The Way of Kings

I have trouble taking things seriously. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, this probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise to you.

In medieval times, people probably would have referred to me as “Phlegmatic” and attributed this tendency to an imbalance of my humors. These days people just think of me as an an irreverent asshat.

It’s especially bad when I’m asked to write anything remotely promotional. A good example of this is my endless struggle with biography.

It’s also a real problem when I want to write a blurb for someone’s book.

I very rarely give blurbs, and part of the reason for this is when I sit down to write one, I feel like I have to be all professional and formal. I feel like I should use words like, “Luminous” and “Scintillating” and “Perspicacious” “Resplendent.”

But that’s not how I talk. If I really liked a book, I would say to my friend, “This is a really fucking good book. Seriously. Have you read it? No? Go buy it, shitweasel.”

However, that’s not really the sort of thing publishers are looking to print on the cover of a book.

My most recent experience blurbing a book was when Brandon Sanderson sent me an ARC of the Way of Kings a while back.

I read the book and liked it, which irritated me. Brandon writes way faster than I do, and his books are consistently good. This means that I feel like I should really despise him. Either that or hunt him down like an animal so I can devour his liver and thereby gain some of his power.

But even though I’ve tried really hard, I can’t help but like him. Brandon’s a really nice guy.

So I sit down and try to write a professional style blurb for him. Here’s what I come up with:

“Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite new authors, and The Way of Kings continues his tradition of creating vivid, fantastic worlds for us to visit.”

How’s that for awful? That isn’t just some first quick attempt, either. I worked for like twenty minutes to come up with that. It’s one part bland, one part stiff, and two parts fake-sounding. “Continues his tradition”? Who the hell says something like that? Not me.

So I try again:

“Sanderson knows how to tell a good story, and he’s created another vivid and fantastic world in The Way of Kings.”

If anything, this one’s even worse. It’s more boring. And I’m clinging to the word “vivid” like it’s somehow going to keep me from looking like an idiot.

At this point I’m frustrated. So I quit taking the whole process seriously and write,

“Brandon Sanderson’s books are so good that he’s starting to piss me off.”

And you know what? It feels pretty good. That’s something I’d actually say out loud. And in its own way, that blurb is more honest and complementary than the other two.

So I decide to run with it, and write.

“This book is cool, and Brandon Sanderson smells like fresh-baked cookies.”

“Sanderson’s newest Brobdingnagian epic is sure to please. Look it up, bitches.”

“Brandon Sanderson’s new book is printed on delightfully soft-yet durable paper. With more than a thousand pages, The Way of Kings is sure to bring you several weeks of good, solid use, though that may vary according to your diet and personal hygiene.”

“When’s book two coming out? What’s taking so long?”

“Brandon Sanderson is one of the great new writers on the scene today. And he’s not hard on the eyes either. Rawr.”

“The Way of Kings is a tour-de-force. Luminously meretricious, yet with a round oaky underbite, this book offers notes of toffee and broam with just a hint of having someone’s nephew hit you in the groin with a tennis ball. Best served with fish.”

Writing these sorts of blurbs come really naturally to me.

After about an hour of this, I sent a handful of potential blurbs along to Brandon and his agent. I told them the truth, that I suck at giving the classic blurb.

And that was the last I thought of it until I wandered into the bookstore two days ago and saw that The Way of Kings has just hit the shelves.

I picked it up just to check how many long it was. It’s over a thousand pages, so that made me feel better about The Wise Man’s Fear. Especially because I just added a new chapter yesterday.

Then I flipped it over and saw this:

What’s that down there on the bottom?

Just me and Orson Scott Card, hanging out on the back of Brandon Sanderson’s book.

And you know what? I kinda like my blurb. It’s not fancy, but then again, I’m not a fancy person. But sincere? I’ve got sincere in spades.

If you’re looking for something to read, you might want to check it out…

Best,

pat

This entry was posted in my dumbness, My Iconoclastic Tendencies, recommendations, the art of blurbing, Things I didn't know about publishingBy Pat129 Responses

129 Comments

  1. Andres J.
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

    I just finished the audiobook this morning, and it was awesome. I share your feeling tho, the first thing that came to my mind was that I will have to wait for a year till book 2 comes out. I guess we readers are a dissatisfied lot.

  2. Tacroy
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 1:44 AM | Permalink

    Chuh, how could you not mention the art? This book has some of the absolute best interior art I’ve ever seen. It just leaps out at you even if you’re only flipping through the thing. That’s what you should be saving your “vivid”s and “fantastic”s for.

    I haven’t finished the actual book yet unfortunately, but when I got home and opened the package I had to spend like ten minutes just looking at it. The hardcover is seriously a work of art wrapped around a book, with even more art bits inside like some sort of crazy art chupaqueso.

    • Posted September 4, 2010 at 2:11 AM | Permalink

      Unfortunately, the ARC copy didn’t have much art in it….

      • crokevi
        Posted September 6, 2010 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

        with no intention of sounding disrespectful or rude.. Advanced Reading Copy copy? oooh Pat, don’t forget your PIN number next time you hit the ATM machine! ;)

        • Posted September 6, 2010 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

          Ah! I’m so filled with shame and everything.

          Oh, wait. I’m not. You’re just being a douche.

