Things I like: The Magicians and Faeries of Dreamdark.

It’s been a long time since I’ve recommended any books on the blog. For that I apologise.

The problem isn’t that I haven’t been reading. I always read. You know how sharks have to keep swimming or they die? I’m like that. If I stop reading, I die.

The problem is this, when I read a book and I like it, I think, “I should mention this on the blog.” Then I wonder what exactly I can say about the book that will be not only enthusiastic, witty, and persuasive, but also informative and true.

It’s the last two that are tricky, you see. Truth is a troublesome motherfucker unless it’s handled properly.

The other problem is the difference between what I say and what people are inclined to hear. If I say “I like this book” people are inclined to believe that what I mean is “You will like this book.” Which isn’t necessarily the case.

So I feel obliged to explain *why* I liked it. That way people can make inteligent choices about whether or not they’d like to buy it. Because that is how we all remain independant, rational human beings as opposed to mindless, soulless, consumerist cogs, right?


However, writing this sort of blog is, to say it simply, a pain in the ass. Consequently I put off mentioning books on the blog, sometimes for embarrassingly long periods of time.

Like this one:

I’ve been meaning to mention this book for over six months. I’m filled with shame…

The more observant of you might actually recognize the book from a previous appearance on the blog. That’s because the author, Laini Taylor, was nice enough to donate a signed copy to the Heifer Fundraiser we did last year.

When she sent it in, I was curious about the book. Because… well… the truth is I have a bit of a thing for faeries.

I know this might come as something of a shock to some of you. You think that, manly as I am, I could never be into stories about little wingy people flitting about. At the very least, you probably think that if I *did* like such things, I’d have the decency to stay quiet about it, lest people start thinking that I was sissy.

But that’s not actually how it works, you see. Only guys insecure about their manliness worry about looking sissy. They’re afraid that if someone looks too closely people will realize that their machismo is just a thin tissue of lies.

Truth is, you see a guy reading a faerie book in the coffee shop, you know that he has nothing to hide. Dude is confident in his manness. He knows exactly who he is.

Me, I’m so manly that I can read this book in a bus station while wearing a dress and singing “Faith” by George Michael.

I’m not saying I did, mind you. I’m saying I could.

Anyway, about the book. I really enjoyed it. Good characters. Good use of language. Refreshingly new take on Faerie society. Cool world. Cool magic. Good, quick storytelling. Technically it’s a Young Adult book, but if that’s the case then color me young adult, because I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Huh. And I just checked on Amazon. The sequel is coming out in just two weeks. Bonus. That way you don’t even have to wait for your next hit. Unlike some other tardy, lame-ass authors….


Secondly, we have something of an entirely different flavor:

I mentioned Lev Grossman a couple weeks back because we were on a panel at ComicCon together. But the truth is, I read his book when I was traveling in Europe earlier this year.

Here’s where things get tricky. You see, I honestly don’t know what I can say about this book.

I really enjoyed this book. But I can’t for the life of me tell you why.

Ordinarily when I like a book, I know why. I can point to things. Language. Character. Pacing. Worldbuilding. When I don’t like it, I can do the same. It’s easy for me. All I do is think about stories.

But I can’t point to any specific reason why I like The Magicians it except that it was clever, and it wasn’t like any sort of book I’ve ever read before.

See the problem with the Truth? As recommendations go, that’s pretty weak tea.

Hopping over to Amazon, I see that reactions to the book have been mixed. And I can’t say as I’m terribly surprised. As I said, this book was different. A lot of people don’t like different. What’s more, it was clever. And a lot of people aren’t terribly smart.

Okay, Okay. That’s not really fair. I take that back. Kinda.

My real guess is that most people will like this book. But there’s a certain type of reader who will enjoy it down to the bottoms of their feet.

That reader will:

1. Be well-read in terms of classic fantasy. They’ll have read Tolkien, Lewis, Rowling, and at least five or six dozen other fantasy novels.

2. Be aware of the standard fantasy cliches, and a little tired of them.

3. Be eager to read something different. Not just in terms of world, but in terms of character, pacing, and the fundamental structure of the story as well.

4. Appreciate cleverness.

Now that sums me up pretty well. And I enjoyed the book on a way that I can’t put into words. Which is why I suck at giving blurbs for books….

But then again, Lev doesn’t need me for that. He’s got George Martin on his cover:

“These days any novel about young sorcerers at wizard school inevitably invites comparison to Harry Potter. Lev Grossman meets the challenge head on … and very successfully. The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea.”

See? That’s how the pros throw down. Why can’t I do that?

That’s all for now, more news soon about the name lottery. Stay tuned.


This entry was posted in recommendations, the art of blurbingBy Pat98 Responses


  1. Laurie
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Okay, I’m laughing to myself that you’re posting that AMAZON says the next book will be out in 2 weeks… we know how acurate that was for book two of Name of the Wind…

  2. Caate
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    You have me convinced to read the books.

    Also, I seem to recall a delightful picture of you where you were wearing pink ears and a pink fluffy bra. Ah yes, here it is:

    That’s how manly you are. Clearly, you are one of the manliest men around. If there was a high score panel for manliness, all the other manly men would be looking up your pink tutu.

  3. cpolis
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    Tolkien and Lewis (C.S) I know and have read, but who is Rowling? Regardless, sounds like The Magicians could be a book I enjoy. Will keep an eye out for it.

