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How Old Holly Came to Be

(The Kingkiller Chronicle)

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  631 ratings  ·  60 reviews
How Old Holly Came to Be is a companion short story in The Kingkiller Chronicle series. It was first published on June 21, 2013 by Grim Oak Press in the anthology Unfettered.
ebook, 11 pages
Published June 21st 2013
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Average rating 3.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  631 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
How Old Holly Came to Be is probably the least discussed Temerant short story, and I can definitely see why... it's vague at best and utterly useless at worst. [By the way, Temerant is the world where the events of The Kingkiller Chronicle take place.]

The story describes a tree "Old Holly" and a lady living in a tower by the tree. All actions and events are tagged as good, bad, both, neither, or other which appears to make explicit the underlying Lethani or perhaps judgement by the God of Temera
Auntie Terror
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-high
A story that reads more like a song. It also has a decidedly old feeling about it. Very interesting and beautiful, looking forward to finding out where to stick this in the bigger picture of the Kingkiller Chronicles.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
How old Holly Came to Be is a companion short story for The Kingkilller Chronicles.
Actually I am fascinated by this Short story. It's a bit odd. It feels like a short story and the chime at the same time. It has rhythm that continues throughout the story. I really like it.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
I read a thing. It had a cover. The cover was good. The thing was bad. It had a writer. The writer write mostly good. The writer be bad. The thing was bad. Now I sleep. Sleep is good. I wish I did sleep ten minutes ago and still had not read this thing. Wanting to read it was good. Reading it was bad.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this book, and it was good.
I didn't know it existed, and that was bad.
I sat and read.
I turned page and laughed.
I turned page and laughed.
I turned page and laughed.
I finished the book in 5min, which was neither.
I'm tired so I nap, and it was both.

...You'll understand once you read the book.
Honestly I enjoyed this very short story. It was much more like a poem to me - with the short sentences and rhyming.
It made me laugh on multiple occasions but I'm not sure if the story is meant to
Henrik Rónai
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, short
It was not better than "OK", and that is bad. It only took 3 minutes, and that is good. It took time away from The Doors of Stone, which is very bad. ...more
Alan Allis
Nov 06, 2020 rated it liked it
This was very good. Rating: 3.3 stars. What a lyrical writing! Pat, I have read almost anything that you have written and this little thing surprised me. It was powerful and it was beautiful. And a bit boring.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: short-stories
WTF did I just read?
Monera Hiyder
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020, short-story
Could it be that old hooly is the ctheah 🤔 but the cthea is bad and holly is good 😂 in short the story keep saying that is good this is bad and so on
Ans it remind me of old school books to learn English by repeating the same sentence over and over with a simple change
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
A strange little extract, charming in its own way. I'm sure I'll find out what it relates to in a few years. ...more
Nana  Devourer of Tomes
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I am sorry to say that this is the first story by the Patfuss that I didn’t really enjoy. It was repetitive like a ballad, as Rothfuss’s writing often is, but this time I can’t say it moved me.Don’t get me wrong, it was gorgeous, but I would have preferred it in the form of a ballad instead of a story.

Disclaimer: I might reread this story in 5 years and find it genius. I probably will. I trust in the Fuss
Josie Mae
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it
It read like a poem more than a story. It's only 11 pages. It's fairly cryptic, told like an epic, with a tone full of sorrow, but pretty, and I could see reading it again to pick up more than just the rhythm of it, but there are only hints at a deeper meaning. I enjoyed reading it and it wasn't a bad addendum, but I don't know that I would purchase it. ...more
Sep 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020, fantasy
i contemplate the slow but stark and inevitable decline of humanity when i think of how popular this author is on goodreads, and how popular he is amongst fantasy fans in general. he is not only a poor writer, but a mean and spiteful capitalist, churning out useless vignettes such as this for his fans in lieu of the actual end of the trilogy. while i simply do not care if the last book comes out, i can recognize that it is genuinely offensive to leave a fairly large subsection of people waiting ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm a total sucker for stories told in folkloric, ritualistic kinds of ways...this reads like a chant, a mantra, and while it is extremely repetitive, it feels monumental for the setting. Objectively it's the worst thing Rothfuss has written, but it's still good. ...more
Imen Z
Dec 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I honestly don't see the point of this book. Like, why write such a book? ...more
Lorrie (Clockworkbookworm)
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-ebook, own, finished
Beautifully written and unique story of Old Holly. It is in a poetic rhyme, unfortunately, very short. Desperately awaiting Doors of Stone.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novellas, fantasy
Meh... I can see now why he Rothfuss takes so long to publish a book.
Sean Gursky
I read it but not sure what I read or why. I'm catching up on the Kingkiller novellas and this one was a bit unusual. I won't rate it because maybe I just didn't get it. ...more
Nicole Young
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was wonderful.

