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.