In my humble opinion they are important. A foreword is usually not my first impression of a book because that burden falls on the cover and the blurb. However it sets a certain tone, gives the background of the book that we're holding in our hands and, in a way, completes the book's own story.
Now... the main reason why I'm here is to tell you about the brilliant foreword that Patrick Rothfuss wrote for Unfettered edited by Shawn Speakman. I'm probably not allowed to copy it fully here but you can, as I did, go on Amazon and Look Inside.
While we're all here, I'd like to point out that the stories in Unfettered are all donated for a great cause.
Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hogdkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That’s when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story Shawn could sell toward alleviating those bills—and suggested Shawn ask the same of his other friends.
Unfettered is the result, an anthology built to relieve that debt, featuring short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the genre.
Any one of the contributing authors' names would easily justify the purchase of a bestseller but bringing them altogether in one book makes Unfettered inescapable. Just check the list below. I bet you're going to go and order your copy ;).
- The Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks (a Shannara tale)
- Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks (a precursor to the Word/Void trilogy)
- How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss (a Four Corners tale)
- River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (a Wheel of Time tale)
- The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
- Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey (a precursor to the Kushiel series)
- Dogs by Daniel Abraham
- Mudboy by Peter V. Brett (a Demon Cycle tale)
- Nocturne by Robert V. S. Redick
- The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian (a Vault of Heaven tale)
- Untitled by Geno & R.A. Salvatore
- Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood (a Summer Dragon tale)
- Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
- The Lasting Doubts of Joaquin Lopez by Blake Charlton
- The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne (an Iron Druid tale)
- Select Mode by Mark Lawrence (a Broken Empire tale)
- All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
- Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth (a Struck epilogue tale)
- Unbowed by Eldon Thompson (a Legend of Asahiel tale)
- Untitled by Naomi Novik (a Temeraire tale)
- The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan (a Riyria Chronicles tale)
- The Duel by Lev Grossman (a Magicians tale)
- The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman (an Annwn Cycle tale)