Let’s Read The Wise Man’s Fear ch. 102-103

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CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED TWO

The Ever-Moving Moon

I’m starting to notice a certain preoccupation with the moon developing here.

Kvothe and Felurian are heading off to a nearby pond to (I assume) wash the sex-sweat off themselves when Kvothe realizes he can see the moon for the first time since entering Fairyworld.

“foolish sweet, there is only one moon. we have been waiting on her. she will help us enbighten your shaed.”

Hey don’t laugh, enbighten is a perfectly cromulent word.

“thank you moon,” Felurian said, looking up at the sky contentedly. “for this sweet and lusty mauling.”

This is just painful.

Felurian explains that the moon is in its crescent phase so most of it is still in the mortal world. I’m curious if that’s just what she believes or if the moon really works that way in Kvothe’s world. Actually now that we’re on the subject, what does the moon even look like? Is it just our moon or is it something else? Does it have a Titan-style atmosphere? Maybe it’s covered in water and appears blue? It could even have life on it!

I get the feeling a lot of fantasy authors, if presented with those ideas, would baulk at them for being too close to sci-fi. But most fantasy stories, even ones with heavy magical elements, presumably still take place on regular planets and there’s no reason why those planets have to be identical to ours. Fantasy often seems to run on a strange assumption that anything about the cosmos or the nature of reality that the inhabitants of the setting couldn’t know about doesn’t actually exist.

Felurian wants to tell Kvothe something important but he’s too distracted by her boobs so she lets him fondle her for awhile and I seriously can’t believe I’m writing this.

She put her flat hand back in the water between us, then sighed softly, her eyes going halfway closed. “ah,” she said. “oh.”

This is what sex sounds like right

She dove to the bottom of the pool and returned holding a smooth, round stone. “attend you now to what I say. you are the mortal, I the fae.”

What.

Felurian explains how the moon works some more….. in rhyme, for some reason.

“thus moves the moon,” she said, tightening her fingers around mine. “now when I look above, there is no glimmer of the light I love. instead, all like a flower unfurled, her face shines on your mortal world.”

Then Kvothe joins in with the rhyming. I thought he hated poetry?

Kvothe tells her about the story of Jax stealing the moon and Felurian matter-of-factly states that the moon being stolen was the cause of some sort of conflict or war. Kvothe convinces her to give him the scoop by promising to sex her up in return.

“long before the cities of man. before men. before fae. there were those who walked with their eyes open. they knew all the deep names of things.”

Strange and ancient magics from before the dawn of time!

Felurian tells him that way back when there were namers, who knew the name of things, and shapers, who sought to alter the world and were therefore radical. At this time there was no fairyworld or lamerworld, everything was unified. The most powerful of the shapers created fairyworld so they could get up to shenanigans without the namers breathing down their necks.

“but one shaper was greater than the rest. for him the making of a star was not enough. he stretched his will across the world and pulled her from her home.”

Felurian won’t tell Kvothe the name of this most awesome of shapers, possibly indicating that he’s Voldemort. Gotta say, this sounds like it should have been the trilogy’s back story instead of that stuff with Haliax and the Chandrian.

“no calling of names here. I will not speak of that one, though he is shut beyond the doors of stone.”

Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss, Book 3 of The Whatever Trilogy coming soon to all good book retailers near you

Anyway this mystery guy tried to steal the moon or whatever but only partially succeeded so now it moves ‘twixt mortal and Fae, or something.

She gave me a solemn look, so rare a thing on her fair face. “you have your tale. your who and how. there is a final secret now. so all your owlish listening lend.” She brought our joined hands back to the surface of the water. “this is the part on which you must attend.”

– Excerpt from a battered trapper keeper found under a pile of gnome hats

Seriously though, I get the feeling we’re getting unfiltered 15-year old Tolkien-addled Rothfuss here.

“when she is torn, half in your sky, you see how far apart we lie.” Felurian reached toward me with her free hand making futile grasping gestures in the empty water. “no matter how we long to kiss, the space between us is not ripe for this.”

Quoting as much of this as possible just so you can all see what sorts of things I subject myself to for your entertainment. Felurian explains (in rhyme) that when the moon isn’t visible in the mortal world Fae creatures can pass between realms, which is why she was chilling in the forest when Kvothe found her.

 ’twas thus while wandering in the wild, you found Felurian, mauling child.”

….. “mauling”? Is that a typo?