          You see, it’s dickish to pick on people for little idiosyncrasies of language. Like ending a sentence in a preposition. Or starting one with a conjunction. Or using sentence fragments.

          For example, in your post, you don’t capitalize the first words in your sentences. If I were to reply to that post with the sole purpose of mocking you for that, it would be a dickish thing to do.

          This is true even if I started off the post saying, “I hope this isn’t a dickish thing to do….” and then ended it with a smiley face.

          This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by Elodin Enterprises. Teaching you the finer points of internet etiquette since 2001.

          • thechessqueen
            Posted September 6, 2010 at 11:36 PM | Permalink

            *Leaps to her feet to applaud resoundingly*

          • stevenhester
            Posted September 11, 2010 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

            Damn Pat, you just beasted that guy… I’ve never seen a more coherent and witty response to a post like that

          • rudejude00
            Posted February 4, 2011 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

            Haha!
            I really do wish that every prick on a forum who deliberately won’t answer some poor sod’s tech question because they forgot to put an apostrophe in a word or didn’t capitalize “I” could be kicked out by the mods, but with your comeback attached as a note of explanation. People need to get off their high horses.

  3. desert rat
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    Actually, I am looking for something to read right now. You and OSC can’t both be wrong at the same time. Thanks, Pat!

    Wait…you ADDED another CHAPTER?… Woohoo!!

    • Posted September 4, 2010 at 2:12 AM | Permalink

      It’s just a short chapter….

      • danreyno
        Posted September 7, 2010 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

        Is it a fan service chapter involving Lesbian Unicorns and Kvothe?

        Also I thought this blurb: “Brandon Sanderson’s books are so good that he’s starting to piss me off.” should have been the one they used.

        A funny and unique blurb would catch my attention for sure.
        I think they took the quick and easy path and chose the nicest thing you said. :)

    • RegistrationIsStupid
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 3:10 AM | Permalink

      It’s still a chapter, isn’t it?

  4. Gnavin
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 1:48 AM | Permalink

    Pat, you *must* find someone who will allow you to put “This is a really fucking good book. Seriously. Have you read it? No? Go buy it, shitweasel.” as a blurb for their book. Seriously. I laughed so hard when I read that.

    • Kara J
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:19 AM | Permalink

      Likewise…I’ve now got to go clean the tea off my monitor and keyboard

      • Panda Girl
        Posted September 4, 2010 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

        I’m sick right now…Every time I laugh I start coughing, I laughed so much I had a coughing fit and my brother thought I was dying. If I had of died it would have been how I wanted to go, laughing at one of Pat’s jokes. :D

    • Nottobrite
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

      I think I lost it at “Look it up, bitches.” If a book had that blurb on it, I would probably buy it just for that, even if it was about romantic vampires.

  5. Posted September 4, 2010 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

    You may be an irreverent asshat, but I still love ya. Your blog always makes me laugh. Appreciated! Great stuff.

  6. geekd
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 1:53 AM | Permalink

    “Shitweasel” is my new general purpose insult.

  7. Posted September 4, 2010 at 1:55 AM | Permalink

    I love you. “Shitweasal” !? I desperately wish I were that cool! If I could say crap like that consistently and get away with it… I dont know how to finish that but I would have to be in some kind of advanced league of awesome.

    -G

  8. Slamadoca
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

    It’s always good to see the webland authors complimenting others’ works. I’ve been a fan of Sanderson since I first read Elantris back when it came out, and he has yet to disappoint.

    Eagerly waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail. I hope they don’t bash it up too much.

  9. Requiem
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

    The man has way too much energy for any one person, I postulate that he is in fact a robot.

    Seriously though, I was at his Orlando signing the other day – nice guy. He actually acts exactly the same in person as he does on the writing excuses podcast. I haven’t read the book yet as I happened to be in the middle of a read-through of another series when it came out (and you cant just stop a series in the middle to read something else… not when you have the whole thing in front of you at least). I live in constant fear that he will burn himself out though, writing that much that quickly cant be good for you.

  10. Baldsilver
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 3:05 AM | Permalink

    You know, I see the potential in eating a man’s organs to gain his book writing skills, but I’d have to go for the heart on this one. Liver does some pretty nasty stuff, I don’t think your taste buds could forgive you on that one.

  11. Tashandtwo
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 4:38 AM | Permalink

    Love your “sincere” comments!
    Brandon is a great writer, I read the Mistborn trilogy in a couple of days, such an excellent idea :D I think a trip to the bookstore is in order.
    Anyone looking for a recommendation should check out Brent Weeks’ new book; The Black Prism – that is another stunning piece of work.

  12. Corgyll
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

    You should’ve gone with “Brandon Sanderson’s books are so good that he’s starting to piss me off.”

    And, hi, just had to register to say that, AND to tell you that you have ruined other books for me for a few months.
    I read something and all i see is Kvothe lounging on some rooftop, or Kvothe huddled in fear on a rooftop. There’s lots of rooftops.
    Thanks, and carry on.

    Soo… I’m a swede, ‘sup?

    • Cissus
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

      I’m also a swede! And I also just had to register to leave a comment right now! Small world eh? :D

  13. Cissus
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    I actually laughed out loud at

    “And he’s not hard on the eyes either. Rawr.”