  4. Isis
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    I’m a bit rubbish at describing books. The more I like a book the harder I find it to pin down precisely why. If I ‘quite like’ it I’ll be able to think of a couple of negative point when describing it. Awesome books are the ones I can’t think of anything to say about.

    All the bestest people are raving about The Magicians though so there really is no excuse not to join in.

  5. Bryce
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Gotta love book recommendations. If all my favorite authors did this, I’d never have to worry about what to read next. Thanks Pat!

    I’m looking forward to your next book more and more, and still peddling it to all my friends like some sort of epic fantasy drug dealer.

  6. Captain Joe
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    Pat said: Me, I’m so manly that I can read this book in a bus station while wearing a dress and singing “Faith” by George Michael.

    Eh, you throw down pretty good, Pat.

    I’ll be checking out The Magicians fo’ sure.

  7. Snall Trippin
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    I read the Magicians a week or two, or three?, ago and it was quite good. Gritty for that type of book, nice change of pace.

  8. Chiara
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    thank you, Pat :D !!

    [follows a sad, true story]

    I wake up this morning and was suddenly sad ’cause I have finished the last unread book in the house. So I have breakfast without reading, which is a bit unnerving, just me and my corn flakes. I spend all the morning wondering what I should read and almost decided to re-read anything I already own, ’cause there aren’t any new, cool title coming into my head.
    Then comes Patrick Rothfuss and gives me precious instructions :)))
    *The End*

    So, see? Thank you!

  9. Madeline
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    I will definitely look into both.

    How awkward though I feel I should also recommend something for you.

    Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair.


  10. Anonymous
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    When I saw you throw Rowling in so naturally with all the other great writers of Fantasy I had to comment my overwhelming emotional response:

    I love you.

  11. Vulpes Fulva
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    I may have to take a look at The Magician. I’m afraid I’m not much into faeries, though, and will probably put that one on the backmost burner. :)
    So, Pat, how’s Oot and the wifey? I hope they’re doing well.
    Fare thee well!

  12. Mary J.
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Dreamdark is on my to read shelf. Been hearing buzz about The Magician at the library, will add it too.
    I already knew you had love for faeries… <3

  13. AutumnRLS
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    My husband bought me The Magicians for my b-day a couple of days ago. I’m only 50 pages in and already feeling like I love it all the way down to the tips of my toes.

    I’ve read a lot of fantasy and sci fi. Not as much as some, but a lot.

    If you’re interested in Lev’s take on the book you can go to Scalzi’s “Whatever” blog. Lev partook in his “Big Ideas” post and talks a lot about the book.

  14. Selenio
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Damn… I really need a teleport to a good american (or english at least) bookstore. My usual bookstore has a lot of american books, but its not the same, we have to wait weeks or even months to get new books (talking about imported books obviously, spanish books are already here).

    Well, next time I go to Barcelona I have two books more to look or ask for at the bookstore.

    Thanks for the recommendations Pat.


  15. Amanda
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    I do think I’ll need to read both of these books. However, I only just managed to go out and buy Mistborn, which you suggested ages ago, and I haven’t read it yet. Now school is about to start again, and my reading time will be dedicated to biology, history, and education textbooks :(

  16. Michael
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    Its the beard. Just stay away from Delilah types and you should be good. :)

  17. ripshin
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    Wasn’t, Lev Grossman, the name of the Hollywood mogul in “Tropic Thunder?” I can’t imagine that guy writing anything worthwhile…


    WV: okier – the state being more ok than even Old Kinderhook

  18. peggy38
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    I actually had the Magicians in my hands the other week but I decided against it. I wasn’t in the mood for a genre buster at the time but thought maybe another time.

    So, I will keep your recommendation in mind then as another point in its favor for when I finally do get around to buying it.

  19. chickenbetty
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    both added to the list – thanks ;)
    Have you read Little, Big by John Crowley? right up your alley.

  20. brightbane
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    I hope you don’t think we missed your fairy obsession just because you look like you could beat up an ogre. I mean, Auri? You did everything but staple a picture of Tinkerbell to her description. It’s amazing that you can make her so fey, and yet believable as the character was presented. She’s one of my favorites.

  21. Chad
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    Your post reminds me of this conversation:

    Bret: David Bowie, Can I ask you a personal question?
    David Bowie: Of course Bret, that’s what I’m here for.
    Bret: Would it be considered gay if your best friend, when he was lonely, put a wig on you and pretended you were a woman?
    David Bowie: He pretended you were a woman……No that’s not gay.

  22. biebbabe
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    Pirate recommended The Eyre affair by Jasper Fforde and I must agree that it’s a very good book. I really loved all books by Jasper Fforde starring Tuesday Next. Also his books on the Nursery Crime Division are very funny.

    As for the magicians, going to try that as soon as the library I work at gets it in. I saw it was ordered so that could take about 6-8 more weeks. Luckily my english is ok, otherwise I would have to wait for translations…

  23. LittleTiger
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    “I always read. You know how sharks have to keep swimming or they die? I’m like that. If I stop reading, I die.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself :)

  24. James Thelman
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    Are there people who don’t like fairies?

    ‘What The Dickens’ by Gregory Maguire

    That’s a cool fairy story for you.

    Thanks for the entertaining blog, Pat.


