Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Are We There Yet? Charley's Top Four Long-Awaited Releases

I am a fairly patient person. In day to day life, I'm usually the party member who's happy to sit back and wait the extra ten minutes for my friends to meet me at the bus stop, or pop my microwavable fish pie back in to warm up that slightly lukewarm bit in the middle. I've even stood up in defence of the long period of time between submitting my essays and getting them back so many weeks later I've almost forgotten what I wrote about in the first place.

But, as every rubber band has its breaking point, and every cat has the number of belly rubs that will saturate its purring and initiate the transition to hand-gouging, my patience has its limit.

And when it comes to waiting for books, my patience is shorter than the time it takes for Jean-Luc Picard to shampoo his hair in the morning.

The books below are among the worst offenders, books whose mention will inspire me to spasms of frustrated enthusiasm and cliffhanger-related screech-gargling.

I, personally, have been waiting for these books for years - but those who read them when they first came out, if I am not among that number - have been waiting even longer. We whine, we plot, we compare conspiracy theories and plead and wail and threaten to eat the author's slippers if he will not give us a sneak peak, a mere tablescrap for us to chew until we are permitted to enter the feast itself.

These are the books that are slowly devouring my sanity. One day at a time.


Title: The Doors Of Stone
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Release Date: Unknown
Franchise: Conclusion to The Kingkiller Chronicles.

Oh, Patrick Rothfuss. I don't know what to make of you. You draw me in with a fascinating setup; a story recounted to a mysterious stranger from the perspective of a once-mighty hero, fallen now into nameless obscurity and a melancholia of the soul that seems to be eating away at his very desire to live. You take a relatively standard recounted story and pin me down with cliffhangers, a strong cast of characters, a fascinating world, and foreshadowing that promises the most deliciously soul-crushing of conclusions... and then you have kids.

Kids, it seems, who have so disrupted the order of the universe that you have neither a cover, nor even a predicted release date, for the proposed conclusion of the puzzle you have been dangling over our heads for several years.

There have been many theories on other reasons for the delay of the final installment of the Kingkiller Chronicles, too. Perhaps you are distracted by other projects, perhaps you are feeling daunted by the task, or perhaps the story has run away from you and you are already considering following Paolini down the road of expanding a trilogy into a larger Cycle.

We don't know the truth, though. But we'll be here, when you tell us. Waiting. Waiting...


Title: The Winds of Winter
Author: George R R Martin
Release Date: Unknown
Franchise: Penultimate installment of A Song of Ice and Fire.

It is a widely acknowledged fact that George R R Martin feeds on the pain and anguish of his readers. Still, even the infamous Red Wedding, and the thousands of beloved character deaths that went before it, is but a trifle compared to the protracted agony of the wait for this, the proposed penultimate installment of the epic, sprawling, murderous glory of the Song of Ice and Fire saga.

Still, at least 'Evil Santa' is willing to be honest with his slavering, howling fanbase - he is a slow writer, in principle, not only because of the scale of the series, but also because of the time and attention needed to keep track of all the murder, mayhem and machinations that take place in the series' many coexisting storylines.

Though we have no exactitudes of a release date, at least Mr Martin has been kind enough to gift us with a sample chapter, a cover, and reassurances that, yes, he knows how the story will end and, no, he will not allow the Song to end unfinished if he should get a taste of his own medicine and find himself meeting a brutal and unexpected ending.

However, this consolation begins to feel a little paltry when we consider that A Dance With Dragons, the most recent installment of the series, hit the shelves in 2005. Nine years is a long time to make a fandom wait, George. And winter is coming...


Title: Sworn in Steel
Author: Douglas Hulick
Release Date: 8th May 2014
Franchise: Second installment of Tales of the Kin. 

Douglas Hulick's debut novel was an unexpected treat for me, when I first read it. I went into it expecting a fun, light-hearted romp, and what I found was a clever, well-paced, stunningly characterised and utterly hilarious story of plotting, thieves, grand conspiracy and backhanded treachery. I was so taken with the story, in fact, that I immediately set out in search of its sequel... and spent the next few minutes staring sadly into space at the thought of another long and painful wait.

There was a great deal of speculation over how long it would take Mr Hulick to follow up the first installment of the adventures of crafty-but-catastrophically-inclined Drothe, with some even forecasting a date as late as 2025, due to a confusion in the publishing schedule. 

The author even appared on Goodreads to apologise to his fans and explain, in short, the role of the palaver in producing such a dementedly broad range of dates across different bookstores, continents, and distributors.

Luckily for us, the issues were resolved, and the date has been set. Now, at least, we have a date upon which to fix an unblinking stare of trepidation and excitement. I think I shall take advantage of the fortuitous timing, and make it a a two-days-post-birthday present.


Title: The Republic of Thieves
Author: Scott Lynch
Release Date: 8th October 2013
Franchise: Third installment of The Gentleman Bastards.

Last but not least, we come to a book whose wait, though finally concluded, was nothing short of torturous. Continuing the travels of thieves Locke Lamora and his associate Jean, this third installment of Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards series has much to live up to, with the first two installments boasting a pedigree of tight, clever plots, ingeniously deployed red herrings, hair-raising stakes and cliffhangers fit to make Rick Riordan cry. And all that while rupturing at least three important squidgy components of my internal organs during bouts of gale-force laughter.

Around the same time that Republic was announced, Mr Lynch also made it known that the series would also soon be home to a prequel, taking place a short period before the events of the series beginnings in The Lies of Locke Lamora. Naturally, excitement was high, and though the wait for Republic has not been as long as the length of years suffered by readers awaiting those who have already featured on this list, the nail-chewing was not lessened by a repeated pushing back of release dates, and the non-appearance of a Kindle edition until several months after the arrival of the hardback.

Nevertheless, with the prequel due to grace our shelves in March, and Goodreads listing further titles that bring the series up to a length of seven books at least, I think it's safe to say that readers will continue to howl at the base of Scott Lynch's ivory tower for many a year yet.


The wait for the latest installment of one's favourite series is a struggle endured by every bookworm, and even a wait of a day or five as Amazon takes its sweet time delivering your prize to your door can seem like an eternity.

What about you, dear readers? What books have you clawing at the walls and making noises like a half-boiled bunny in expectation of their arrival? Leave a comment, and let me know!

~ Charley R


  1. I'm waiting for Maggie Stiefvater to HURRY UP ALREADY and finish her fairies series. Oh. My. GOSH. Why is she taking so long?!! I'm going crazy. I've been waiting about 3 years so far.... -_-

    1. Which series is that? She has a bajillion of them xD

    2. Lament and Ballad. The last one, Requiem, was meant to come out this year, but didn't...

      And Cait, you're lucky to only have waited three years. I've been waiting four and a quarter! I got those books when they were still US editions over here! *flails in frustration*

      I keep asking Maggie on her blog and at the events I've been to whether it's actually going to happen. I shall cry if it doesn't. But at least she keeps the Raven Cycle books coming out relatively regularly.