    Seriously, Pat, I love your blog :)

  14. daiceman
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:36 AM | Permalink

    I’ve got to admit, seeing: “When’s book two coming out? What’s taking so long?” -Patrick Rothfuss, amid other authors quotes would be quite hillairous.

  15. Spam
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

    When it comes to praise for a book, generally speaking if it has anything written on it by another author I like I’ll pick it up over another book that has critics that jump out of the front cover and sing about it. (Well maybe not because that would be awesome, but you get the idea.)

    If I found two books with blank covers and only one line of text on the front of each and I had to choose between the one with “This is the greatest book in the history of everything!” – The Guardian, and another sporting “This book might not give you cancer.” – Patrick Rothfuss, I know which one I’d buy.

  16. Jesscar.
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

    I just finished your book, “the name of the wind” & then came on here to see if there was a sequel, but instead learnt of your amazingly funny and quirky personality, which just happened to make me fall in love with your book even more. Thanks so much, i’m now going to go and read it again.
    smiley face.
    Jess.

  17. kenevins
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

    I just visited Amazon to put Brandon’s book on my wish list. You probably already know this, but I thought it was cool that the next page that came up where they say “Customers who purchased this book also liked”… and your book was the first one there. So, if nothing else, you can ride his coattails of productiveness.

  18. suzieqbear
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    I vote on the back of Wise Man’s Fear, you should stick only to honest quotes like yours, or maybe just yours… Like, “Hey, I like my book, you should too, and if you don’t you’re a shitweasel. ”
    You know, something short, sweet and heartfelt.
    Even if I’d never heard of you, I’d buy it if I saw that.

  19. Rupoe
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    “irreverent asshat”, “shitweasel”… LOL

  20. Antho
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    They should have gone with:

    “This book is cool, and Brandon Sanderson smells like fresh-baked cookies.”

    Classy.

  21. justajenjen
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    Well, I now know what to ask for next time I come to one of your book signings, Pat. :)

    Also, I think your first way of suggesting a book would be great. Personally, I would pretty much be forced to buy a book with such an honest opinion on it. Maybe Oprah should start using this phrase for her book club, especially next time she decides to pick Faulkner.

  22. paixe
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    Haaa, I saw this when I was unpacking our store’s copies from the boxes last Monday (damn that book is HUGE). And I saw your blurb and it made me soooo happy. As one who has to handle loads of books all day, and thus comes across way too many blurbs, I can definitely say yours caught my attention. It was short enough for me to bother reading it, and it made me laugh. But seriously, the length thing is important. Orson Scott Card, freaking famously amazing, right? I didn’t actually read his blurb because it had too many words. The least I can do is scan them, and if I come across an unexpected word (since mostly they’re all made up of the same ones, like your ‘vivid’ example) then it might actually interest me enough to read the whole few sentences.

    Yours, however, was brief, unexpected, and funny. And then I saw it was YOU and it made my day even more awesome!

  23. iburnbrass
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    Arrgghhh! Nine more days until I can buy it… So hard to wait! (I want to support the bookstores that host signings by getting a copy at the event.)

    I’m stoked to hear of even a short chapter being added! Your writing is so good: I’ll take all the extra you feel fit to publish. Thanks for blogging!

    Also – New insult for you that’s gaining popularity in Portland, Oregon: douchecanoe. I like asshat, but isn’t shitweasel getting old?

  24. Andy411
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    I had this book pre-ordered for a long time and had forgotten about it, only to have amazon deliver it to my doorstep on the first day of classes this semester. I have since had it in my backpack non-stop, but have yet to find time to read it. It is, however, starting to give me back problems.

    Also, I would have loved if I had picked up the book only to find –

    “Brandon Sanderson’s books are so good that he’s starting to piss me off.”
    -PR

  25. Freelancer
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    Pat,

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. As long as you’ve been working on your story, well Brandon began on what is now The Way of Kings more than 15 years ago. So, whether or not he really writes faster than you, this piece has been a very long time in arriving for publication. Besides, why would you want to compare yourself with another author? There’s nobody else like you (at least, we should hope).

    And I’m curious. On that jacket back, they bother to identify you, but not Card, as a NYT Best Selling Author. At first glance it appears favoring to you, or dismissive of Card. Thoughts?

    • Posted September 4, 2010 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

      I think it’s more likely that they assume everyone knows who Card is. Most people don’t know who I am, so they need to add my credentials after my name.

      • Catherine56
        Posted September 4, 2010 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

        I took a Science Fiction and Fantasy literature class a few semesters ago and I have to say I just can’t get really into Card’s stuff. He’s well known but it’s not my thing. However, since he is who he is I am happy to see your name along with his.

      • guessingo
        Posted September 10, 2010 at 7:51 AM | Permalink

        Card seems to give alot of quotes for books. These quotes are just marketing. I think giving quotes may actually help the author who gave the quote. Since it puts your name out there more.

      • cynrtst
        Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

        I am disappointed in Orson Scott Card since I learned of his views on LGBT human beings. So much so I didn’t buy his sequel to Pathfinder.

    • Posted January 10, 2011 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

      Actually in my opinion it would be very good if there were more authors like Patrick.

