambling, just wanted to give my worthless 2 cents!

    • Cons says:

      Ill give you Tolkien and Jordan. I will, however, not give you Goodkind. His stories are good enough, but his writing is nowhere near the level of Rothfuss, Tolkien or Jordan. It is far more basic and nowhere near as leveled as the other 3

    • Joseph says:

      I agree with you on what you are saying about how you will be dissapointed if he ends the story with the final book in the trilogy. What I am really hoping that Rothfuss will do is bring the story so that Kvothes history catches up to the present, and ends the trilogy there, and then perhaps write another trilogy on what happens to Kvothe after he finishes telling his story

  22. Toki says:

    Honestly, I completely agree with most of what Pat has said here. I avoided the fantasy genre for the longest time because it all seemed to be dragons and wizards and elves and such. It took a long time to really delve into it, but even to this day, I look for books and authors that seem to take a turn from the normal cliches or put a fresh twist on them. I'm certainly not as picky as I used to be, mostly due to an ex of mine introducing me to Dungeons and Dragons, and an array of really good (and not so good) fantasy authors. I loved Patrick Rothfuss. I loved Brandon Sanderson. I put Terry Goodkind's Wizards First Rule book down before I got halfway through. Brent Weeks' Way of Shadows made me cringe. And Watt-Evans' Obsidian Chronicles had so much potential to be good, but it was ruined by mediocre writing and about a million loose ends left at the conclusion. But, I suppose it depends on the person. Maybe I'm just picky. Either way, I think Pat has got the right idea.

  23. Debi says:

    When do we get part three? Just spent three days reading the first two.

  24. Marge says:

    I am a mother and a grandmother who is so sick of dragons and vampires, sagging pants with underwear showing, and piercings. As far as tattoos go, remember that less is more. My main objection with fiction involving drawfs is civil rights. Real human beings who wish to be called "little people" go through life with taller people acting very childish around them. Can't any of you try to imagine what it is like to be in that minority? This is 2012. I think society really loses out when so much of any generation concerns itself with fantasy and fiction. There are real problems out here that need to be solved. That is done by studying history. Go see the Lincoln movie.

  25. Rhy says:

    Ok, i love fantasy! But i have to agree that ot does get a little tireing reading books all about the ‘chosen one’ but i have to admit there are some pretty good books out there for example the belgarid by david eddings i personally love all these books, all 22 of them( which in culdes a diffrent serise same characters)

    I love elves, dryads them all, fay to, any type of fay love, just so free in the ranges of imagination. I personally do not think anyone should be juging the topic of fantasy, a genre ages old, matter the form.

    Ps has anyone else noticed the seperation between diffrent typea of fantasy? As in dragons and elves, then vamps and were wolves?

    The casters(witches)

    Then fay, you never see it all in the same book, i just want to onow if anyone else noticed

  26. Christine says:

    This kind of killed me inside, just a smidge. Not that I don't agree with everything Mr. Rothfuss said, it's just that I love dragons and planned on writing a novel where they play a rather large role. I blame growing up with Anne McCaffrey's novels as my literary cocaine, followed by Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle.

  27. hajin says:

    Patrick Rothfuss is like a fresh new breeze in fantasy story telling. His 2 books were so great that I'm really having a hard time finding another book as good… with the exception of Brandon Sanderson's the way of king. any suggestions?

  28. Roy P says:

    Speaking of being cliche, everything that Rothfuss said in this interview has been said about a thousand times by other modern fantasy writers.

  29. Anon E Mouse says:

    So Patrick didn't like The Wizard's First Rule or Skyrim it seems… Hopefully Denna will get hit by a carriage and fall down a well in the next book. I'm sick of her interrupting what would have otherwise been the best pair of books on my shelves.

  30. Christa says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed both Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear. That being said, for an author who finds Terry Goodkind’s Wizards First Rule cliche, he sure borrowed quite a bit of it… From similar names, to the Adem: impossible to best fighters dressed all in red, best ones being women to power being brought on by anger or need… Sounds pretty familiar to me

  31. Jolie says:

    Great writing and writers do not divorce themselves from who they are. When a story is told with heart and truth it is a compelling read. If that story is combined with good wordsmithing then it will come alive and speak to the reader. Could it be writers are tempted to formulize their writing with the goal of becoming a great writer rather than a great story teller? The secret is to tell a story with skill and make it worth reading. If we live life, throw in some excellent reading along with a dash of "The Elements of Style" the level of pros will grow richer creating round interesting characters who struggle and overcome. There really isn't anything new under the sun – it is the telling of the story that makes the difference.

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