let’s read the wise man’s fear ch. 10

Post Image


Being Treasured

Kvothe gets his tuition set at nine and a half talents, which is hella money for a poor student. Money Angst Money Angst he goes to find Denna. The door guy at her Inn is needlessly unpleasant, as all obstacles that stand in the way of Kvothe and his waifu must be.

Denna is with another rich noble. I’m still not entirely sure why she keeps switching quasi-patrons so quickly or how word isn’t spreading that she’s not actually interested in sleeping with them, creating the illusion of which is apparently necessary to her plans. Imre can’t be that big.

Denna held out her hands to me. “Kvothe,” she said. “Come meet Geoffrey.”


No wait, wrong spelling.

“Pleasure to meet you, Kvothe,” Geoffrey said. “Dinael has told me quite a bit about you. You’re a bit of a—what is it? Wizard?” His smile was open and utterly guileless.

Geoff and me are on the same wavelength.

“Arcanist actually,” I said as politely as possible. “Wizard brings too much storybook nonsense to mind. People expect us to wear dark robes and fling about the entrails of birds.

You learn magic at wizard school, you’re a wizard. Nothing will convince me otherwise. This show of “oh look at how I’m subverting genre expectations” is all smoke and mirrors.

Surprisingly, Geoffrey isn’t an asshole but he is shabby and implied to not be very bright, because Kvothe must have no worthy rival for his waifu’s attention.

Seriously though, Denna is constantly hanging around rich, handsome nobleman but she overlooks them all for this moon-eyes prat who, let’s not forget, she firmly believes isn’t interested in her.

Kvothe gives Denna some herbal tea concoctions for her lungs, which I don’t remember her ever having a problem with but apparently she did back in the first book, which of course just makes her melt on the spot.

Thank you. This is the sweetest thing anyone’s done for me in a long while.

I guess those guys who pay all of your living expenses and buy you fabulous gifts don’t count.

Ah, but let’s remember, they’re just trying to get into her pants whereas dear, sweet Kvothe Really Cares. Except not really because he also wants to get into her pants, he’s just too spineless to admit it. Such is the way of the Nice Guy.

Denna plays the harp and Kvothe goes on for a bit about music in a superficial way that makes me suspect Rothfuss doesn’t actually know much about it. Several people in the comments have pointed this out before regarding his depiction of musical instruments, and while I’m not a musician myself I’m inclined to agree- you can tell when someone is writing about a subject they’re really passionate for and I’m not feeling it here.

I’ll give Rothfuss this, he has Denna be obviously talented but still learning, making several mistakes while playing rather than being Super Awesome Perfect at everything. Now if only we could get the same with our hero.

As they say, a jeweler knows the uncut gem. And I am. And she was. And so.


Note how once again Kvothe’s metaphors about Denna reduce her to a subordinate position- first we had that “delicate songbird flitting about a mighty thrusting penis tree” nonsense and now she’s an uncut gem, an object to be appreciated.

Denna calls the porter upstairs with a magic bell that causes its identical twin on the first floor to ring in unison. Again, utility magic. I’m all for it.

With the last book I mentioned that Denna was taking a quick plunge into stupid-town near the end, and that continues here- she was quite out-going and gregarious when she was first introduced, but now she’s constantly blushing and averting her eyes. Look at her reaction when Kvothe mentions rune wizard magic:

Denna’s eyes lit up at this. “So it’s a magic where you write things down?” she asked, leaning forward in her chair. “How does it work?”

Note that whenever it comes to a topic Kvothe is an expert in but she isn’t she immediately starts talking like an eight year old.

“And I hate knowing someone is set to guard me, like I’m a treasure someone might try to steal.”

Well hey, want to know what Kvothe was just comparing you to?

Things are about to get pretty awkward in this upscale sitting room

Taking the argument train straight to spatsville station

“But I don’t doubt Kellin is informed of my comings and goings. I know the porter tells him who comes calling.

That’s preeeeetty creepy.

An afternoon with Denna entirely to myself was a rare treat

That’s also preeeeetty creepy, you possessive little shit.

Kvothe goes back to Devi to get a loan. As in, the person he got a loan from in the exact same circumstances in the first book. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that this book was written by taking random sections of the first book and jumbling them together.

“Plus, I am cute as a button.” She gave a grin that brought out dimples in both her cheeks.

Go fuck yourself Patrick.

Anyway, Money Angst, Kvothe has to borrow six talents, which is more than he needed, due to Devi’s stringent financial policies.

“Devi,” I said ingratiatingly. “What am I going to do with the extra money?”

….just give it straight back to her? I know he’ll still have to pay the interest on it, but it’s not like he has to actually spend it on something.

Devi offers Kvothe massive amounts of money outright to tell her the secret route into the archives (and offers to sleep with him, because of course that’s how women get by in this Grim Fantasy World) but Kvothe refuses in order to avoid upsetting Moon Fey-chan. The fact that the Kvothe Needs Money subplot almost had a resolution only to have it snatched away at the last second feels like a real slap in the face.


8 thoughts on “let’s read the wise man’s fear ch. 10

  1. Reveen

    Well, I’ll give Goodkind this. The biggest threat to the world being a random one in three chance of choosing the wrong box is an okay idea. If you were taking the piss out of the genre.

    Though from what I’ve been exposed to, Goodkind seems pretty incapable of approaching his ideas with anything other than dead fucking seriousness.

  2. Reveen

    I’m sorry, somehow I got it into my head that this was The Book Where Things Happen. No idea how what gave me that impression. Seriously, his haphazard drafts and notes from when the fuck ever have to run out sometime right?

    I don’t think dimples are supposed to be hot so much as cute, like Shirley Temple cute. But the Fantasy Writer’s Infantilization of Women treaty stipulates that they’re one and the same for some horrible reason.

  3. Aaron Adamec-Ostlund (@AaronAO)

    So after the 600+ pages of TNotW we have to continue with the same damn story for how much longer? I cannot for the life of me see how all of this financial moping around and the other repetitive story lines can in any way possibly be seen as deconstructive. Will someone please help me out here? And speaking of deconstructions, is there anything in this series that suggests Rothfuss is trying to rebuild fantasy instead of just telling us the same damn fantasy story that we have read thousands of times only with an emphasis on the boring parts that are excised from every other iteration of the story and calling it deconstructive?

    I was surprised to read that multiple college masters were being antagonistic to Kvothfuss, I figured that Rothfuss would have the bare minimum of antagonists, one student and one master (hmm) so that he could create stupid and pointless melodrama while maximizing the amount of unearned love Kvothfuss could receive. Any idea why that changed?

    1. ronanwills Post author

      The other Masters like library dude at least have a reason for it, is just not-Snape and his friend who hate Kvothe irrationally

  4. Andrea Harris

    I don’t get peoples’ obsession with dimples. Why are they supposed to be so extra-attractive?

    1. dollsgarden

      I find ’em cute, for once. They make a face look more childlike, because they’re often to be seen on chubby child faces. They can lend the face of a grown woman or especially man something very endearing and make it look less adult, good-humoured, and not agressive at all, but without looking ridiculous like a baby button nose at the same time.
      Of course, this “childlike” thing doesn’t make this remark of Devi’s better. Were I to write a fantasy trope deconstruction thingie, I would give dimples – and I mean, the dimplest dimples of all time – to some black-hearted highwayman or pseudo-Viking, because ohmygosh look at these dimples! He can’t be evil!

  5. sonamib

    Well, if I was a Master at Kvothe’s wizard school, I’d also set an ever-rising tuition. It’s obvious that Kvothe can pretty much make money out of thin air, so why not milk him ’till he’s dry?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s