The Lightning Tree by Patrick Rothfuss

The world of the Kingkiller Chronicles is many things, but simple is not one of them. Before millions of snapchatters and instagrammers were born, Patrick Rothfuss began work on his only series and magnum opus, the magnificent story of Kvothe. Since the first volume released in 2007, its sequel in 2011, fans have been absolutely torturing the man at every given chance about when he will be releasing the third and final volume of Kvothe’s journey and epic story. Recently to tide off those rabid fans, Rothfuss released information about two Kingkiller related pieces that would be coming out in 2014. The first is a 22,000 word novella about Bast, the apprentice and helper at the Waystone Inn and the other in November about Auri, Kvothe’s mysterious friend who lives beneath the University. While fans can purchase Auri’s short novel, The Slow Regard Of Silent Things as a standalone, Bast’s story entitled The Lightning Tree must be purchased in this summers epic fantasy story collection called Rogues.

The beauty of The Lightning Tree is in it’s simplicity. It’s a story that centers mostly on Bast, with a few supporting town folk children to fill in. The story is split into three parts: morning, day and night, each of them descriptive of the areas and landscapes that Bast runs through. Kvothe hardly appears in the story, a few lines at best. There are a few recurring characters from the series as well, mostly in the form of regular patrons of Kvothe’s tavern. During the middle part of the story, Bast meets a child who wants to learn more about the Fae. Trading information for questions, this child questions Bast about the specifics of the Fae: how they look, how their magic works and the Fae’s habits of lying. Unbeknownst to the child, Bast has a vast knowledge of the Fae. What ensues is Bast revealing to the lad some information about the Fae, intriguing him and deceiving him.

The Lightning Tree is completely charming and exactly what Kingkiller fans need in this four plus year continued wait for the third installment to the series, Doors Of Stone. Rothfuss writes this story about a supporting character in the original series whose importance is rising, which makes it all the more likely fans will seek this story out to read it. Kvothe is not involved in the story, which is both positive because it gives another perspective of the story and also doesn’t take away from the intended result of this novella: to tell a fun story about Bast.

Rating: 8 out of 10 – Rothfuss writes a pleasant little novella about one of the more important secondary characters from his original work, all while making it’s standalone factor equal it’s importance. Fans are going to seek this out, purchase the Rogues collection regardless of reviews, but rest assured this will give fans their fix, if only for a minute.

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