Alloy Of Law, Voting, and the Gemmell Award

So I just found out that The Wise Man’s Fear made the shortlist for the David Gemmell Legend award.

It’s flattering, because not only was Gemmell a great writer, but because whoever wins doesn’t just get a trophy or a certificate or something.

No. The winner of the David Gemmell legend award gets an axe.

Which you have to admit is pretty cool. It would certainly be a step up from my current writing axe.

The problem is this, when I wandered over to see who else was on the ballot, I saw that it was stacked with other really good books.

Most troubling for me, was the fact that it was up against Brandon Sanderson’s Alloy of Law.

When I saw that, I realized that I’d never actually gotten around to writing a review of Alloy, though I’d been meaning to for weeks and weeks.

I feel it’s my civic duty to talk spread the word about good books I’ve read. So I finally wrote it up and  posted it over on Goodreads.

For those of you who have some sort of odd, trauma-borne link-clicking phobia, here’s the jist of it:

“Sanderson has now been added to a very short list. Specifically, the list authors I wish to kill so that I might eat their livers and thereby gain their power.”

It’s a really good book. Not just because of the story. But because what he’s doing is really amazingly different. (Read the review if you want the details.)

So here’s the deal. One of the nice things bout the Gemmell Legend Award is that it’s decided by a popular vote. Y’all can go in and voice your opinions.

But the OTHER nice thing is that the voting goes until May 31st.

That means if I put up a link here, y’all have plenty of time to go out and read some of the other books on the list. Fairly assessing all the options and making an informed choice.

This is the thing you should do when you vote, you realize. Making informed choices is what gives you the right to call yourself a human being.

Consider this practice for other voting type things that might be looming on the horizon. When I put up the link, don’t just wander over there, bleating like a sheep, and click the name that looks most familiar to you. Don’t vote for the option all your friends have been talking about. Don’t vote for the person your parents trained you to vote for.

No. Look at your options. Gather data. Be a rational human and make a informed choice.

Trust me. It’s good practice. This is an important thing to practice.

And here’s your link.


This entry was posted in awards, How to be a Worthwhile Human Being, recommendations. By Pat81 Responses


  1. Brandon
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 4:53 AM | Permalink

    IMHO Alloy of Law is better than the original trilogy. Maybe you should try this Mr. Rothfuss. Just replace the lute with a banjo and you’re all set. I know I want to read a scene where Kvothe and Denna play dueling banjos!

    • Posted April 20, 2012 at 4:56 AM | Permalink

      Electric Lute.

      • Blarghedy
        Posted April 20, 2012 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

        Denna can play the synthetic harp?

        • nabb
          Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:25 AM | Permalink

          Why not turn them into a eighties electric pop duo? Or turn Savien into a rock ballad?(pleasedontshootmeforjokingaboutthis.)

      • Tayacan
        Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:22 AM | Permalink

        Yes. Yes, that would be neat.

    • Posted April 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

      Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve been afraid to read Alloy of Law for fear that it would disappoint when stacked against the original trilogy.

      I just finished reading Elantris last week, I really enjoy Sanderson’s books.

      (But Name of the Wind is still the first book I recommend to anyone in passing.)

    • NoStoppin
      Posted May 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

      Hello all, I just registered and can’t figure out how to post my own reply, so I’m piggybacking off of one of yours.

      I stumbled upon Pat’s 2 books a few months ago, and voraciously plowed through them. The characters are completely compelling, story line tightly woven, and the sense of hanging off of a cliff has never been more evident than at the end of Wise Man’s Fear. So many questions un-answered, so much that hasn’t been revealed. It’s like literary crack – I’m really, really wanting to get on to the third book. It’s already written, but not available till next 2013! Is there a blog post that explains the intentional release schedule?

      I found the Mistborn books and thoroughly enjoy each and every one. Truly unique, and well written. However, I feel that his explanation of the “science” of some Allomancys confusing, but perhaps I just need to re-read those sections, particularly the ones that explain how people can become practically imortal. Pat’s novels are more clearly written, and after much pondering and reading Heroes and just beginning the Green Rider series, I voted for Wise Man’s Fear. I truly feel that Pat’s work is without peer, and worthy of a great blithering Axe. Maybe then you could hang out with Gimli, Gloin’s son, and swap stories someday.

      peace, to all!

  2. Feldoth
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 4:58 AM | Permalink

    I voted for you solely on the basis that you would be cooler with an Axe… But yeah, sorry to say it but Sanderson is some sort of dark wizard and pretty much everything he writes is on a different level than anything else out there. Name of the Wind/Wise Man’s Fear is great, but damn if the Mistborn books aren’t phenomenal.