  25. Jake Smith
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    When you described what the reader’s attributes will be to like the book “The Magicians”, I think you hit your entire fan base right on the head. Is that not why you have been so successful?…because you have pulled away from tradition to create a sort of new style of book that entices and wets the palate of true reading enthusiasts (doesn’t have to be fantasy strictly). I think it would be more appropriate to recommend it to anyone who reads your blog in that situation.

    And hey, just remember, you can always say it is a Rothfuss-esque book because you know in 2,5,10,20,200 years they will be talking of your series (I can’t believe you will ever stop at just a Trilogy)like most main stream media speak of Tolkein and Tolkein-esque books these days.

  26. Carrie
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    I really look forward to reading these two books, I picked up the Joe Abercrombie books you suggested and loved the depth of them. I would never have read them if you hadn’t suggested them because they didn’t look like my kind of books. Thanks!

  27. Anonymous
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Instantly after reading this post I ran (well clicked) to my library onine and put them on hold, oddly enough either you have many fan-blog-readers in my area or lots of people want to read The Magicians. I’m 21 in the holding wait. lol, thanks Pat for giving the book recomendations, I love them.

  28. Laini Taylor
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    Thanks so much for the recommendation, Pat! It means so much, coming from you. And in this case, the Amazon data is correct. Silksinger really IS coming out Sept 17. Yay!

    Been thinking about you guys and the little one on the way. Ours turned three weeks yesterday. It’s a blast. You’re going to love it :-)

  29. Vinny K
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the book recommendations; I’ve been looking for new literature to read. By the way, that little comment about truth being a “troublesome motherfucker” is going on my Wall of Great Quotes. Which is actually the door of my closet. Again, many thanks.

  30. Chelsea
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

    hey pat i just wanted to say thanks for all the great recommendations and for the great book. i thought that mistborn was amazing and i probably wouldn’t have picked it up if it wasn’t for you. thanks for all the hard work you do and congratulations on the baby!

  31. Anonymous
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 1:20 AM | Permalink

    If comments 1-4 describe you, AND you don’t mind that young adult thing, you need to read Diana Wynne Jones. Living legend of English Fantasy writers.

  32. britmandelo
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    I was one of those people who should have liked “The Magicians” but didn’t, really, once I was done. Partially it was little things: in the first chapter, he has his characters noticing things about themselves, which is a cheat in the writing that I hate and always notice. I want to be shown things, not told them. Then the plot seemed to sort of wander for half of the book. I don’t need a fast paced action extravaganza, but it wasn’t quite enough for me. Too much teenage drama.

    I enjoyed reading it as I was in the process, but when I sat back to think about my end feelings, I wasn’t as impressed as everyone thought I would be. The ending was good, and a fun play with the genre, but the middle parts of the book let me down. Emotional subplots are wonderful and heart wrenching when done right, but I felt like he let those subplots tackle the narrative.

    Or, that could just be me. And those things? Those are the things I’m currently revising OUT of my manuscript. So this could actually be just a temporary dissatisfaction and I would actually love it when not in the process of working on my own manuscript.

  33. Angela
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 3:29 AM | Permalink

    So, today I was sitting in my Psychology class, and I was, of course, thinking of the Name of the Wind. It made me ponder the parallels that your magic system has with Freud’s ideas of the conscious and unconscious mind (formerly called the second mind, which is what started my comparison in the first place). Anyway I was wondering, was this intentionally done? Is it really the Id that knows the names of all things?


  34. Stan
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 3:59 AM | Permalink

    Pat, you might enjoy this article at The Wall Street Journal website written by Grossman in which he defends plot, readability, and the young adult novel against the elitism of the Modernists.

  35. boomstick
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 4:30 AM | Permalink

    will this ever work?

  36. boomstick
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 4:42 AM | Permalink

    sorry, I’m kinda computer tardish.

    Pat- thank you for a wonderful book, it kicks ass! May the hair on your toes never fall out.

    I love your reading suggestions- I’m taking my list of authors to the bookstore on payday! Books I have liked recently are the War of the Spider Qween series and the Way of Shadows(the first two in particular) they are a little on the darker side of things.

  37. Marco
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 4:42 AM | Permalink

    You’re not suggesting Rowling is classic fantasy are you?

  38. Stan
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 5:07 AM | Permalink

    In response to this post’s reference to the tardiness of The Wise Man’s Fear, and an earlier posted interview in which the interviewer implied that Patrick Rothfuss is not our bitch, I present the following scenario.

    Skarppy looks at a roomful of Tarbeen’s most desperate children and asks what story they would like to hear. Surprisingly, they unanimously shout, “Tell us the tale of Kvothe!” Skarppy smiles and begins the fantastic tale of Kvothe the Bloodless. “My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as….” The children barely dare to breathe as Skarppy brings Kvothe to life before them.

    A third of the way through the tale, Skarppy places his empty mug on the counter, and the children blink, return to the current depressing reality that is Tarbeen, and groan with disappointment. Skarppy says, “Fear not. This is a tale to be told in three parts. I know it well, and I will return here at the same time tomorrow to continue it.

    On the next day, the tavern is filled with excited children. Skarppy arrives with a bag slung over his shoulder. He says, “I am sorry, children. Someone very important to me has crossed the Synthe Sea, and I must leave now to find her if I can. But never fear! I will return one month from now to continue the marvelous tale of Kvothe Kingkiller.” The children are disappointed, but most nod with understanding. None of them would ever let an important woman leave their lives willingly.

