Kvothe and co go to visit this Puppet person, who lives in the basement of the Archives and is apparently very odd and you need to be polite around him. Boy I sure hope this isn’t just going to be another generic “quirky” character.
Our sympathy lamps shot bands of light through the shelves and made the shadows dance nervously
I was looking at this image for at least half an hour before I noticed there was a guy on the left.
“Puppet” is basically the male version of Moon Fey-chan, except naturally without all the fragile kawaii desu~ imouto bullshit going on.
And there were puppets. They hung from shelves and pegs on walls. They lay crumpled in corners and under chairs.
That’s pretty creepy.
Arcanum training does unnatural things to students’ minds. The most notable of these unnatural things is the ability to do what most people call magic and we call sympathy, sygaldry, alchemy, naming, and the like.
Hey I wonder why the text keeps emphasizing the fact that the magic all the wizards learn in wizard school isn’t “real” magic?
Earlier I said I had an idea why Rothfuss was harping on so much about the Chandrian fading into legend. I think he did it for the same reason that the wizards aren’t called wizards and magic isn’t called magic, and why he keeps making sure to emphasize this repeatedly. And that reason is:
I don’t think it’s really disputable that The Kingkiller Chronicles share a lot of superficial similarities with the Harry Potter books- I’ve been making jokes about it ever since the first post in this series and a lot of reviews of The Name Of The Wind refer to it explicitly as “adult Harry Potter”. A lot of this pussyfooting around and semantic “well yes but technically” word-play feels like a deliberate attempt to smooth over those similarities. Ripping off the Lord of The Rings or one of its many imitators like Wheel of Time isn’t really a big deal since everyone does that already and most of the tropes they introduced to the genre have become so ubiquitous a lot of authors probably don’t even realize they’re doing it. But if you copied Harry Potter, which is a newer and more pop culturally saturated work, people would probably take notice. Even just the decision to set the story in wizard school is treading on thin ice (which is unfair, since the HP books didn’t invent that premise by any means).
Unfortunately Rothfuss’ attempts to make his story more distinct just end up adding layers of unnecessary complexity that he then has to spend ages navigating and hacking through to get the plot going. The Chandrian are basically the Death Eaters, the Amyr are the Order of The Phoenix. Find a way to join the good side to defeat the evil side. It’s a nice simple set-up, but making them both ancient history that most people don’t believe in any more just ties a massive boat anchor around the story’s neck. Kvothe now has to spend forever digging through the Archives and searching futilely for scraps of information that could have just been delivered in a single scene of exposition right at the start of the first book.
Anyway Puppet spouts a lot of nonsensical yoda-like wisdom about looking, and seeing, and looking without seeing. He tells them that the Amyr were disbanded by the church of Tehlu while putting on a little puppet show of a Tehlin priest beating a young girl to death with a book. We’re back in edgy-land I see, although frankly this entire chapter is probably the most interesting thing that’s happened since Kvothe was in Tarbean. And hey, world-building and stuff! The characters aren’t just floating around in a Tolkien-flavoured void any more.
The initial reason for visiting Puppet was a contradiction between two books, one of which states that the Amyr were disbanded by the church while the other claimed it was some emperor named Nalto. Wil now speculates that the church deliberately altered the records to fob the blame off on Nalto, even though such an important event would doubtlessly have been recorded by multiple independent witnesses. It’s quite difficult to completely erase something from history, particularly to outside observers who you have no political control over or historians a long time after the fact who have decades or centuries of history to sift through and compare. Also, I’m sure glad we took a chapter’s worth of content to clear up this minor historical confusion.
“Puppet,” I asked. “Do you know what is behind the locked door on the floor above this one?”
It’s probably this thing:
Puppet tells him that it’s nothing students should be concerned with. Then why leave it out in plain sight? People are just going to wonder what’s behind it.
The Greater Good
I LOOKED UP AT SIMMON and whispered, lvare enim euge.”
Larva enema huge? Whatever floats your boat man, I’m not here to judge.
Kvothe finds something interesting in a book by an ancient duke/physician named Gibea who kidnapped people and cut them open while still alive to see how their organs work. Simmon seems weirdly bothered by this despite the fact that it happened back in the time of the Amyr. It’s implied that his ancestors swore fealty to Gibea before people knew he was a shit-head, which I guess is sort of like being one of Hitler’s descendants, but even still. You’d think after a few centuries the sting would have worn off a bit.
Kvothe points out that the book has the words I quoted above, which means “for the greater good” scribbled in the margin. A few chapters back when Moon Fey-chan compared Kvothe to a Ciridae she said something similar. This was apparently like the Amyr’s catch-phrase or something, so Kvothe speculates that Fantasy-Mengele was a secret member of the Amyr. He goes on to theorize that there may have been more secret members of the order who remained active even after they were disbanded.
Sim strokes Kvothe ego for awhile by talking about how awesome he is. Also they both get suspended from the Archives for five days for talking too loudly.
SINCE STUDYING WASN’T AN option and winter was covering everything in drifts of blowing snow, I decided this was the perfect time to catch up on a few things I’d been letting fall by the wayside.
You mean like the plot?
No he’s actually just visiting Moon Fey-chan again. Kvothe must have a literal path worn into the ground between his room, the Eolian and the courtyard he meets Moon Fey-chan in. Except she’s not around so he goes to the workshop again.
Why do we need to keep following every move Kvothe makes around the wizard school campus? Is this actually supposed to be interesting? It seems like Rothfuss is trying to portray the everyday drudgery of college life, apparently unaware that no-one gives a shit about the everyday drudgery of college life. People in college don’t give a shit about the everyday drudgery of college life.
After getting his car taxed and taking his cat to be de-wormed Kvothe goes to visit Devi again. He gets soaked from snow on the way there so she hands him a robe and tells him to take his clothes off so sexy-times can ensue. Apparently Devi sold Ambrose the crazy-juice he slipped Kvothe back at the start of the term? Did we learn that before now? I can’t remember, all of the identikit scenes are starting to blur together. Anyway he convinces her to drop the requirement to pay back his full loan before the end of the term that I forgot about until just now.
I still don’t get why Devi acted so cagey when they met that time. He explained what the situation was but she wouldn’t let him see his blood, as far as I can just because. Of course the situation was exacerbated by Kvothe massively over-reacting and flying off the handle. It’s a classic case where the characters (to quote another blogger) act in a way that only makes sense if you assume they’re deliberately trying to make the events of the story happen.
And if this was all just going to get swept under the rug, what was the point? There’s no point in having events take place if the plot is just going to return to equilibrium afterward. I don’t think Rothfuss understands how books work.