Patrick Rothfuss announced today that he has a new novella in the works that takes place in the same universe as his Kingkiller Chronicles series. Like his previous novella in this world, The Slow Regard of Silent Things, this story will also take place in Temerant and center on a secondary character from his Kingkiller novels.
Rothfuss revealed on his blog that the new novella is called The Narrow Road Between Desires and centers on Bast. But wait, you say, isn’t there already a short story centered on Bast called “The Lightning Tree”? There is, but this is, according to a press release, is a “stunning expansion and re-imagining” of that story, and contains illustrations by Nate Taylor.
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Here’s the novella’s official description:
The Narrow Road Between Desires is Bast’s story, told over the course of a single day as the charming fae schemes and sneaks, and dances into trouble and back out again with uncanny grace
On his blog, Rothfuss also shares a longer announcement about the novella, including a lengthier description of the book’s contents:
No one taller than the stone.
Come to blacktree, come alone.
Tell no adult what’s been said,
lest the lightning strike you dead.
When you come to the lightning tree to trade with Bast, your mortal money isn’t worth much. What holds true value are older things: secrets and favors. Buttons and flowers. Lies, tricks, riddles, stones, and whatever else your heart truly desires.
Follow the Kingkiller Chronicle’s most charming fae as he schemes and bargains his way through the small town of Newarre. While at first it seems that Bast must be master of this tiny domain, but while he cares nothing for the laws of man, there are older, deeper laws that bind him. And for all his cleverness, Bast finds himself trapped in ways he has never experienced before, and make hard choices and help an enemy.
Playful, sweet, and sly as Bast himself, The Narrow Road Between Desires is Bast’s story. In it he traces the old ways of making and breaking, following his heart even when doing so goes against his better judgement. For after all, what good is wisdom if it keeps you from finding your way to danger and delight?
The Narrow Road Between Desires will be released in hardcover on November 14, 2023 from DAW Books and Gollancz, of the Orion Publishing Group. The cover of the book will be released at a later date.