Kvothe has an emotional moment in his hideout over his newly reawakened memories of his the shattered pieces of his childhood.
I thought of my parents and of the troupe, and was surprised to find the memories less bitter than before.
I thought those memories were “alseep” or whatever up to this point. Make up your mind.
He fantasizes (for the first time, apparently) about getting revenge against the Chandrian.
But my years in Tarbean had instilled an iron-hard practicality.
Except when it comes to ways of getting out of Tarbean, as we have discussed.
I did know one thing. It had come to me as I lay remembering. It was something Haliax had said to
Who keeps you safe from the Amyr? The singers? The Sithe? From all that would harm you in the world?
He hasn’t thought about any of this in three years but he can remember exactly what Haliax said?
Anyway Kvothe reasons that this means the Chandrian have enemies and the enemy of my enemy etc. The Amyr are apparently the D&D warriors from Skarpi’s story. He figures that the Chandrian kill people who tell stories about them, as his parents had been doing, to stop information about their weaknesses from proliferating. But they obviously don’t kill everyone who tells stories about them or they’d be murdering children left and right for singing those nursery rhymes we encountered back in the opening chapters. This prompts Kvothe to wonder what about his parent’s song was so special that it made the Chandrian murder them.
I previously compared Haliax to Voldemort. We now have a mysterious parental murder driving the plot and Kvothe is (I think) shortly going to be going to wizard school. Hmmmm.
I don’t think I mentioned this before but Ben gave Kvothe a book before they parted. It comes up again now as a motivational device.
I opened it to the first page and read the inscription Ben had made more than three years ago.
Defend yourself well at the University. Make me proud.
Remember your father’s song. Be wary of folly.
I nodded to myself and turned the page.
WIZARD IS START
Now can we please get on with the plot sometime soon?
In chapter 30 Kvothe pawns his book for some money and almost gets cheated when the owner tries to make him sign a fake receipt:
I, by signing below, hereby attest to the fact that I can neither read nor write.
I looked up at the owner. He held a straight face. I dipped the pen and carefully wrote the letters “D D” as if they were initials.
He fanned the ink dry and slid my “receipt” across the desk toward me.
“What does D stand for?” he asked with the barest hint of a smile.
“Defeasance,” I said. “It means to render something null and void, usually a contract. The second D is for Decrepitate. Which is the act of throwing someone into a fire.” He gave me a blank look. “Decrepication is the punishment for forgery in Junpui.
So basically Kvothe has now finished the majority of his character development. He doesn’t have the layer of angst we saw in the framing story but he’s the same over-confident smarmy jackass. To summarize: Kvothe is awesome and annoying as a kid, he spends three years in a depressed stupor, he breaks out of it spontaneously and then continues to be awesome and annoying into his twenties.
Kvothe also cheats the shopkeeper out of a ton of money by getting him to sign a receipt agreeing to sell the book back to Kvothe at a later date for significantly less money. But! The shop dude turns out to be nice after all and gives Kvothe some money to apologize for trying to screw him over. But Kvothe doesn’t tell him about the receipt. Then he leaves to go to the university.
End chapter! What was the point of all that?
In Chapter 31 wizard needs food badly so Kvothe eats breakfast with his newly acquired money but realizes he stinks to high heaven and needs some new clothes. He agrees to work in the tavern for a few hours in exchange for a bath.
I wiped the fog from the makeshift mirror and was surprised. I looked old, older at any rate. Not only that, I looked like some young noble’s son. My face was lean and fair. My hair needed a bit of a trim, but was shoulder-length and straight, as was the current fashion. The only thing missing was a noble’s clothes.
Kvothe has been living in squalor for three years, malnourished and probably wracked with disease, but he still looks ~*totally hawt*~. God it’s like he emits some sort of field that attracts Gary Stu traits.
Seeing his rugged good looks (ladies) gives Kvothe an idea so he he walks out of the tavern wearing nothing but a towel and pretends to be a lord’s son to get someone to point him toward a clothes shop. I guess all those years of elitism with the troupe prepared him for this. I’d also like to point out that Kvothe was still too timid to speak to anyone just a few chapters ago, but I guess remembering his parent’s murder somehow has restored his confidence.
As I walked I remembered one of the young page parts I used to play in the troupe. The page’s name was Dunstey, an insufferably petulant little boy with an important father.
Right, Kvothe. A “part” you used to “play”. Sure.
Kvothe barges into a clothes shop and acts like an asshole until the owner does what he wants.
I lowered my voice menacingly, “If you don’t bring me something to wear—” I stood up and shouted, “—I’ll tear this place apart! I’ll ask my father for your stones as a Midwinter gift. I’ll have his dogs mount your dead corpse. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?”
I AM THE CUT FLOWER SOUND OF A MAN wait no I fucked that up
I’m going to skip the entire following section because it’s all sweaty, furious Kvothewank where Kvothe is oh so witty and quirky and he totally shows everyone and bluuuuuuurrgh. Let’s just skip it. Kvothe gets his clothes for cheap and goes back to the tavern to collect his stuff and heads off for wizard school.
I’m now roughly a third of the way through this book and it’s starting to become clear why people say they’re padded out. Ignoring the framing story what’s actually happened so far? Kvothe’s parents died, he spent a few years moping on the streets, he decided to go to the University to look for information on the Chandrian. All of this could have happened in a third of the time it’s taken here. Kvothe’s experiences in Tarbean don’t seem to have changed him at all- he’s basically the same person he was before his parents were killed except a bit tougher and more willing to break rules.
It looks like we’re getting into wizard school soon. Maybe that will be interesting?