    A month later, Skarppy returns to the children and tells them, “I am sorry, but I am not prepared to continue the tale of Kvothe today. I do, however, have some funny stories about how I arrived in Ventaas but could not speak Ventish.” The children grudgingly listen to the humorous stories.

    The next day the children return hoping Skarppy will continue the tale of Kvothe. Skarppy tells them instead about a lovely children’s tale for grown ups that he is composing and is being illustrated as he speaks. Suddenly, his audience of disappointed children does not look so friendly.

    Now Skarppy is not his audience’s bitch, but he would be a fool to take the advice of his good friend Neil Stardust and attempt to assuage the children of their anger and disappointment by informing them that he doesn’t owe them anything. These children grew up on the streets of Tarbeen, after all. Wise old Skarppy simply places his empty mug on the counter and tells the children, “I will continue the tale of Kvothe when I am prepared to tell it, and not a minute before.” His compatriot George “I stole my plotline from the pages of an English history book and still can’t finish my series” Lannister nods approvingly and says, “That’s how the pros throw down.”

    The children, meanwhile, walk down the street to the next tavern and listen to the latest installment in the tale of Rand al’Raistlin.

    Their ears bleed from boredom, and their brains leak out their noses. Skarppy goes home and tweaks a word here and there in his tale of Kvothe the Unready.

  39. Jake Smith
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 5:42 AM | Permalink

    Hmmmm – I wonder if Stan is growing impatient… the words Pat was told by Tim Powers seem to fit the bill here: “A book is late once, but it’s crap forever.”

    Chill out Stan… I am sure that we would rather see this done correctly the first time.

  40. Anonymous
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 5:44 AM | Permalink

    Pat, you call us intelligent fans and yet you give us no credit. Let me explain. You have told us all of your wellfounded crush on Felecia Day, repeatedly, and have recently exclaimed of the hilarious glory of The Legend of Neil, in which, she plays the horny little faerie. I don’t know about everyone else but I certainly can put two and two together. Well played sir, well played

  41. Gury
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    One should try some china Mieville, that’s some original fantasy

  42. Jaybles
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    Hmm, I actually just finished with “The Magicians” a couple of weeks ago. I can honestly say that when I first started reading it I hated it. The book seemed like a slightly ridiculous cliche, but after plowing through it for a little bit I realized what it was. A fantastically clever book. Props to Lev.

    P.S. I’ll have to check out your Faerie book. If for no other reason than to say I am at least as manly as Patrick Rothfuss.

  43. Jennifer
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the recommendations, Pat. Between these two and the ones that Felicia Day recommended this week on her blog, I may have enough reading for the next month. When you were here in Pasadena, I asked you for a book recommendation and you gave me the title “Nation” by Terry Pratchett. I really, really enjoyed it. So, now I will try these two. It is really important to me to have someone tout a book to me. It’s so hard to choose from everything that is out there. Here’s one back at ya…”Moon Called” by Patricia Briggs. She’s become one of my favorite authors. I have enjoyed every one of her books.

  44. Armin
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Laini Taylor’s thanks post almost slipped by me. Well its more like it almost was misinterpreted, I thought: “Why do ppl always have to schmooze authors for things anyone else would only get a simple ‘thanks mate’ for?”.
    It was only after I was already shaking my head at her comment when I noticed it was her book being recommended. I guess a little schoozing was in order ;)

    @Pat: Reading yout blog I learned about guys so manly they can do presumingly girlish things without ever mentioning it, because nobody would ever think them unmanly. I also learned about ppl not so manly who have to make a fuss about being manly while doing girlish stuff.
    Maybe you can help me out placing guys in that order who first elaborate about some guys needing to make a fuss, only to fuss about not being among the fussing ;)

    @Stan: nice post, liked it.


  45. Dooley
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    Just picked up The Magicians from the library–looking forward to it!

    And speaking of the library, I was just stalking some upcoming releases (to see if I could request them before anyone else) and for ha-ha’s I put in The Wise Man’s Fear…and it came up as “Ordered”. I put a hold on that baby–I’m #1 in line! Unfortunately we don’t know when TWMF comes out–the hold expires after a year, so Pat, please tell us it will be out by 9/1/10 so I can still get it first! :)

  46. Juju
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 11:00 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the recommendations, I will definitely take a look at these books. But I missed your thumb on the pictures of the book covers …

  47. Anna
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

    Hey, I just dropped by and wanted to mention that you have a wonderful way of recommending a book (in this case “The Magicians”). I didn’t even notice it when I started to simply NEED to read it … (well, I guess you know how it feels) So I will go straight away to amazon and buy “The Magicians”, even if I don’t really have money at the moment :-)
    Honestly, as an author I would be overwhelmed if you commented on one of my books! Thank you!

  48. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2009 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

    Stan, why don’t you write your own story? Use your power of words for good, not evil.
    Your comments made me feel bad, and I’m just an anonymous lurker.
    Do you think unhappy authors write faster?

  49. Stan
    Posted September 2, 2009 at 3:17 AM | Permalink

    Dear Anonymous Lurker,
    If my words made you feel bad, then you must have been born without an epidermis.