When she spoke her voice was clear. “I do this so you cannot help but hear. a wise man views a moonless night with fear.”

applause-2

WE HAVE OUR TITLE

CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED THREE

Close Enough to Touch

Felurian and Kvothe faff around Fairyworld having crazy fairy sex some more. How much longer is this part of the story going to go on for?

Felurian also continues work on Kvothe’s Shaed. “Shaed” means darkness, by the way. No, really. Felurian keeps using light to sew.

“But how?” I asked for the tenth time. “Light hasn’t any weight, any substance. It behaves like a wave. You shouldn’t be able to touch it.”

For a wizard Kvothe sure is

Wait, what?

It behaves like a wave.

So we’re officially at least on a 17th century level of technology. Oddly, advanced optical research has become established but no one has invented guns yet.

CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED FOUR

The Cthaeh

My cat made that noise the other day when he coughed up a hairball.

Felurian teaches Kvothe how to alter the shape of his cloak, with mind powers or something.

With some practice I could turn it from a short cape to a full hooded mourning cloak or anything in between.

The quirkiest internet cloak there ever was.

Felurian was the one who gathered the shadow, wove it with moon and fire and daylight. My major contribution was the suggestion that it should have numerous little pockets.

No one cares about your fucking pockets, Kvothe.

Felurian asks for a piece of iron to finish the Shaeaeeaeaeaed, Kvothe is surprised because fairies, blah blah I don’t care can we please move on from this character?

I wandered aimlessly for a while, trying to regain my composure. This was difficult, as I was baby-naked and had been shooed away from the presence of serious magic the way a mother sends a bothersome child away from the cookfire.

Kvothe seems to have some serious entitlement issues when it comes to magical knowledge. He just doesn’t seem to accept that there are things Felurian doesn’t want to share with him unless she straight up threatens him into not badgering her.

Kvothe wanders off into the woods while Felurian does her thing, basically stating outright that this is an incredibly idiotic idea but he does it anyway because whatever. He enters a wide grassy plain and finds a lone tree standing in the middle of it.

It was no type of tree I had ever seen before, and I approached it slowly. It resembled a vast spreading willow, with broader leaves of a darker green. The tree had deep, hanging foliage scattered with pale, powder-blue blossoms.

Do you think it might be a scary-tree? I think it might be a scary-tree. It probably eats testicles or something.

The tree is majestic and beautiful and full of butterflies. Can I go into a brief detour about how creepy butterflies are up close? Seriously fuck those things (but not as hard as moths).

It was only after my eyes followed them to the base of the tree that I saw the truth. The ground below was not a resting place for butterflies … it was strewn with lifeless wings.

That’s actually pretty creepy. Maybe Rothfuss should take up writing horror instead of fantasy.

The tree starts to talk, of course.

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The tree, who’s named Cthaeahwqksjksqajshqaishdw Cthaeh tells Kvothe that he/she is an oracle of sorts and know, like, just everything you guys and tells Kvothe to ask questions. During this conversation the tree keeps somehow eating butterflies that land on the upper branches, sending their wings spinning to the ground which is super creepy.

Kvothe of course asks about the Amyr.

“Kyxxs,” the Cthaeh spat an irritated noise. “What is this? Why so guarded? Why the games? Ask me of the Chandrian and have done.”

“Kyxxs”? Is that the name of a 90s hair metal band or something? Also yay finally someone knows something about the Chandrian.

“Surprised? Why should you be? Goodness boy, you’re like a clear pool. I can see ten feet through you, and you’re barely three feet deep.”

YES. Me and the tree are bros now. I am down with the butterfly-eating tree.

The tree says that Kvothe would need to leave the Four Corners and travel at least to the Stormwahl mountains before he’d find someone who took the Chandrian seriously. He also says that the Mayor came extremely close to finding the Amyr without realizing it but then says this is a hilarious joke and Kvothe will laugh his ass off when he gets it. Maybe what’s-her-face who he married is one of them.

Hey maybe Denna is an Amyr! That would be hilarious.

(Don’t tell me if any of that is right)

The tree taunts Kvothe for a while with information about his parent’s death. Sure would be nice if we had revisited this more than a handful of times over the course of the books.

Oh also the leader of those bandits was FrostyCinder, the dude who did most of the parent-killing. LOL.

Yeah I….. don’t get why that’s important. Kvothe came close to one of the Chandrian, but he didn’t realize it, now he does realize? Are we going to get an actual confrontation between them later?

