Rothfuss is now naming these chapters by looking at random objects in his immediate vicinity, thus explaining the existence of Chapter 80: Cat and Chapter 81: Cloud That Looks Like a Urethra
Anyone can spot a piece of torn shirt hanging from a branch or a footprint gouged into the dirt, but those things never happen in real life. They make for convenient plot devices in plays, but really, when have you ever torn your clothing so seriously that you’ve left a piece of it behind?
Yes, okay, we get it. You’re deconstructing genre tropes. Although this is less genre tropes than cartoon-tropes. Presumably next Kvothe will explain that when people run into walls really quickly they don’t break holes in the surface shaped like themselves.
Of course we can’t just get to the bandits. First Marten has to teach them all how to track dudes in the forest. Kvothe carves a whistle that makes bird-calls, which he can apparently do now despite never demonstrating either of those skills before (knowing wizard-engineering doesn’t mean you can carve wood or mimic bird calls), so they can all keep in contact but the type of bird he chose isn’t native to the region.
Instead he uses sympathy to bind two twigs together like Sim and Kvothe did back when he was breaking into Ambrose’s rooms. You remember, back in 1870 or so when we were on that part of the book. This spooks the hell out of everyone else, making me once again wonder how common magic is in this world. Is the University the only wizard school? How many wizards are there? Kvothe seemed to have had a basic idea of what sympathy is when he was a kid but Marten doesn’t recognize the term.
The old huntsman was a surprisingly good teacher. He didn’t belabor his points, didn’t talk down to us, and didn’t mind questions
So the opposite of Kvothe then.
This is probably as good a place as any to point out that in my last post I revealed myself as a filthy craven liar by claiming that Kvothe said Marten was stubborn and argumentative and it didn’t fit his personality; it was actually Dedan, which makes much more sense.
Anyway, I’m wondering why Marten didn’t think to teach them this before they got to the bandit-infested murder forest, or why the Mayor didn’t just hire four people with pre-existing tracking skills.
I’d thought searching the Archives had been tedious.
I thought so too!
Kvothe randomly stumbles on signs of the bandit’s passage almost immediately, which is pretty far fetched but I don’t care because I’m just happy we didn’t have to sit through five chapters of inane banter in the woods. Note that this is the very first time Rothfuss has been presented with an opportunity to pad the story out and decided not to take it. Maybe this is a sign he’s growing as a writer!
Good lord, boy. These aren’t real trail signs. So obvious, all so close together.” He gave me a long look. “I left them. I needed to make sure you weren’t going to glaze over after a few minutes of looking.
They go back to the camp and trade inane banter.
It was a familiar story, and listening to it reminded me of days long gone, back when I had a home, a family.
Remember that guys, when Kvothe’s family was violently murdered in front of him? Man, those were the days.
The Rothfuss household printer was out of toner, that’s why the “r” is missing.
Tempi and Kvothe are along in the camp so Kvothe asks Tempi to teach him some of his language. Tempi agrees, after frowning and fidgeting and smiling and more fidgeting. Kvothe can’t get the pronunciation of a word right, which results in several pages of the two of them playing fantasy conlang ping pong.
His face flushed a burning red, and a dozen emotions ran wild and un-disguised over his face: astonishment, horror, embarrassment, shock, disgust
Yes, in real life people signal each exact emotional shift with a corresponding facial expression. These characters are basically rage comics now.
Kvothe asks Tempi to sing an Adem song so the twee factor of this chapter will increase, but Tempi won’t because of Mysteries.
The Jealous Moon
The gang all sit around telling stories, blah blah.
A tale of Felurian.
Oh Jesus, here we go.
Cloven-hoofed pucks that dance when the moon is full. Dark things with long fingers that steal babes from cribs. Many’s the woman, old wife or new, who leaves out bread and milk at night. And many’s the man who makes well sure he builds his house with all his doors in a row.
Can we switch to a book about people trying to stave off fairy attacks? Please?
This is a story of Felurian. Lady of Twilight. Lady of the First Quiet. Felurian, who is death to men. But a glad death, and one they go to willingly
Spoiler: Felurian is a magical sex fairy who has sex with men and then kills them, with sex. Can you guess what’s going to happen later? Can you? You can, right?
Dedan tells a story about a boy whose father and uncle were out walking in This Very Woods. Dedan goes on about how totally hawt Felurian is and Hespe gets all jealous and possessive because that’s what women do apparently.
Hespe’s eyes were dangerous slits by this point
People totally do this in real life, yes indeed.
Before Hespe can deploy her Danger Eyes against Dedan she gets up and decides to storm off in a huff, because everything is like TV high school.
Dedan let his hands drop heavily into his lap. His expression moved from confused to injured to angry in the space of a breath
Either these parts were written way before the rest or Rothfuss is actually getting worse the more he writes.