    If my very short, very lame parody of Mr. Rothfuss’s excellent book is considered evil, then I am, at worst, on the Heinz Doofenschmirtz level of evil. (“Ha ha! My Insultinator will rain verbal abuse over the entire tri-state area! And there’s nothing you can do to stop it, Perry the Platypus!”)

    The whole point of my post was to say, yes, we want the second book to be as good as it possibly can. Mr. Rothfuss is, in fact, not our bitch. However, we do have minor (not huge) complaining rights since the second book was originally supposed to be available by April 2008, and then, when that deadline was not met, by April 2009.

    I understand that the author has it much worse than we do. Mr. Rothfuss is under insane amounts of pressure to make sure his second book is as good as his first.

    However, his audience has it kind of bad, too. While waiting on the stories of excellent writers like Mr. Rothfuss and Mr. Martin, we are forced to either live in our current reality (which sucks ass on a pogo stick) or melt our eyeballs out of their sockets by reading the drivel produced by the likes of Robert Jordan (or his second string). I’m not sure which is worse, reality or Jordan. I can say that I fight the urge to commit suicide by reading copious amounts of Cormac McCarthy every day. (Like any good drug, McCarthy is awesome, but too much of that stuff will kill you.)

    I must say it is kind of cool that Mr. Rothfuss is nice enough to recommend two books while we are waiting on The Wise Man’s Fear. However, the fact that one of those books is a faerie book, no matter how manly he claims it to be, makes me want to scream. I thought even Susanna Clarke’s faeries were lame.

    I understand that there is nothing you or I can do to hurry the publication of Mr. Rothfuss’s second book. I do know, however, that expressing my frustration in a somewhat humorous fashion while taking a swipe at Robert Jordan and throwing in an obscure reference to Ethelred the Unready makes me happy. If that makes me evil, then I win again, Perry the Platypus!

    (Oh, and Terry Goodkind, if you are reading this, I hope the antichrist burns your books first.)

    (Doofenshmirtz for the uninitiated)

  50. Matt (Effilcdar)
    Posted September 2, 2009 at 6:50 AM | Permalink

    I don’t think that the Antichrist would be caught doing such a good deed as burning the second half of Terry’s works. The first half was decent though, if nothing amazing.

    P.S. Pat, have you read the copy of Paksenarrion I sent you yet?

  51. Kathi430
    Posted September 2, 2009 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    Just read The Magicians and really loved it. Thank goodness for my E-Reader though – reading a seven-hundred odd page book in bed might have been dangerous; I tend to drift off when reading. Can you say concussion?

  52. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2009 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    Finished Magicians a few days ago, really enjoyed it. Refreshingly different and I had no idea where the author was going with it until the very last page”

  53. tomas
    Posted September 2, 2009 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    I liked reading the Lev Grossman book, I finished it and thought, “meh”
    I’d recommend it, but I can’t praise it effusively. The leading character is pretty aloof mf and I think that seeps into everything about the book.
    I thought it was a pretty interesting slice of emo pie.

  54. Steven Till
    Posted September 2, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    The cover alone would make me pick up The Magicians and want to read it. I’m a sucker for good cover art. That’s the reason I picked up a book like David Anthony Durham’s Acacia. The cover is such an important aspect of marketing a novel.

  55. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2009 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    Now this has nothing to do with your blog, and I do feel slightly random just coming out with this, but I feel it needs to be said:

    Please, please please PLEASE never agree to a movie version of The Name of The Wind. It’s too good for that.

    As for the blog, you’re fucking hilarious. Thank you for hour’s worth of procrastination. :)

    Maria :)

  56. J.M.
    Posted September 2, 2009 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for continuing to write this blog, even though evidently it’s a bit of a “pain in the ass.” It’s a wonderful thing when authors, filmmakers, or any other type of artist reaches out and communicates with their fans on such a personal level. You’re the man, Pat.

  57. Pat from LA
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 5:20 AM | Permalink

    So, I was on the edge about trying out the Magicians for a few reasons that are not important and are incredibly dull. After your recomendation I said “what the hell,” and went over to Boarders and picked me up a copy. I’m around 150ish pages in and I can see what you mean. I’m enjoying it, and it keeps sneaking into my head when I least expect it, but explaining to people why it keeps doing that….no easy task >>

    I think you managed to do it pretty well actually, though the whiskey in weak tea was pretty damn accurate xD

  58. Michael K
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 5:23 AM | Permalink


    I was handed your book by a good friend sometime during the beginning of 2009 (I’m horrible at remembering dates so this may be mildly incorrect) and the only thing she told me was “Read this. I know you’ll like it.”

    Somewhere along the way I lost track of even more time as I proceeded to devour the book in less than a week. I read it at work, I read it at home, and every waking moment I had….well you get the drift.

    To make a rambling long story short I spent a few wonderful days with your book and fell in love with the characters and the world.

    It’s rare that I find an author that makes me read so much that I completely lose track of time like I did with your book. What’s more is I didn’t seem to care and continued reading, sometimes going to work the next day feeling very tired but still satisfied nonetheless.

    I guess what I’m getting at is that I thoroughly enjoyed it like no other in years, possibly ever. I’ve recommended it to everyone I know, online or in person.

    I eagerly await the next one, and despite naysayers and whiners and BS I know it will come out, as you say, “when it is ready.”