  3. katus
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:07 AM | Permalink

    I enjoyed Alloy of Law, but after finishing A Wise Man’s Fear I was left with that horrible feeling of losing a friend :( So my vote goes for you!

  4. katus
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

    Or… you know… *The* Wise Man’s Fear…

  5. MaxTastic
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

    If The Heroes wins this I will spit on something small, cute and fluffy.

    I’m going to assume that axe is Snaga, therefor you need to win this and carry it with you everywhere.

    • annabin
      Posted April 20, 2012 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

      PFT…. The Heroes is Epic and Joe Abercrombie is also. I voted, I hope he wins. :) Wise Man’s Fear? Weak. No contest. (Yea yea, let the flaming begin)

      • He without a clever name
        Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

        Your allowed your opinion. I loved Wise Man’s Fear, not as much as Name of the Wind, but it certainly took me on an emotional roller coaster.

        Joe Abercrombie is very solid, but The Heroes is my least favorite of his books. His trilogy got better with each book, which I found to be an oddity as I seem to tend to love the first in a series the most, and his first follow up, Best Served Cold, was fucking awesome.

        But The Heroes…I just never got into it. Yeah, I loved the Bayaz and Dogman scene and liked getting to see Black and Shivers and where they’re at, but I just never got into it as a whole.

        I think Abercrombie is going to do something special in his world. First we had the trilogy setting up the world and main characters, now we’re getting stand alone fantasy novels setting up more characters…I think it’s all leading to one huge epic war that is going to be crazy awesome.

        • duke7883
          Posted April 21, 2012 at 6:10 AM | Permalink

          I think Joe Abercrombie does an amazing job writing characters. They are all flawed and beyond interesting. Maybe the story wasn’t a classic epic but Whirrun and the Father of Swords? Winning.

        • annabin
          Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

          I actually agree, The Heroes also my least favorite. I still enjoyed it more that WMF. I think that the main issue I have with WMF is that it felt like so much wasted space. I found myself bored. BORED?! I think part of the problem is that nothing can stand up to the hype that happens when book one is so ridiculously epic. Combine that with the extended time frame between books and that allows for a *great deal* of tension build up. A little tension is great, preferable even, but come on now. It’s like four years of foreplay then finally going all the way only to find that you’ve got a 2 minute man on your hands. Holy let down batman. LOL. I know a lot of people that love WMF but none of them can really tell me why. It seems as thou they love it because they feel like they should. Not because it was great.

  6. nabb
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:19 AM | Permalink

    …You get a actual replica of Snaga if you win? Suddenly my interest in becoming a write spiked.

    But as for the vote..Chosing between Alloy of law and A wise man’s fear? This is torture.. I enjoyed both books greatly.

    So..I did what any great man would do in this situation.

    I flipped a coin.

    • Blarghedy
      Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:19 AM | Permalink

      Get it? spiked?

  7. Jack Lancaster
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure the trophy is a mini-Snaga (The Sender, The Blades Of No Return.). The full Snaga (Crafted by Raven Armoury.) is roughly $4829 (£3000). I think you can still buy the mini ones they made for the Gemmell award but it’s much cooler to win one.

    I really wish I could afford a full Snaga as well as the Swords of Night and Day because DAMN those things are sexy.

    • Kalef
      Posted April 20, 2012 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure it IS the big one, the forged Snaga, as thes say on their site:

      “a unique, scale model of Snaga (the legendary axe of Druss the Legend) from Raven Armoury. The blades of the axe are laser-etched with the winner’s name & novel.”

      …which is prettty damn awesome.

      • Kalef
        Posted April 20, 2012 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

        ah…crap… I focused on Raven Armoury…

        Scale model…ah

        got it

  8. CrookedJames
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

    Well we can make a sensible informed decision or we could just do whatever Generalissimo Rothfuss tells us to do!! You’d look really good with a waxed moustache; even better wearing a waxed moustahe while waving a giant battle axe (Snaga if you want to be technical about it) around, though I’m not sure how kindly local and state ordinances look on that kind of behavior. I’m sure it’d work out when you explain it’s not a weapon but a writing trophy!

  9. Ozmo
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:45 AM | Permalink

    On Sanderson for a moment – I loved the Mistborn trilogy, and the uniqueness I felt it brought to the genre, though I admit I’m late to the game, as I had never heard of Sanderson until he was announced as the finisher for the WoT seires. Alloy of Law was hands-down brilliant. The unique world and laws that he set up, turned on it’s head by making it half-western, half-noir. And very well done at that.