I would call it more of a poem than a short story.

This is the sort of thing that’s so well written it seems like anyone could do it.

But that’s what makes talent talent, right? Making something intricate look easy.

It made me want to sit down and write something.

Isn’t that another point that makes something good? It’s inspiring and makes you think. It made me write this review. I’ve never reviewed a book before. I felt it needed someone on its side. Someone that tr
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Honestly I found this short... thing to be kinda interesting, and that was good. It was cool to read and sad at the end, and that was both. But it probably took time away from writing Doors of Stone, and that was bad.

This book was kinda meh, and that was neither and both.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novellette
First thought: I like the symmetry.
Second thought: the ballad/poetic style is nothing to complain about. If you can read Dr. Seuss, this is fine.
Third thought: has the H in Holly always been capitalized?
Forth thought: did he just use a masculine pronoun to describe a tree?
Final thought: How Does This Connect To the Kingkiller Chronicles?!
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
the story itself isnt that great; its the theories and readers opinions about how this fits into the greater kingkiller chronicles that make this so wonderful.

see (

(read on 13 may 2019)

4.5 stars
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
3/5 stars

It was weird but also fascinating and I always like reading stories that are part of a fantasy world's lore. I think it would be nice to have a sort of anthology - something similar to what Leigh Bardugo did with The Language of Thorns - but I guess that a lot can already be found inside the main books.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This was weird but good weird (?). I'm not sure I understood it completely but it was beautifully written. Probably shouldn't have read it before reading The Kingkiller Chronicle series but I think it doesn't spoil anything. It was a good (extremely) short read.
Feb 16, 2019 added it
Okay, this was good. It was kind of musical and had a very, very mysterious touch to it. Overall I enjoyed it. But someone please explain to me how this is part of the Kingkiller Chronicles (and no spoilers, I’m only at the beginning of book 2)
Ed Grant
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a short story, so it’s a quick read.
It is an interesting style of writing. Odd, but I liked it. It left me thinking trying to make sense of it and kept flittering back into my thoughts all day.
Audrey Friedman
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Good, liked it. Not my favorite but I still enjoyed the writing and story.....although I HATE that Rothfuss continues to do "Rick & Morty" graphic novels or whatever they are....I like the show well enough but come on Rothfuss, where is the rest of Kvothe's story GD-it!!!!!!! ...more
Eunuchorn Hornless
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Strangely amazing! It is beautifully written in contemplative rhythms and I more felt it than understood it, if that makes any sense.
Lukas Vermeer
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Extremely short read. Still felt like I’d wasted my time.
Ramon van Dam
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
A big pile of "meh". Even though it's very short, it couldn't keep me interested due to the annoying style and lack of an actual story. ...more
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It all began when Pat Rothfuss was born to a marvelous set of parents. Throughout his formative years they encouraged him to do his best, gave him good advice, and were no doubt appropriately dismayed when he failed to live up to his full potential.

In high-school Pat was something of a class clown. His hobbies included reading a novel or two a day and giving relationship advice to all his friends

Other books in the series

The Kingkiller Chronicle (3 books)
  • The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)
  • The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)
  • The Doors of Stone (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #3)

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