    I just wanted you to know from one fan that I’ll wait (im)patiently and understand real life has it’s ups and downs. I’m a fan and I don’t intend to give up or go away until your story is finished.

    Keep on Writing and know that you have at least me to continue entertaining.

    Best Wishes,

    Michael K

  59. Hayo
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat!

    Interesting to see you recommend The Magicians. I had come across the book in a bookstore before, read the back, and put it back again since I wasn’t in a “buying a book” mood. But after reading your last Blog post and your ‘sort of’ recommendation for it, I suddenly got the urge to buy it. *LOL*

    So, long story short, yesterday I visited a bookstore and managed to get their last paperback copy of it, together with “The Time Traveler’s Wife” which my sister had strongly recommended to me. I have told her to get “The Name of the Wind” herself in return. One favour deserves another, after all! ;-)

    Speaking of The Name of the Wind… I read it after my brother borrowed me his Dutch translated book. I thoroughly enjoyed it so much that I bought the hardcover in English and am reading it again now in the language you wrote it in. As good as the Dutch translation may be, I can’t help to feel that the book is more powerful, the story more gripping, the flow of the words more balanced, while reading it in English!

    Anyway, The Magicians will have to wait till I finish my 2nd reading of The Name of the Wind. Will keep me busy for a while in my waiting for The Wise Man’s Fear to come out eventually. *smiles*

  60. Christopher Krafchek
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    Mr. Rothfuss:

    Thank you for the suggestions and please keep them coming. And, of course, thank you for NOTW. I’m really looking forward to your next bit of work. Please take your time, as I personally prefer to read your best rather than something that came out too soon as a product of stress and/or anxiety to meet a deadline.


  61. Anonymous
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the recommendation Pat.

    I knew the next book wouldn’t be out for a while, but while looking at Barnes & Noble’s website I found this as the publication:
    Pub. Date: April 2025
    I’m sure this is farfetched. I believe you can do it in the next year or two. Good Luck!

  62. Kevin
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

    I’m grabbing The Magician right now. On a similiar topic, I can’t reccomend Blindsight, by Peter Watts, or Mirrored Heavens, by David Williams, enough. I’m not usually a big sci-fi guy, but both are absolutely top notch. Must reads.

  63. AJ
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 6:33 AM | Permalink

    Damn, I am so glad that you write this blog. Because you are hella funny when you throw down, just like the pros.

    And, you’ve convinced me to read The Magicians (had been on the fence, due to the mixed reviews), for which I will no doubt grateful in short order… Thanks!

  64. temp agencies
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    I’m so excited to grab a copy of these books.

  65. Fort bonifacio condo
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    You have rational reasons for writing a blog about these books and I like that about you.

  66. Anonymous
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    I really enjoyed The Name of the Wind and look forward to A Wise Man’s Fear. I have seen The Magicians at Costco. I am trying to find another book to read while waiting for your next book and the next Wheel of Time book to be released. I think I might give this book a try. Thanks for the tip.

  67. jed
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    have you seen this yet? it’s beautiful:

    kvothe sketch

  68. jed
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

    she also did a bast


    and she updated that kvothe i posted earlier. might be good for your fan art wall.

  69. greg woulf
    Posted September 5, 2009 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

    The Magicians left me cold. I never say I hate a book, so I won’t say that about this one.

    It felt to me like a new writer who tried to steal four different writers styles and stories and merge them and didn’t succeed.

    I’m like you in reading all the time, it’s a rare day when I don’t read for an hour or more. I hope I didn’t offend with my negative comment.

  70. Wendelyn
    Posted September 5, 2009 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    this is not about the blog…
    I was wondering when will the book 2 be released…I am a filipino who is currently living in China for my 7th grade and yes I am a big fan of Pat ^^ I have my uncle living there somewhere in Brooklyn New York and I am bragging him to buy me a book and suddenly I realize that book 2 is going to be publish! so I hope I can learn atleast the month…any way Mr. Pat I am looking forward to see you soon…加油!

  71. capblye
    Posted September 6, 2009 at 1:42 AM | Permalink

    I looked over the guest list for DragonCon, and your not here!
    This has me so bummed, it moved me to Haiku verse:

    Oh to my Dismay!
    Will he be at DragonCon?
    Sadly he is missed

  72. Anonymous
    Posted September 6, 2009 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

    hey jed where did you get those?

  73. rob
    Posted September 7, 2009 at 1:44 AM | Permalink

    Oddly enough, i bought both of those books yesterday… along with a few others. S

    ince this seems to be a reccomendation free for all, I’d like to add an oldy but a never finished goody, David Gerrold’s the War against the Chtorr septad (1-4 completed). Reread these on the word that after a twenty year hiatus they’d start up again, and still like them a lot. Post apocalyptic sci-fi, fairly Heinleinesque.