    That said, I’ve voted for you, good sir. I’ve mostly been re-reading this year, and my first-read books have been very few. My first-reads this year have been Elantris, Alloy of Law, The Name of the Wind, and Wise Man’s Fear (and King’s 11.22.63 if you wanna go off-genre). As was fairly blow away by all four (five), and already have a bit of favoritism towards Sanderson, but I have to say… when it comes down to it, the sequel I would like to see more than any other is Kvothe’s.

    Best of luck to you!

  10. AbbotOfSwords
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:52 AM | Permalink

    Four of my favorite authors of all time, such a hard decision. So many good books by all four . Want to buy votes for all four :) honestly dont know which to choose ! … who deserves snaga ( mini snaga) hard choice . If your down in New Zealand Pat … Me and the GF ( who loves The Kingkiller Chronicles ) will put you up wine u and dine you with home made honeymead/apfelwein drop me an email

  11. Tayacan
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    Can Alloy of Law be read alone, or should I read the Mistborn books first? I may have to read a bunch of Sci-Fi books for a school project, so four books may be a bit unrealistic.

    • Blarghedy
      Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:01 AM | Permalink

      How much do you read? Mistborn went really quickly for me. I haven’t read Alloy yet, unfortunately, so I can’t answer your question.

      • Tayacan
        Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

        Lots, and fast – but four books plus all the school stuff is too much, even for a bookworm like me ;)

        Anyway, the school thing is for an exam, and only a “maybe” – so if I can, I’ll read all of them :D

        • He without a clever name
          Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

          The first Mistborn book is fantastic. I vote for you should read it.

          While you could read Alloy on it’s on, I think you would have a better understanding of the magic system if you read the trilogy, where it is explained in greater detail. Plus, then you get to understand how incredibly clever Brandon is at using it in Alloy.

          There are also a few spoiler items you’ll pick up on if you read Alloy first.

        • christie
          Posted April 20, 2012 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

          The books are worth the time. I agree they are a fast read and read the trilogy first if possible.

    • Jack Lancaster
      Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

      The Alloy of Law is great and will stand-alone but it’s MUCH better having read the original trilogy.

      • Tayacan
        Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

        I think I’ll try finding time to read them all, then – thanks :)

        • IvoryDoom
          Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

          I actually went and bought the trilogy after reading this, and it was really cheap on Ebay. Whole set was only $14.00.

          Which I thought was a pretty good deal.

          Bought another copy of WMF while I was on too, I’m thinking the set will be good for Mother’s Day. My mom needs to bust out of muder mysteries LOL.

    • katus
      Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

      You can read it is as a stand-alone. The characters are not carried on from Mistborn to Alloy. Better yet – read them all!

  12. Trib4l
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:11 AM | Permalink

    A good friend of mine met Brandon at a signing, at which point he was directed to you as one of the best authors that Brandon knew. At his recommendation I picked up “The Name of the Wind”. You are both incredible and I will devour anything you both put to paper (or e-ink).

  13. Geekgirl
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    I’m sure you hear this shit all of the time – yes I just said shit, it’s early, I’ve not had coffee, ask me if I care – but seriously I almost wish my husband and I and our very small circle of friends had gotten to meet you before you became all famous.

    Your writing talent aside, not only are you clever and well-spoken, you’ve got a great way of thinking and appear to be a fairly awesome person generally speaking. I honestly think we’d have all been friends. You very much seem like someone I’d want to know – and I don’t say that often, picky bitch that I am – potty mouth before coffee, sheesh!

    You’re up against Sanderson and Abercrombie – tough competition. Mistborn series is just amazing, and Joe’s books are great. I have no idea who I’m going to vote for. I may have to reread all three! Good luck, Pat!

  14. darkmatter
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    So far I’ve interviewed Joe Abercrombie (issue 2), Brandon Sanderson (scheduled for release in issue 9) and Helen Lowe (Morningstar shortlist, also scheduled for issue 9). Is there any chance of you enriching my interview collection after issue 9 has been published please?

    An interview in Dark Matter fanzine educates readers, helping them to be informed ;)

  15. Miralys
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

    Really? While The Alloy of Law had a decent story, nice action and some new ideas I don’t even remember the names of the characters. None of them managed to move me like Kvothe, Bast, Denna etc… I know a couple of books worthy to be compared to The Wise Men’s Fear, but The Alloy of Law isn’t one of them.

    • He without a clever name
      Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

      Agreed. While I had a fun time with it, I don’t ever intend to read it again. For me, the idea of what Sanderson is doing was better than the book itself. While I liked the main character, I though the relationships seemed a little forced (particularly the first scene with the two main male characters reuniting…I thought the dialogue there was not so great.)