  26. Eternal Light
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    To be honest, the way everyone writes blurbs annoys me. For some reason every book, no matter the quality, will have someone quoted saying that it’s the “Best Book Ever”.

    These days I don’t even bother reading WHAT the blurb says, instead I just check who said it. All that matters is if it’s someone I respect or not. Also more than three blurbs it makes me skeptical. An interesting summary is way better.

    • DoodleDad
      Posted September 7, 2010 at 2:20 AM | Permalink

      Am I the only one who hates the way fantasy (and science fiction) book synopses are written?

      Take this example (an extract from the back cover of the first of Sanderson’s Mistborn books): “A new kind of uprising is being planned, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the courage of an unlikely heroine, a Skaa street urchin, who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a mistborn.”

      Picture the scene – I rave about a fantasy book I’ve enjoyed to a fantasy virgin (OK, that phrase is all colours of wrong, but you get my gist); I convince said neophyte to really give said book a try; I hand them the precious book; they turn straight to the back cover, read the cliché-ridden, shallow synopsis… and hand it back with a slightly sheepish grin, saying, “It doesn’t really sound like my kind of thing.”

      I noticed that NotW uses a teaser excerpt from the book itself, to far more powerful effect (also neatly getting around the futile attempt to try to summarise richly-drawn main characters in a dozen words).

      Do authors have creative control over back cover synopses? I know they’re not usually the final word in determining whether or not someone buys the book, but it seems a shame for an author’s hard work to risk missing an additional audience member just because some marketing monkey thinks they can summarise several hundred pages of craft in thirty words.

      (I’m probably being grossly unfair here – it must be a very hard task, and I know I could do no better. And if Brandon Sanderson wrote the synopsis for The Final Empire I’m going to feel like a complete tit.)

      • Posted September 7, 2010 at 4:08 AM | Permalink

        Sometimes we have some control. But more often we don’t.

        And you’re right. Back cover copy is the hardest thing in the world to write.

        Either you tell the plain truth, which is boring and unconvincing: “It’s a book about a guy telling his life story. But he’s cool and it’s interesting.”

        Or you make it try to sound super-exciting and it comes off sounding like a cliche lie: “In a world! Torn asunder by war! One man! Strives! To! Tell! The! Truth!”

        In brief, I never read the back cover stuff. The best I can hope for is that they don’t give pieces of the plot away. At worst they’re irritating.

        • DoodleDad
          Posted September 7, 2010 at 4:26 AM | Permalink

          Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I appreciate the insight, and hope nobody mucks up your back cover on WMF (I know it’s what’s inside that counts – as my Mummy always told me – but if there’s a crappy back cover it will still be THERE, irrationally bugging me).

          Also, I promised myself I wouldn’t get all sycophantic on here, but the fact that you replied to my second-ever post (well, any post of mine) has made me whistle. Which is annoying my colleagues somewhat. For which thanks again.

          • theotherjason
            Posted September 7, 2010 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

            It’ll still BE THERE….waiting.

        • Constance
          Posted September 8, 2010 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

          A friend (published!) who writes mythological romance once asked a bunch of us to submit back cover & jacket liner blurbs for her historical fiction novel. It was hard to sum up her book in a few short phrases that could convey the story and the ideas AND hook the reader AND not give away the surprises in store. So yeah… not fun.

        • mbartowi
          Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

          Trolling a bit here…I like the Captain Kirk version for the back cover.

  27. Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    Maybe you should have Kothe write these for you. But it might help he trys to talk like Kelven.

    • Kothe
      Posted September 5, 2010 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

      I know it was just a typo .. but is IS actually my last name. So I’d be more than happy to!

  28. Tager
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat.

    To be quite honest, I don’t even care about how long this book takes. Your Name Of The Wind book has enthralled me like no other. And that’s saying alot for a massive consumer of fantasy for 10 years.

    Please continue concentrating on quality about this second book, every time my mind is not concentrated on something for a large amount of time I end up thinking about your book, possible futures; hidden meanings, and I want this to continue.

    Never feel saddened by a seeming lack of enthusiasm on your brains part, or your readers part. Your a fantastic writer and nothing can stop that.

    Much respect.
    -Tom.

  29. Tager
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    PS: I will buy his book just because you have recommended it.

    • vorak
      Posted September 4, 2010 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

      A few years ago Pat recommended the Mistborn trilogy on his blog (also by Brandon Sanderson). I went out and bought the series and fell in love. I suggest you do the same.

  30. vorak
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    I was at the book store today and didn’t see this book. I will have to go look again because I’m really anxious to start reading this.

    I’m also really glad your blurb made the cut.

  31. SirMJC
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    I just downloaded this onto my Nook the other day…definitely looking forward to reading it. (I’m working through the Dresden Files books right now)

  32. Shendela
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

    “Sanderson’s newest Brobdingnagian epic is sure to please. Look it up, bitches.”

    I was reading that sentence got to Brobdingnagian, read it 3 times, thought “Hmmm I gotta look up that word.” Then finished the sentence and laughed.

    • DoodleDad
      Posted September 7, 2010 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

      I suspect that WMF will make The Way of Kings seem Lilliputian. Size does matter.