  74. MLaF
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 12:57 AM | Permalink

    I’ll just add one thing to your review of The Magicians (which I bought and read as a result of your mentioning Lev Grossman at Comicon, through some strange blogish alchemy I haven’t plumbed the depths of, this being one of my first blogs I’ve ever followed, mostly because you make me laugh and I love reading and fantasy) and that is this: yes, I agree that some of the people who will like The Magicians will be people tired of the usual fantasy tropes but I would also say that for those of us who are steeped in these fantasy forms and occasionally mock them as only a true fantasy geek can, will find an author and a book that deviates, that does something clever (yes, very) and new, but without denying the soul of good fantasy. It is, after all, a book about magic being real. So yes, it deviates and gently or not so gently mocks, but there is no contempt. Thanks for the rec, Patrick Rothfuss, and the excellent blog. Best wishes,

  75. MLaF
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

    I’ll just add one thing to your review of The Magicians (which I bought and read as a result of your mentioning Lev Grossman at Comicon, through some strange blogish alchemy I haven’t plumbed the depths of, this being one of my first blogs I’ve ever followed, mostly because you make me laugh and I love reading and fantasy) and that is this: yes, I agree that some of the people who will like The Magicians will be people tired of the usual fantasy tropes but I would also say that for those of us who are steeped in these fantasy forms and occasionally mock them as only a true fantasy geek can, will find an author and a book that deviates, that does something clever (yes, very) and new, but without denying the soul of good fantasy. It is, after all, a book about magic being real. So yes, it deviates and gently or not so gently mocks, but there is no contempt. Thanks for the rec, Patrick Rothfuss, and the excellent blog. Best wishes,

  76. Anonymous
    Posted September 12, 2009 at 12:03 AM | Permalink

    THANK YOU!! I just read both of these books and I loved them both. Obviously, for different reasons. I need something to keep my reading going until your next book comes out. Oh, and if you haven’t already, check out Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Also, quite good and there are already 5 books out with the 6th (and final?) one coming out at the end of November.

  77. Nekomata
    Posted September 12, 2009 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    With the book by Lev Grossman, i totally know about the whole ‘different’ thing. My other favourite author (since you’re one of them. My favourite authors of all time. And seeing as i can read 137 books in eight months, and i’ve been reading chapter books for 8 years now, that’s saying somehting), Christopher Paolini, writes a type of book similar to that. Different, and clever. There’s so much attention to detail – i’ve read his third book five times, and i’m still finding things i didn’t pick up on before. Anyways, its brilliant from my point of view. But most people cant read it because halfway through the second book they get… bored. They can’t keep up with all the detail. Me, reading as many books as i do, and having been reading since i was 6, i can handle it. But most can’t. (i completely recommend The Inheritance Cycle btw, his book Eragon made it as a debut author too. At the age of FIFTEEN. x_x) So yeah, i’m disappointed about that, cause 99% of the time i go to recommend it, and one of these things happen:
    1: They say they’ve already tried the series and dislike it.
    2: They read it, then dislike it.
    You see my problem. I have eventually found someone else who likes the series, thank god. But yeah. Complicated books are a blessing, a piece of heaven for those who can read them. But to others, they just don’t work. :(

  78. Tel_Janin
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 10:34 PM | Permalink


    I’m about halfway through The Magicians, and have to say thanks for the recommendation.

    A while back Matt Stover asked his readers to post book recommendations in his blog comments, and an overwhelming majority sent him towards your book. Just thought you should know. Anyhow, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you to read any of his stuff. Heroes Die and its sequels are his foremost “original” works, though his Star Wars work is fantastic as well, notably his novelization of ROTS. They all sit right next to yours on my shelf when the two of you aren’t on loan to someone or other.

  79. MSchulz
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    I bought and read these both – and enjoyed them.

    Today I went to Amazon to see if Liani Taylor’s next book was out for my Kindle yet – and was surprised to see when I clicked on Faeries of Dreamdark that Amazon said “People who bought this book also bought…” and there was The Magicians. You must have SOME influence!!!

  80. Christopher
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Just finished The Magicians, picked up purely on your recommendation Pat. This book will probably be read again one day; thank you so much for pointing it out!

  81. Olorin
    Posted September 19, 2009 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    Now’s my chance to say something I’ve wanted to get off my chest for ages. In reference to the quote about “wizard school” books having to measure up to Harry Potter: I’m of the passionate opinion that Harry Potter and all other “wizard school” tales must measure up to Ursula Le Guin’s immortal Earthsea Trilogy! Now, that’s writing!

  82. Peter
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 4:31 AM | Permalink


    Did you honestly call Robert Jordan drivel? You wouldn’t be able to write horseshit compared to that so-called drivel. If you think Jordan is crap, then you have some major problems.

    And yet again, may we remind you that no matter how much you bitch, the fact remains that a story is not ready until it is ready.

    @ Pat

    I’m gonna pick up a copy of The Magicians soon I think, I need something to tide me over till The Gathering Storm Comes out… maybe ill re-read A Song of Ice and Fire ;)

  83. The Art of Kim Kincaid
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    Absolutely loved Taylor’s Blackbringer. Bought it and pre-ordered the next, Silksinger. Started Magicians but stopped half-way. There was nothing that I liked about Quintin, the main character. Disappointed. After NOTW’s first 25 pages, I cared what happened to Kvothe. Invested. After 200 pages, apathy was the only thing I felt for Quintin. There are many clever authors. Few good story tellers. I am so ready for your next tale.

    • NoirRosaleen
      Posted November 25, 2010 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

      Agreed re: no feeling for Quintin. Just got bored to death with him. I also stopped halfway through, with a slight feeling of guilt.

      …weirdly I’m having that problem with ASoIaF as well. Possibly because I’ve already been tipped off that pretty much everybody, and especially the ones that are most likable, die horrific grisly deaths. Hard to let yourself care about characters at that point.