      I love Sanderson’s idea and look forward to seeing more Mistborn books set in different time periods, but Alloy doesn’t hold up when put next to the first Mistborn book. Kelsier and Vin are amazing characters, while the people and plot of Alloy are fun.

      There’s nothing wrong with something being just fun. I love fun.

  16. darkmatter
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    ergh. Am tired just realised I shouldn’t have posted that here, but can’t delete it sorry.

  17. anonymoe
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    Both Brandon and Patrick are awesome, choosing between them is like choosing between Indiana Jones and Han Solo… maybe that’s confusing. I’m not trying to imply that they are actually the same person. I’ve met them both, and am pretty certain they are different people. But just to be certain I tested them.

    Many many many months before the release of Wise Man’s Fear, I attended a Sanderson signing in Cincinnati. After hours in line I finally presented him with my copy of A Way of Kings to sign. As he opened it and started signing I asked him “how’s Wise Man’s Fear coming along?” He paused in his signing and looked up at me… then simply said “I’ve read it and it’s really good.”

    So, based on Brandon’s review, I’ll be voting for “Wise Man’s Fear”.

  18. Syklon
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    Gotta go with The Wise Man’s Fear. Alloy of Law was awesome, though, in my opinion, not as good as the original trilogy, while TWMF was AMAZING. So, yeah, gotta go with you, Pat.

  19. SarahS
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

    I understand that EVERYONE here is apparently voting for Pat.

    I loved your books Pat, I recommend them all the time, they were awesome. But looking at that list, it’s not Sanderson that jumps out (although he is in my top 5 of favourite writers), but Erikson. Malazan is amazing and doesn’t get the praise it deserves. I guess it’s just a difficult series to get into, which I respect. But because I am an honest person, I will admit to voting for The Crippled God.

    If that had not been there, I would have voted for Pat. Because I adore Sanderson, but Alloy of Law does not beat Wise Man’s Fear. Other Sanderson books might, but not that one. Not because it sucks! I just didn’t love the setting that much, just personal taste.

    • SarahS
      Posted April 20, 2012 at 7:48 AM | Permalink

      … well my intent was to vote for the Crippled God. But then I found out I clicked the top link, with the long list, and apparently Crippled God has been ignored for the short list :(

      I lost before I had even begun. Story of my life. Well not really, but I like to be a bit melodramatic.

      I should have not ignored the very explicit SHORT LIST at the start of your post :D

      But hey, now I voted for you! So I can fit in properly. And I am happy with that, although a bit sad for good ol’ Steven.

      • IvoryDoom
        Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

        Tried to read Malazan and it lost me after about 3 chapters. Just wasnt pulling me in. Should I try to press on? A lot of people say its great.

        But then again, a lot of people recommend Terry Brooks and I really think he’s awful. Just the most boring and see through characters. I keep giving him a shot, but have never been able to finish one of his novels.

        So maybe its just not for me. I pushed through Goodkind and liked it okay, so I was thinking maybe Malazan is having the same effect.

        • Stark
          Posted May 3, 2012 at 2:11 AM | Permalink

          You most definitely should read Malazan. It can be VERY difficult to get into that first book. It doesn’t explain much about what’s going on and it confuses the shit out of you.. at first. I almost put the book down a few times..

          However, if you push to about halfway or a little after, it’ll start picking up. Once you make it to the ending of Book 1, then Book 2 and beyond, it’s FUCKING BRILLIANT. Sorry for the language but Malazan warrants the use, as well as the caps..

          I’ve never read a more complex and truly epic fantasy series. (Epic is an understatement for Malazan.) It’s not for everyone, but I promise you, if you get to the end of Book 1 then you’ll most likely pick up Book 2, finish that, and you’ll be hooked. Plus, you’ve got to love a completed fantasy series.

          A word of caution. (In an already overlong response.. :) ) Steven Erikson co-invented the Malazan world with a fellow named Ian C. Esslemont. Esslemont also has his own series, unfinished. It is garbage. I attempted to read this, even knowing how difficult the Malazan series was to begin. I could not get past about 100 pages. The man cannot write. I’ve heard he gets slightly better with his later books, but I cannot express the distaste I felt towards his first attempt. Stick to Malazan: Book of the Fallen.

  20. QWOPtain Crunch
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    I imagine Sanderson’s liver makes a good pate… Or maybe just with some fava beans.