  33. Synergy012
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    Just finished The Way of Kings was really pretty great and the best part is Sanderson can put out a book a year (no offense Pat) so great reads through 2019.
    Anyways the Question I am sure is on everyone’s mind (though they are all too polite to ask), when you said you’ll be done editing by September was that September 1? or September 30? or in other words is our publication date now March 4th and counting?

    • Posted September 5, 2010 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

      I still want to know how it’s possible that Sanderson is done writing the next WoT book a few days ago and it’ll be on shelves in 60 days, while Wise Man’s Fear will be done, assuming Sept 30 deadline, will take 180 days.

      • Synergy012
        Posted September 6, 2010 at 1:07 AM | Permalink

        Good Question. Can spitball a few ideas. It can be as simple as different publishers move at different paces. Or it can be that the more established series gets fast-tracked. Or and I say this with complete ignorance of what is actually going to take place during these infamous 180 days (so this may make no sense) that Sanderson runs like clockwork , its a gift separate and distinct from storytelling, and when he says he’ll have a book ready for the publisher so it can hit stores in November, its ready. Next book is next November. So if there is printer scheduling and the like they feel confident they won’t be wasting time.

  34. cjkoger
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    We picked up The Way of Kings a couple days ago, and one of the first things I did after looking at the cover was tell my wife, “Hey, look, a blurb by Patrick Rothfuss!” I really must say, I have been a fan of Sanderson’s since Elantris a few years back, and of yours since reading Name, even more so after keeping up with this blog for a while now. The fact that you guys are friendly with each other is awesome, I guess because it is like to people I was separately considering to be awesome are now somehow joined together in a relationship of shared awesomeness. Awesome!

    ps I was going to look for a way to use ‘vivid’ in this post, but ended up heading another direction.

  35. JBurris
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    Is your usage of “Shitweasal” a Stephen King reference?

  36. AO_22
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    Less than 2 hours after this Blog was originally posted, I began reading “The Way of Kings”, which is especially amazing as I had not visited this site in the interim. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that Pat must have some sort of psychic/telepathic powers that are effective even when we Blog visitors are not actually visiting. This unprecedented development obviously leads to a myriad of questions.

    Dear Pat,

    1) Have you always had such powers, or are they a recent development?
    2) Are these powers effective only on those who have ever visited this Blog, or can they influence anyone?
    3) Have you tested them to see if they have a certain range, or is it an unlimited range?
    4) Have you made any vows to make use of them only for Good? Or might you sometimes use them in other, more Neutral and/or Chaotic situations?
    5) Can you overuse your powers and so have to recharge, or are they unlimited?
    6) Pizza or Burgers, which are better?

    Please feel free to relay any answers to me either through the Blog, or through your psychic powers, whichever might be more convenient. Thanks. :)

  37. kanna
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    I got this book the day it came out. When I flipped it over I was so exicted to see you and Orson Scott Card on the back, and my first thought was how much your quote sounded like you.

    Also, I’m fairly certain your the one who introduced me to Brandon, so I have to say thank you. I have no idea what I would have done while waiting for WMF without being able to read his stuff.

  38. Walnutbutter
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 12:15 AM | Permalink

    So speaking of Brandon Sanderson, you never told us about your lunch with him and christopher paolini, and why paolini doesnt suck.

  39. MTimonin
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    I gotta say, if Mr. Sanderson was really such a nice guy, he would happily give you a piece of his liver to eat – it’s not like he’s using all of it, and it will re-grow in time…

  40. suzrae
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    I just started reading Brandon Sanderson a few months ago and have made my way through Elantris and The Mistborn trilogy. I’m so thrilled that there is a new title form him out to read. I can’t afford hardcovers so I may have to go to the library to pick this one up; I’m not sure I can wait until the paperback is released.

    I’m considering reading the rest of the Wheel of Time series (stopped at book 5) just so I can read the Sanderson installments at the end. He’s so good!

    Also, this blog entry made me bust up into a fit of giggles. My husband was very confused!

  41. Minzetee
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    “When’s book two coming out? What’s taking so long?”

    hahaaha that was sooo funny xDDDD
    you really must be pissed of about this questions….
    oh man, you are just cool =)

  42. Jammarian
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    Orson Scott Card is my other favorite author! Guess I’ll have to read that book.

  43. Madge
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    I’m about three fifths of the way through this book. If you asked me which of your blurbs I thought was most fitting and appropriate, I would answer “Yes.”

  44. Posted September 5, 2010 at 11:38 PM | Permalink

    Fucking brilliant.

  45. JMF
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    Just subscribed after reading this hilarious post.
    There is a danger here, isnt’ there? Wouldn’t be right to buy a book just because there is a fantastically honest comment by emerging star writer (with much needed credentials, of course…) on the back.
    Not being familiar with Mr. Sanderson’s work, I would buy it at once if there was something like Mr. Rothfuss’s “Brandon Sanderson’s books are so good that he’s starting to piss me off.” among the reviews.
    Instead, however, I consider the other grimly serious blurb, and may decide to buy Nelson Mandela’s biography instead for some insights into leadership psychology.

  46. Posted September 6, 2010 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    “This is a really fucking good book. Seriously. Have you read it? No? Go buy it, shitweasel.”