  84. Emily
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

    I randomly read The Magician last week (not because of the recommendation), it is like a mix of fantasy and the lost generation- Hemingway meets Tolkien. Wonderful in the way it makes an alternative universe real. Amazing in the way that it leaves the largest cliff hanger ever, and yet I was completely satisfied. Depressing in the way it shows my own dreams of ending up in Narnia when I was a child as delusional, and bound for failure. It was an adult Catcher in the Rye. It was good.

  85. Stan
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:57 AM | Permalink


    Yes, in fact, I did say that Robert Jordan produced drivel. Let me make it simpler for you.

    Jordan = drivel.

    Some people are capable of producing a very fine wine. Many other people are capable of telling the difference between a fine wine and a poor wine.

    I am in the second category. You are in neither. My condolences.

    I wish you much joy and many hours of mindless reading.

    (In case you feel the urge to ask me if I just insulted your taste in books…

    Your taste = bad.)

  86. sarak
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

    I guess I’m a big lame follower who reads whatever you tell her to, but I’m SUPER glad of it because Faeries of Dreamdark was wicked awesome. Thanks so much for the recommendation! :o)

  87. Pat
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

    Play nice, children.

  88. Jake Smith
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    Pat, I guess you are really getting good at this parenting thing :)

  89. Andreas
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    I had just ordered my copy of The Magicians, and was looking for more reviews and comments online. And then I stumbled upon this post. And your blog.

    Boy, I was intrigued. Your book sounded fascinating. So I ordered it. And it came before The Magicians. I was totally hooked up!

    Your book was so brilliant, that when The Magicians did come, it seemed boring and ordinary in comparison. You managed to create a story of epic proportions, a new world that captivated me.

    Many thanks for letting us in this world!

  90. Alice
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    I was just looking for some way to let you know that I am most of the way through Name of the Wind, and it is absolutely one of the most wonderful books I’ve read in a long time. I pick up a lot of fantasy, looking for something that combines good writing and good characters and a consistent world, and your book is just about perfect in all those ways. Thank you for sharing this story with us. I can’t wait to read a sequel, but please, take as long as you like to make it good. :)

  91. Kevin
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    So i finally got around to reading the Magicians, and here is my input. Id say the reason i loved it is because i felt it was thus far the most realistic fantasy (that relates to the present people) ive ever read. Perhaps because although i dont have the main characters personality, i currently live the same party type of life that he lived after he graduated from the school. The book throws out a very interesting question that most other fantasy never stress. “What if real normal teenagers had access to godlike magical powers? How would they use it?” Beautiful book, it made me laugh my ass off, yell angrily, and come close to tears all in one book.

  92. bauhausfrau
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    Great to see your recommendation of the Magicians, and sort of hilarious. See I was doing what I often do and searching for books like other books I like and the Magicians came up on a surf that started with Name of the Wind. I had literally bought it from Amazon moments before I rend this entry.

  93. Jackie
    Posted October 4, 2009 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    Thank you for The Name of the Wind. I absolutely could not put it down. I was very busy when I first started reading it in early 08 but found myself immersed in the chapters every chance I got, lunch breaks, on bus trips and before I went to sleep. It has quickly become my all time favourite book.
    The poetry of the words is absolutely beautiful. I love everything about the characters, the story and the way it’s written and have been recommending the book to everyone.

    Please don’t feel pressured to rush the second book – while we’re all obviously dying to read it, most of us would rather read something as well polished as the first than have you settle for trying to shut us up :D

    As for myself, you have inspired me to try doing some writing of my own while waiting for the next book.

    Remember once it’s written it will be out forever.

    Quoting the Skull from Peter S Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn”… (Another truly poetic book I would highly recommend)

    “Rush, scramble, desperation, this missed, that left behind, those others too big to fit into such a small space – that’s the way life was meant to be. You’re supposed to be late for some things. Don’t worry about it.”

  94. Rebecca
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 2:15 AM | Permalink

    A GREAT Sci-fi book that actually sort of kind of reminded me of The Magicians (which, incidentally, my bf and I both loved and we have disparate tastes), was

    The Gone Away World, by Nick Harkaway. The conclusion takes a long time coming and it’s kind of schizophrenic but really amazing.

  95. Psychoidiot
    Posted December 31, 2009 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

    So I read the Magicians and now I understand why you said you couldn’t tell why you liked it. Although the cleverness just went over my head… book 2 of the book kind of grinded though but necessary for what happens in book 3. Plus the main character was kind of.. what the hell made him so special over Penny? Penny was so much more awesome.

  96. Anonymous
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    I finished up the last 45 pages of the "Magicians" during lunch — Actually, kind of a downer for much of the content — really nothing like Harry Potter going to college at all. More like, "The Breakfast Club" with magic in a perverted "Witch & Wardrobe" setting.

One Trackback

  • By The Magicians, Lev Grossman: Book Review on January 17, 2018 at 4:01 PM

    […] readers with recommendations. Back in 2009, Rothfuss’ wrote a blog praising Lev Grossman and recommending The Magicians for a few different reasons that appealed to me as someone who reads books that are […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Our Store

  • Previous Posts

  • Archives

  • My Twitter

  • Bookmark this Blog

    (IE and Firefox users only - Safari users, click Command-D)