  21. darcblayde
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

    Wow…what a list!!!
    Bill won it last year with a franchise book, cementing his place among the great authors, and I absolutely love Pat, Brandon AND Joe…(my shame is that I haven’t read Kristen yet)…
    Having read all bar one of these I need to decide which of the ones I read was my favoured, so that one can be sent against Kristen’s book. The fact is, Alloy of Law was so fast, so frenetic, and, for a standalone, left you anxious to know what happens after the book…as well as being short (a rarity in modern fantasy), I think that tips Brandon to the top at the mo.

    Lets see how Blackveil compares…

  22. luciddreamz613
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    You and Brandon are my two favorite authors (I also love Goodkind but I think you and Brandon are more personable). I absolutely loved the two episodes you did on Writing Excuses. The funny thing is when I discovered Writing Excuses and was listening to your first episode on there, I was reading Name of the Wind.

    • IvoryDoom
      Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

      LOL…yah I would say that Pat is about 5 million times more personable.

      I also enjoyed SOT, (most of the time) I would say that Richard may be my number one fiction crush, but I’m pretty sure Goodkind is just a horrible person.

  23. Posted April 20, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    I enjoyed Brandon Sanderson’s book but you will still get my vote.

  24. trinka
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    Ahh, but, Sanderson, Alloy… Dgrah.
    I just honestly couldn’t bring myself to like Alloy.
    I absolutely adored Mistborn, and the entire trilogy, I’ve read The Hero Of Ages almost as many times as I’ve read The Name of the Wind (It’s a lot).

    So when I heard there was a new book, I got terribly excited, and then angry, because it was 3 am and the bookstores were closed.
    The next day, I read it, and it just fell so flat. I do love the idea of it. I love that he took his own created society and culture, and moved forward with it. It’s genius. Sanderson is amazing.
    My problem was the writing of the book. I disliked the characters, and felt no sympathy or closeness to them.
    Maybe I’m just unable to reconcile Sanderson characters that don’t change the very shape of the world, but when reading Alloy, I was bored. I was hoping to be captivated.
    It’s a decent book, reading it didn’t waste my time, but I wouldn’t read it again, and I’m definitely not voting for it over The Wise Man’s Fear.

    • He without a clever name
      Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

      I think I liked it more than you, but I agree with most of this. I had fun reading it, but no way would I vote for it over Wise Man’s Fear.

      The first Mistborn book versus Wise Man’s Fear…that would be a really, really hard call for me.

  25. Illarion
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    I like Sanderson. I’ve read most of his books (though admittedly not – yet – Alloy of Law). I think his WoT books are actually better than most/all of Jordans, and I think Way of Kings is really quite good. Mistborn only good-ish, for me.

    Still, I like and respect the guy. But there is no way I’d put him in the same *class* as Pat Rothfuss. I rave about Rothfuss to people in the same breath as GRRM and GGK (the holy trinity of modern fantasy, in my eyes anyway).

    My vote is easily cast ;)

  26. Diplomatic_Justice
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    I’m going to disappointed if you don’t win this, primarily because you’ve focused on what the important thing is here: you win an axe.

    I’m sure Mr. Sanderson has plenty of axes.

  27. Nilaiha
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    well, that’s quite some books there, with most of my favorite already mentioned here.
    But the thing that really impressed me? Markus Heitz is there, too!

    “Who?”, come on, that’s what most of you think now =P

    For one, he is my favorite author from Germany, and that’s something, since I’m German too. Therefore I’m having some knowledge about the folks who are running around here. He really writes good stuff, with “The Dwarves” being my number one. Although it’s kind of set in classic fantasy world stuff, such a world from the eyes of a dwarf, that’s a new one (to me). You want to know the truth about the snooty elves? Read it.
    In addition, rather dark world, so no boring happy ends which ruin the story in the end.
    (Short note, I cannot judge the translation, but the original has impressive language, I hope they didn’t mess it up)

    Another thing? I’ve met this guy, and it’s obvious he is the type of person who needs an ancient axe in his own four walls.

    So, sorry Pat, I really love your books, but my vote goes to him.

    (Second short note, for obvious reasons… whoever finds some spelling or grammar mistakes can keep them ^^)

    And last but not least, greetings from far away.
    Pat, I admire your work, keep going!

    • Nilaiha
      Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

      Okay, somehow I cannot vote for Heitz, seems to be me being too stupid or higher powers wanting TWMF to win.

      So, TMWF +1

  28. He without a clever name
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    I’ve read three of the four from the short list! I feel like such a good little fantasy fan!

    …but I’ve never heard of ‘Blood of Aenarion’ by William King. Or William King. I feel like less of a Fantasy fan. Should I seek his work out, fellow Rothfuss blog readers, and if so, which books?