    I could totally persuade my publishers (actually, our publishers, being Gollancz) to put that on the cover. Pretty certain I could get it on the front too.

  47. EL-izabeth
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Well Pat,
    That was a nice blurb. I was just siting around in the rain, getting depressed in somewhat polluted and generally boring Billings MT. I am stuck here because I work here as a labor and delivery nurse and ironically there are no babies and no labors, despite it being labor DAY. Come on universe…where is your ability to take a hint? I may have been put on call today because the last time it was slow I was assigned to “special projects” and I spent the morning correcting minute syntax and gramar errors in our policies. This may have been unnecessary and may have created hours of work for my manager who then had to go implement the corrections and who apparently does not know or care what a double negative is. Perhaps. Well, here I am. I moped around for a while and then asked myself “what would patrick rothfuss do?” although I’m sure this hasn’t happened to you before…

    • EL-izabeth
      Posted September 6, 2010 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

      …wow, good thing there happened to an elipsis there just when I accidentally clicked “post”. Must remember to randomly put in elipses in future scentences? I wasn’t done babbling. Your recommendation could not be better timed, and will save my day. Thank you!

  48. Mickey
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    Please, oh pretty please can I use asshat as my new put down/insult. I shall be selective in its use and only apply it to those who most desperately deserve it !

    I shall of course anglicise it to arse-hat, adds punch and vigour I think…

  49. Fig
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Considering that My husband and I both started reading you and Brandon Sanderson from Orson Scott Card’s recommendations via his blog, it seems apropos to see you all mentioned here. :)

    I just thought you might be interested to hear, if you don’t know already, that this blog is the #4 option listed when “The Way of Kings” is googled. The preview listed is the winetasting review, which makes me smile.

    • DoodleDad
      Posted September 7, 2010 at 1:46 AM | Permalink

      You beat me to the punch – when I read on Card’s review column that: “[Rothfuss is] the great new fantasy writer we’ve been waiting for, and this is an astonishing book,” I knew I had to buy NotW, and I wasn’t disappointed – just as when I followed Card’s recommendation of Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. So if Uncle Orson AND Pat are recommending The Way of Kings, I know it’s probably a book so good that it may start its own religion.

      As an aside, I had to stop reading Card’s other column, called “Civilization Watch”, which is full of deceit and polemic where his reviews are full of insight and (usually) fairness. This was hugely disappointing, and caused me to somewhat lower the pedestal I’d placed Card on (without his consent – maybe he’s scared of heights).

      My point? Well, it made me very wary of reading my favourite authors’ non-book writings, in case I suffered similar disillusionment – which made it all the more cool to find that Mr Rothfuss (we’re not on first name terms yet) is, if anything, even more groovy in “real” life than as “just” an author.

      (By the way, I “hate” people who over-use quote marks.)

  50. divalcious
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    So I’m on Amazon.com and I realize that Brandon Sanderson’s book came out recently and I’m all excited coz his books are awesome (ooh! I said “coz”. That one dude a few comments down would probably want to go off on me for that. Oh well). And then I realize YOUR book is coming out next year, which is also awesome. That made me so excited, I could almost pee my pants. But I wont… coz that’s just nasty. But I just wanted you to know your book rocked my world. Oh and so does your blog, coz you’re really funny and irreverent. Thanks for being, you know… well… awesome.

  51. Marky
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    Pat, if you could have the choice of any writer adding a blurb onto your fantastically stupendous book, who would it be and what would you have them write?

    Oh, and I’ve missed you too. There’s no need for tears. I’ve been busy, ok. It’s not as if you’ve noticed or anything.

    Oh, and is shitweasel some sort of felching joke?

    Cheers, fuzzychops.

    The ghost of Marky

  52. wysen
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    “When’s book two coming out? What’s taking so long?”

    This made me spit up my drink. You, sir, owe me a new keyboard.

  53. Rob47
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    Damn you Mr Rothfuss you’ve just shown me a total of 16 epic novels I have to read, doust thou not care for my poor wrists? Maybe I should get a Kindle afterall. I need a reading chair as well… And a pipe.

    Ah well at least it will last me till that book from that other fantasy writer comes out *wink wink nugde nudge*

  54. skinner
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    “Brandon Sanderson’s books are so good that he’s starting to piss me off.” would have been much better.

    as always, Pat, you rock. Keep up the great work and good luck on finishing WMF.

  55. cass393
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    hey, i totally picked up Who Fears Death? because you suggested it. The blurb could say anything – if you read it and liked it, other people probably will too. I’m just jealous that you got the ARC – I love it when I get them :)

  56. Chronos
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    Pat,

    Did you write the extra chapter just so you could go…”see Brandon, my book is WAYYYYY longer than yours”

  57. Sister_Spider
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    Go for the heart. The liver is mainly just a filter, so all you’ll get is the leftover awesome his body couldn’t process or use.

    I’m sure there’s a pun involving arteries or veins in there somewhere. Play me off, Scottie!

  58. Posted September 7, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    “This is a really fucking good book. Seriously. Have you read it? No? Go buy it, shitweasel.”

    ^ To avoid blurbs like that is a mistake in literary marketing, because I would totally buy a book with this blurb on the front on the basis of the blurb alone.

