Let’s Read The wise man’s fear ch. 12-14

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The Sleeping Mind

Kvothe goes to the workshop to make artificing doo-dads and gets called into Kilvin’s office.

“Several days ago, a girl came to Stocks. She was looking for a young man who had sold her a charm.” He looked me in the eye. “Do you know anything about this?”

Ambrose convinced a woman to accuse Kvothe of selling her charms, which is against wizard school rules. If he actually hired those assassins from the first book this feels pretty tame.

He convinces Kilvin that he didn’t do it and heads off to Elodin’s Advanced Quirkiness 101 class.

Last was Uresh, nearly thirty and a full El’the. His complexion and accent marked him as coming all the way from the Lanett.

This is what bugs me about fantasy world building- what kind of complexion does someone from Lanett have? Is the fact that he’s from Lanett significant? Do they not have wizard schools in Lanett?

Elodin finally explains what this Name Magic is all about.

even the simplest name is so complex that your mind could never begin to feel the boundaries of it, let alone understand it well enough for you to speak it.


My point is this. In each of us there is a mind we use for all our waking deeds. But there is another mind as well, a sleeping mind.

The “sleeping mind” is capable of taking in all of the information about an object and know its Name (somehow). Sometimes this information can bubble up to the conscious mind. Somehow. He gives them twenty books and tells them to read one of them- but they’ll have to find the books in the Stacks! Hold on to your butts people, I’m sure this will be a thrill a minute.


The Hunt

Kvothe skips off to the Archives to find a book called

Vorfelan Rhinata Morie

Vore Feeling Rhianna More? That sounds pretty gross.

“I’m nervous as a new whore,” I said. “Just give me a moment.”



Kvothe is all jitters about finally getting into the Archives, while I am merely filled with apathy and boredom.  It’s hard to remember that the last time Kvothe came here I was still relatively excited about the story. Those were innocent times.

Kvothe meets up with Sim and Wil and they talk library organization for a while (really), expressing much anger over students who come in and move everything around after Rothfu- I mean, the librarians have arranged everything neatly.

Over the next several days, I spent almost every free moment I had in the Archives, hunting the books on Elodin’s list. I wanted nothing more than to start this class with my best foot forward, and I was determined to read every book he had given us.

This reminds me of that bit in the fourth Harry Potter book where Harry has to find the book about breathing underwater or something. Except there was a time limit for that and, like, something at stake. Instead of nothing.

The second was some rather bad poetry, but it was short, and I forced my way through by gritting my teeth and occasionally closing one eye so as not to damage the entirety of my brain

Hey Patty, if you’re going to take potshots at a creative medium maybe try something that actually deserves the scorn.  Right now I can’t help but interpret this as the infantile flailing of an anti-intellectual simpleton. You know, more than usual.

It turns out that the books are all just random bullshit, because Elodin is waaaaaaacky and quirky.

In the end, I found nineteen of the books. All of them except En Temerant Voistra

In Temperate Voice Tray? I don’t get it.

In the next Quirky 101 class Elodin doesn’t show up.

On the large slate in front of us, written in Elodin’s oddly tidy handwriting was a single word: “Discuss.”

They sit in the room chatting for a while, but Elodin doesn’t show up. How exciting.


The Hidden City

I’m so booooooooooored

The Archives are super big and have lots of stuff in them.

The Buggery was not at all what I expected, thank goodness

ha ha ha ha. ha ha. ha.

God, what is the point of all of this? Does Rothfuss really think we want to know about all of this bullshit? Has he completely forgotten where the plot was supposed to be going?

And, of course, there was the four-plate door. The secret at the heart of the city.

In the previous Let’s Read I said that this door leads to Kvothe’s secret entrance, but someone in the comments pointed out that this isn’t actually correct. The secret of the door remains unresolved.

It was in those places I searched for the Chandrian.

Fucking finally. Maybe next we can get around to seeing some actual Chandrian instead of just searching through old books.

But despite my long hours of searching, I found hardly anything at all

Are you serious

If word spread that I was spending my time reading children’s stories, it would not improve my reputation.

I don’t care about your reputation get on with the damn plot.

That’s all that happens in the chapter. Kvothe faffs around the library and fails to advance the plot in any way. Then he goes to find Denna and discovers that she’s no longer at the Inn she had been staying at.

Maybe next time you should ask her why she keeps running off and see if she’ll give you a heads up.


6 thoughts on “Let’s Read The wise man’s fear ch. 12-14

  1. Greentree

    If these chapters had been in the original book I would have enjoyed them. Kvothe goes to wizard school, learns within 100-200 pages or so that wizards know nothing of Chandrian, and then we move on

    1. ronanwills Post author

      He literally says he hasn’t found anything except the children’s stories and scraps of vague folklorish myths.

  2. welltemperedwriter

    It’s true that library organization is rather arcane…at least, to hear my students tell it. 😉

  3. Reveen

    Hey Pat, y’know how you have this fantasy world you think is neato and want to drop names in for some world-building? This is the PERFECT time to do it! You got a character in a library, full of books that presumably have information of your world, but you don’t actually let us read bits of them?

    What the hell, this is the simplest thing ever. Granted, throwing in little book passages isn’t exactly the most graceful way to introduce the world. But it’s better than narrative info-dumps. And if the book takes place in an institution for learning you’d think that the reader would learn a bit themselves.

  4. Andrea Harris

    Now Rothfuss has managed to make libraries boring. I can’t even summon up enough outrage. (PS: I can only think part of the praise for this book is “the hero reads a lot and going to the library is a very important part of the plot” but making both activities tedious as hell is not going to get more young Americans to read.)


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