    Sanderson and Abercrombie are both fantastic, along with Pat Rothfuss and Scott Lynch, they make up The Group Of New Fantasy Writers Everyone Should Be Fucking Reading. In ten or fifteen years, they’re the names that the fantasy writers of that time will say were their inspirations. They are the quadrilateral of fantasy…or something like that.

    So, in saying that, if some of Abercrombie or Sanderson’s other books had been going up against Wise Man’s Fear, this would be a more challenging call for me. But against Alloy and Heroes?

    Give me Wise Man’s Fear every time.

    Sanderson and Abercrombie are both doing very cool and original things with their worlds, but Kvothe’s story is so much more personal and moving to me. I can tell in in great detail the character names and plot points to Abercromie and Sanderson’s trilogys, as well as through in some favorite quotes from memory…but I can only give plot outlines from their choices here, and I only recall a handful of names.

    Whereas I can discuss WMF all day long, however you want. Where I was when reading different parts for the fist time, what I loved and what I really loved. The hilarious moments with Elodin, how happy I was that we got a solid 300 pages at the University with Auri, Sim, Fela, and Wilhem, (my greatest fear was a very early expulsion for Kvothe.) The Felurian scenes, how awesome and clever the moon cycle was to the Fae, the search for bandits, Tempi. I heart Tempi. That single page about the ship wreck. I loved that. How amazing Kvothe was at the Adem’s tree. That was a seriously epic moment.

    The Cthaeh. (Spelling?) I love that scene.

    I’ll be reading WMF for the rest of my life. I’ll probably flip through Heroes and Alloy again at some point, but they’ll never get the attention that I’ll give Wise Man’s Fear. They’re both fun books, and there’s nothing wrong with them. I enjoyed them. I really like the the Tim Burton Batman movies. Every once in a while I give them a watch, and they make me smile. But most of the time when I want to watch some Batman, I put in The Dark Knight. After watching it, it leaves me excited, and I desperately want to discuss it. My Wife and I talked about it for three hours after going to a midnight showing, both with work on the horizon, but we HAD to discuss it.

    It was that good. And that’s what we did when we both finished Wise Man’s Fear. Because it was that good.

    • Gavin
      Posted April 22, 2012 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

      Finally a voice of reason I agree with you (hewithoutaclevername) does any one else see the connection between the amir and cauticus I think that he was one of the siere-day and that they sent him to keep an eye on Alveron the cthaeth even mentioned sticking close to Alveron to find the Amir then kvothe intervened so many threads of story these are just guess’s but yes Mr. Rothfuss you have my vote because of how awesome the Kingkiller chronicles have been so far that and Brandon Sanderson struck out with Elantris, and I haven’t read the Alloy of Law but Sanderson’s job on the wheel of time series so far has been exceptional considering what he has to live up to. So despite his accomplishments you have my vote Mr. Rothfuss.

  29. Prufrock
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    Gotta be WMF.

    If it were up against Way of Kings… I’d be torn.

    • duke7883
      Posted April 21, 2012 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

      This. Exactly what I was scrolling down to post.

  30. He without a clever name
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Yeah, yeah, I just posted a huge comment and I’m back already? But I’ve got to say…how did George R R Martin’s A Dance with Dragons not make the short list? That seems very odd to me. It was really good.

  31. IvoryDoom
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    Was that a subtle political hint I read?


    That was an easy vote. No matter how much I enjoy other fantasy authors, your books are the only ones I’ve ever bothered to re-read. I had the same favorite book for 10 years until I read Name of the Wind and Wise Mans Fear…

    God I love an easy decision, I shall now relish.

  32. captal
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat- thanks for the link- I was just complaining about the lack of good Fantasy to a friend. Hopefully this perception was due to my ignorance and not because there is an actual lack of good Fantasy recently.

    I was very fortunate last week to meet a co-worker at a work event last week who also happened to be a Fantasy reader. I asked him for a recommendation and he said, “my favorite book is The Name of the Wind.” Given that I’ve been reading some very mediocre Fantasy recently, I didn’t hesitate to pick up your novel.

    I can’t decide if I hate you or love you. As a Fantasy reader for about 20 years now- starting with the Redwall series as a child- I’ve read quite a few Fantasy books (and a handful of Sci-fi as well- Ender’s Game is one of those books that even a Fantasy reader should pick up). I am almost done with The Name of the Wind and I don’t want to keep reading for fear I’ll finish it, yet I can’t stop reading. This is one of those series that I know I will be very sad when it ends- literally emotionally moved- because it’s over. I don’t really hate you, but I do hate that feeling of having such a good series end (or having to wait 2 years for another installment). It’s like falling in love and having that love disappear when the last page is turned, only to be remembered as a fond memory.