    But I’m sort of an irreverent asshat too, so that probably has something to do with it…

  59. Begaria
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    I was pleasantly surprised to see you’re blurb on the back of the book. I listen to Writing Excuses and am a huge fan of Brandon and yourself and to see a blurb by you on one of his books is a double whammy of writing goodness. Almost finished the book (page 700…uhm, after two days :P), and it’s fantastic.

    You should get Brandon to do a blurb on Wise Man’s Fear. Hopefully with “shitweasel” in there, just because it’d be hilarious coming from Brandon.

    • Begaria
      Posted September 7, 2010 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

      Great. First time posting a comment and I screw up “you’re” and “your”. Why is there no edit function?!

      • He without a clever name
        Posted September 8, 2010 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

        Yes, the lack of edit is indeed sad. We all want to our words to look their best when posting on Pat’s blog in case he reads them, like dressing your words in what the older generation would call their “Sunday clothes.” I think I uses the wrong form of “to” a few entries ago in a response. :(

        • Mickey
          Posted September 9, 2010 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

          I love that so many people have posted about the use proper writing and language on the blog, and then when I make a spelling mistake in my post it’s like I’ve let the team down….

          Sad, yes but undeniably true. Also a bit weird for a site that hails the words asshat and bugfuckeringly as important and valuable additions to the dictionary.

  60. Jamie
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    I love the word “shitweasel” I need to add it to my daily vocabulary.

  61. Constance
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    If Robert Jordan’s work can be handled with reverence and care by Sanderson, (and he can bring resolution to the fucking plotlines!) and Patrick Rothfuss says “Buy this fucking book,” I really ought to listen and go get me some new stories to read while I wait for the new WoT and Kingkiller to come out.

    • Mickey
      Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

      He did a really good job of The Gathering Storm, I sometimes had to remind myself that it wasn’t actually written by RJ himself. I was really worried that he would’nt pull it off but it was pretty amazing stuff.

  62. Sait-taM
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    read The Way of Kings and The Black Prism these last 2 weeks, must say it was 2 amaaazing weeks. Can barely wait for the sequels. Well that’s pretty much the fantasy scene, many great books but always the damn waiting time:)

  63. Rabool
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    Wow, I laughed my tits off.

    Btw, when’s the next book coming out…

    8 – )

  64. guessingo
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    Thank you for again posting books that you like. I like when authors I like do that. I find it hard to pick out fantasy books. When I read the blurb they all sound the same. I look for referrals.

    I know you have posted books in the past that you read, anyway you can periodically post books that you have read and enjoy as a regular blog post? Doesn’t have to be all fantasy or even all fiction. I like references for books. I think alot of your fans would like that.

  65. Sait-taM
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    I still laugh when I think about the comment “beaten a nun to death with a bag of kittens”. One of the best sentences ever!:D

  66. Grover Cleveland
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Shit. I love Sanderson’s books, and wish had known he was writing this earlier, because I just discovered the legend of Drizzt series, and am already halfway through, so I can’t just go out and read it. Though, to be fair, Salvatore’s books are also fantastic, so I really have no right to complain…
    – The President

  67. IAmtheRooster
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    Being an irreverent gal myself, I better identify–and am inspired by–irreverence in others.

    Hey y’all, does anyone agree that in his spare time *snickers into hand* Pat should write a send-up of what can, at times, be a fairly pretentious genre? I’m thinking something a la Bored of the Rings

    • Mickey
      Posted September 10, 2010 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

      If you like that sort of thing, try the Spellsinger series by Alan Dean Foster. It’s not a spoof or anything, but if you read between the lines you can see he’s really having a good laugh at some of the more pretentious “high fantasy” out there.

  68. slade6891t
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    Given the musical elements in your book, do you yourself play any instruments?

  69. Posted September 11, 2010 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    Your recommendation carries a lot of weight. I always look for blurbs by authors I admire–I actually picked up The Name of the Wind on Robin Hobb’s word (she is usually right). I’ve often longed for some master list of blurbs–that way, once I’ve determined that I trust an authors taste, I can go forth and buy everything they recommend. I actually just read the Mistborn trilogy (Ms. Hobb again!) and so I’m rather Sandersoned out, but I’ll add this one to The List.

  70. Phaez
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    I just finished this book. Your recomendation carried alot of weight as I loved “The Warded Man” and “The Desert Spear” which you recomended. Sanderson’s book was 1000 pages long and it was amazing. My only regret is that I didn’t discover this 5 years from now when the second book was finished. I just read 1000 pages and I feel like I have been told NOTHING of the real story that Sanderson intends to tell. This felt like the most addictive, page-turning prologe ever created!!! One more book series that I will be unable to contain myself over.

    Thanks for the heads up!

    Mike

  71. Posted September 13, 2010 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    I wish they had gone with one of your other blurbs… I think they’re more you than the one they picked. Not to say the one they picked was bad, I just really liked that batch you listed.

  72. evandy
    Posted September 14, 2010 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat. I think your blurb should have been along the lines of:

    I now sympathize with my fans who now pester me relentlessly for the release of my next book. Hey Brandon: When is book 2 coming out?

  73. Rin Sinn
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Suvudu recently posted a series of videos on Youtube of Brandon Sanderson. In which, he gives a reading of the Way of Kings and has a nice Q&A period.