    Telling you that you are a good author seems so inadequate. I am so absorbed in your book that two hours pass and I don’t notice. I read on the train to work and I have to be extremely conscious of not missing my train stop. Your novel is absorbing- and I think that is the best compliment I can give.

    You said in an interview that you think you could write in this world for the rest of your life. I certainly hope you do, as you have a dedicated fan for life. I look forward to book 2 and book 3 (which I can’t seem to find a publication date for) I also look forward to reading all the books up for the Gemmell Award. You’re certainly right about Sanderson- you two are my new favorite authors- so please don’t eat his liver. Waiting for you two to publish books is challenging, as I mentioned. However, I will do my best to be patient!

    Thank you for creating something wonderful,

  33. Posted April 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    I apparently live a very sheltered life in the world of fantasy books, because I only know Wise Man’s Fear off of that short-list. I have heard of Sanderson, but I haven’t had a chance to pick up any of his books yet. I kind of want the first of his that I read to be the Wheel of Time he took over… Which at the rate I am going will never happen. (I have been re-reading book #10 for months)

    On another note, while waiting for a ride the other day, I noticed the security guard was sitting at the desk with his Kobo reader. We got into a discussion of books. He recommended some series to me, which I wrote down and promptly forgot about (the slip of paper is in my purse… which is a bit of a scary thought). I recommended the Kingkiller Chronicles to him.

  34. underscore_
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    As much as I like Sanderson (and I like him considerably; enough that I have read all of his work save his Y/A novels so far as I am aware) I earnestly think you are better than him in at ,least one regard. Sanderson is fantastic at structuring plots, crafting characters, and thinking up clever premises (and nifty magic systems) in general, I always find his prose to be rather dull. His language often strikes me as uninspired.

    Sanderson can create a fantastic story, and for that he is one of my absolute favorite authors.* But I would never want to read his poetry.

    Meanwhile, your prose is fantastic. The the prologue to The Name of The Wind is the single thing that made me buy the book—I didn’t need to know anything else about the plot, the premise, or the characters at that point. The decision was made there and then from your writing style alone.

    *(who are still living)

  35. Shintai
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

    OK .. now I Follow damn near every word you say,type,mumble, and pray Pat- I have to say I was a bit taken back by the fact I ran across something today that 1)not only made my scream out loud like a 6 yr old girl who was just told she was getting to go to Disneyland, and 2) I SWEAR i dont recall you EVER mentioning before…./scolding Gandalf eyes.

    I find it ironic too- in light of your thoughts for today and the contest/award. While I thank you for the link- and never fret- you have my vote ( I only wish I could vote more than once ), the list of authors on that list just PALE in comparison to the ones . . . on . . . This. . . LIST. . . . . . .

    so OMG!!! I so can NOT freaking WAIT for a book with so many of my favorites writing in it.. of note personally – I am still almost in tears seeing my old hero R.A.Salvatore and you mentioned in the same list- as in contributing to a tome together – oh the MAGNITUTE!

    so in short… Pat you, sir, are indeed THE MAN. I am humbled and awestruck to have lived in the same historical age as you – and …wow /shakes head- just wow.

  36. bocianka1
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Permalink


    you wrote in your review…
    “You see, here’s the way things work:
    1. You either write secondary world fantasy which is pretty medievally, or Renaissance-y, or occationally dark-ages-ish. Maybe you go crazy and make it kinda Asian. Or you make it bronze age. That’s rare though. Pretty fringe.”

    Could you give me any suggestions for any good Bronze Age fantasy books as this is what i am considering for my own book. As you said, they’re rare so i’d like to see what others have done already.

  37. Animewookie
    Posted April 21, 2012 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    I really loved Blackveil by Kristen Britain. I wish there was a page with specific criteria to base your vote on. This list is like apples and oranges, love them both, but it depends what i’m in the mood for :D Yes, I use smiley faces…I use them sincerely…and no, I’m not a teenage girl…lol ;)

  38. alteregoofformerself
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    I read your review for Branderson before voting, and it almost talked me out of voting for your own book…

    • IvoryDoom
      Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

      LOL, I really liked the review too. It actually helped convince my boyfriend we should buy the trilogy. (I read him fantasy novels while he plays video games…its awesome)

      Our conversation went something like:

      We should read Mistborn after we finish KKC
      Is the series done being written?
      Well sorta, its going to be multiple trilogies
      I dunno, I dont like these cliff hangers, I want answers
      well….I want to read it, plus its cheap.
      I’d still rather read a finished series…..but not Goodkind there is something wrong with that guy.
      Ugh…come on Pat said he’d eat Sanderson’s liver.
      Oh…well…okay order it.

      Yah. What can I say that shit was pretty convincing.

  39. DrFood
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    Yes–think before you vote!

    One of my familiar frustrations is to be faced with a choice of candidates for something and have no idea which one I prefer, because I’ve never heard of any of them. The internet has been helpful with this, especially with our never-ending voting sessions here in Wisconsin. If all else fails, I’ll see whom my state senator Jon Erpenbach endorses.

    Of course, just as important as putting some thought into your choices is just plain showing up! If everybody who could vote did vote, the United States would be a different place (I almost wrote “the world would be a better place,” but then I remembered Australia has compulsory voting, and then I looked it up and found out that there are 10 countries that enforce complusory voting, including Brazil and Argentina).

    Countries that have compulsory voting also make it easier to vote, by putting voting day on the weekend and allowing easy early voting. What do you think–should voting be mandatory?

    • Prufrock
      Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

      No. Not at all. I’m fine with the least engaged and informed sitting it out.

      • IvoryDoom
        Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

        I agree with Prufrock. I’m am against compulsory voting. I’m against mandatory everything.

        Plus, it eliminates a lot of the people who dont care thus eliminating random votes that might lead to some jackass winning as a joke.

        However, I do admit to being an extremist for Freedom. I think America is already too bogged down with laws. Plus we’d probably have to build a waterpark in Maine or something stupid like that just to get compulsory voting on the ballot.

  40. ImLittleJon
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    I hope Pat wins the award, because what he needs more than anything else in the world is an axe to grind. ;-)

  41. tap236
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    Wait, you chose liver as the organ of writing power? Interesting.

    • IvoryDoom
      Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

      Actually I think Native Americans chose that as where your soul/power resides. They used to eat the livers of their enemies.

      At least thats the first culture I can think of.

      Fun fact, did you know when wolves devour a kill the alpha eats the liver first.

      Yep…thought that was cool.

  42. Posted April 24, 2012 at 4:54 AM | Permalink

    Definitely voting for WMF. My dog thinks I should. She tested it and said it was clearly the one with the best binding!!!

  43. Posted April 24, 2012 at 10:41 PM | Permalink

    Hmm. Guess you don’t read Martha Wells?

    She wrote a book called Element of Fire. It was set in a fairly typical medieval world, perhaps a bit later, say 16th century England.

    Then she wrote a sequel called The Death of a Necromancer, set in the same world and featuring the descendant of one of Element’s main characters. This world was definitely Victorian.

    After that, she wrote a trilogy called The Fall of Ile-Rien which was set a few years later and was pure steam-punk combined with a parallel world with a more agrarian setting. Yep, she knocked off two world-buildings in one novel.

    I thought at the time it was brilliant. I was as impressed with its uniqueness as you are now with Sanderson’s creation. Which, by the way, I also adore.

    Anyway, I highly recommend the Wells’ books, as well as her new series The Books of the Raksura.

  44. Posted April 30, 2012 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    I’m afraid that I might just have failed the human worth test, and voted for you anyway. Still, I’ve got a couple of reasons.

    One, exams. Sadly, that means there’s no chance that I’m going to be able to read your competitor’s books in time (I already have my sanity-reading list planned out).

    The second? Well, Name of the Wind is pretty much the reason that I could get up on stage saturday and play a two hour set. For money! Regardless of whatever the other books might have going for them, none of them inspired me to turn a meager talent at stringed instruments into something that’ll stick with me for life (and occasionally keep me in clothes and rice), a feat which you achieved.

    Least I can do in return is get you and axe.

    • Posted April 30, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

      *an axe, I mean. I suppose the least I can actually do is get you an axe and make typos on your blog. So that’s a thing we’ve learnt.

  45. Posted April 30, 2012 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    Don’t bother with Brandon’s liver. Years of careful, scientific experimentation have revealed that writing talent lives in the kidney. That’s where you get the most bang for your cannibal buck.

  46. BarryK
    Posted May 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    I love it when I discover a book that I have heard nothing about and it turns out to be incredible, this happened when I picked up a copy of “The Name of the Wind” but also “Green Rider” by Ms Britain. When this happens I feel in some way that I have discovered something new and in a strange way I award myself some of the glory deserved only by the authors. (I is nuts, I know;-) My point is this, I have a deeper effection for book that come to me this way and chosing between books that I have read countless time and enjoyed is tough. But I want you to have a big cool axe.

    I hope you get it!

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