    Here’s the first part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHkWDoxLjkE&feature=related

  74. Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    Sanderson posted your “piss me off” review on Facebook/Twitter, at which point I turned to my husband and said, “Damn this is going to be a good book.”

  75. Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    I’m surprised to see no one has recommended the Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. Also Georgia Byng’s Molly Moon books are a lot of fun.

  76. bea
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    I kind of scrolled through the comments so as not to repeat but I found them kind of lacking suggestions (maybe I am crazy). Anywho, my suggestion for YA:

    I started out reading my brothers books, who was a bit ahead of me in age, but I distinctly remember my first true novels being read the summer between 5th and 6th grade though I dont know what really qualifies as “YA”. I began with Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s Death Gate Cycle and continued to their Dragonlance series. My brother started with Terry Brooks around that time. Standard fantasy fiction type things.

    GGK happens to be one of my most treasured authors (next to Pat of course:) but I think the bad stuff that happens to Jennifer might be a little much for budding YA readers.

  77. bea
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Dear Pat, I am an idiot. Somehow after i logged in to post a comment it set me back to the Way of Kings post. It was intended for the Fanmail Q&A YA recommendations, which would explain the lack of suggestions! Doh! Feel free to move it around and delete this snippit, or leave it there for all to see what happens to dunces. Thanks pally:)

  78. bibliomaniacal1
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    Confession: I bought The Name of the Wind last month, but since then it has been languishing in my TBR pile. Sanderson is partially to blame for this as The Way of Kings jumped right to the top of the mountain the day it came out. (The resulting avalanche was horrible–I lost three goats and Ted, my Sherpa, will never be the same.) Anyway, The Name of the Wind is next, and I very much look forward to reading it. I also apologize mightily for the delay. Good day, sir!

  79. Tager
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    Pat, I just got it shipped from america and it looks brilliant :)) thanks

  80. jd55
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    Greatest. Blog. Ever. I laughed so hard I peed my pants.

    Pat, I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, although it’s been a little inconsistent the past few months. Thank you for enlightening my life at the most opportune times!

  81. Posted September 21, 2010 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    The person who recommended your book to me last week was Brandon Sanderson. :-)

  82. Haveaseat
    Posted October 21, 2010 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    I find this blog endearing because Pat used the phrase “shitweasel.” For my money the most evocative word used by Stephen King in his second best book about psychoreactive retards.

    I also have to praise using the word “Embiggen” I’ve tried to get my wife to use it in a sexual context but to no avail. I think that more popular use elsewhere such as in this blog will allow it to finally break into more blue usage. Don’t ask me why I want this to happen. Stop judging.

    My Way of Kings jacket blurb.

    “I’ll never eat at Joe’s Crab Shack ever again. Screw you Sanderson.”

  83. jill
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    I do this only because it came up in class last week, and my prof made a special point of it – I can’t tell if it’s funnier if you did it on purpose, or accident.

    Meretricious:
    –adjective
    1. alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions; tawdry.
    2. based on pretense, deception, or insincerity.
    3. pertaining to or characteristic of a prostitute.
    Origin:
    1620–30; < L meretrīcius of, pertaining to prostitutes, der. of meretrīx prostitute = mere-, s. of merēre to earn + -trīx -trix; see -ous

  84. Redditor
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    Haha! Seeing your praise on the back of the book is one of the main reasons I bought the thing. Glad I did too, it was a good book.

  85. DraccusPlum
    Posted May 5, 2011 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    Best part: “Best served with fish.”

  86. calculusgirl
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    You are so amazing and so is Brandon Sanderson. I wish your books and his could get together and have little gay book babies because then my life would be complete. Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings may be my favorite in all his series (though Mistborn was so great). I cannot wait until he releases the sequels, I will probably pee myself when he does. Anyway, he’s great, your great, I love this :D

  87. Lethargic Emu
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

    So, yes, I am going to be commenting here in the ass-end of nowhere. This is where I started, and for that reason I’d really like to put down a root here and nowhere else.

    Your writing style is arresting and entertaining and a wholeheartedly welcome diversion during my free time. It makes me think, imagine and even laugh from time to time. There is (in my humble opinion) no greater thing a writer can accomplish.Considering your comments in regard to sincerity in this post, I was pretty sure this was exactly the right place for this to be said.

    In closing, I’d like to borrow some words of yours from elsewhere. There are some, perhaps many, writers as good, but there are none better.

    Thank you.

  88. TWOK
    Posted December 3, 2011 at 2:36 AM | Permalink

    <a href="thewayofkings.net" title="The Way of Kings" is my favorite book that i have read. I highly recommend it to any fantasy lover. Brandon Sanderson has done an amazing job with this book and everyone should give it a shot.

  89. ocac
    Posted October 31, 2013 at 1:41 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,
    I like to collect new words and ‘twould be great if you or somebody else knowing could tell me what “broam” is (assuming its inclusion was intentional). I’m being greedy here, because you’ve already given me meretricious, which is delightful in many respects. But I shall wear my weakness on my sleeve.

    PS: If I was in publishing, I’d have gone with “Brandon Sanderson’s books are so good that he’s starting to piss me off.” and brought you a bottle of whiskey.

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