Speaking of desires, what would your Denna think? My my. Imagine her, seeing you here. You and the piksie all tangled up, at it like rabbits.

I imagine she’d demurely bow her head and cry great shining waifu tears, but quietly so as not to inconvenience anyone. Incidentally Kvothe has only even tangentially thought about Denna a handful of times since leaving Mayor-City.

He beats her, you know. Her patron.

Yeah we figured that out like 700 pages ago.

Okay there’s a whole lot of bullshit here so let’s bullet point this:

  • Mystery patron is a total cad who beats the shit out of Denna regularly but she won’t leave him for some reason
  • Before passing out from her most recent beating she thought of Kvothe before blacking out.
  • Kvothe is an asshole for not trying harder to separate her from Mystery-Patron, which is a fair point. I know she insisted she didn’t need or want help, but she’s clearly been brainwashed by this guy, he needs to be dealt with for her own good.
  • More guff about “startling Denna away” because she’s a “runner”/
  • Denna has left Mayor-City so now Kvothe can’t find her abloo bloo bloo

This is all too much for Kvothe so he runs off before the tree can tell him more about the Chandrian and things threaten to get interesting.

When he gets back to Felurian’s sex-pad she’s finished his Shaeaeaeaede. She’s extremely concerned by the fact that he visited the mystery-tree, as apparently it trolls people by tormenting them with their darkest fears until they go insane.

Then Kvothe cries, I guess. I have to say I like how our Gary Stu protagonist is allowed to cry often without it being seen as un-manly and shit.

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20 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Wise Man’s Fear ch. 102-103

  1. neremworld

    I’m glad Kvothe ran away before we could literally find out anything.

    And I’m guessing Jax is behind the Doors of Stone. Since Haliax is clearly out and about.

    Also I like how the Cthaeh is on the cover of the FIRST book with Haliax, despite neither appearing in the same book together.

    Reply
  2. Orryia

    “It resembled a vast spreading willow…”

    I don’t believe you missed out the opportunity to remind us that the Willow Conspiracy is back!

    Reply
  3. braak

    The thing about the Cthaeh is that, once you find out what it is in the cut-scenes, it’s yet another element (like, for instance: the wizards that have gone insane trying to learn magic, the librarians who go on quests to gather up rare books, the ancient war between the shapers and the namers, an ex-wizard female moneylender trying to make it in a man’s world, the life of a fantasy city’s most important theater & music hall, &c.) that would have been an infinitely more interesting foundation for a novel.

    Reply
  4. Aaron Adamec-Ostlund (@AaronAO)

    If those pre-human magic users turn out to be sentient magic dinosaurs I will retract everything negative I have said about Rothfuss. And now we have irrefutable proof that Kvothfuss has a literal aversion to the plot. I love you Cthaeh, don’t ever change.

    Reply
      1. Brent

        Already been done, in Malazan Book of the Fallen. They had swords of hands, flew around it giant mountain spaceships, had a hive-mind, and somehow didn’t come off as incredibly stupid.

        Reply
  5. Signatus

    Since I read this book in my native tongue (and the translator was either completely poetry challenged, or a very intelligent person), I didn’t see this chapters were written in verse. The sentence construction was a bit odd, but I though it had something to do with some sort of “I suddenly feel the urge to give special traits to this characters” bullshit from Rotthfuss’ part.
    However, those verses… really? That’s so original, Rothfuss…

    The moon phases thing, that I found interesting. It’s the sort of world building that gives a bit of personality to the land… although not enough to make up for everything else. However, I loved what you pointed out about fantasy lands. Dragonlance makes a pretty good job at it, and TES saga features two moons that look rather impressive. Most fantasy authors, however, don’t bother to do any significant research about this sort of topics and actually don’t realize moons such as ours is a very, very rare event, of which we have, so far, a single example.
    I guess it’s just easy to talk about what you know than make some proper research.

    As for the evil talking tree, that’s another example of “lets toss stuff at the plot and not solve anything”. For Heaven’s sake, this thing is over a thousand pages long! Tolkien was able to move a full story and solve every other sidequest in little more than that!
    I did like the tree. I found it interesting. I hated how Qvothe ran off just in case we… I don’t know. Got to learn the identity of a single freaking Amyr?
    In a thousand pages? Really, is it so ludicrous for us to get a plot in a thousand pages?
    Oblivion got more of a plot in the main questline, and it mainly consisted in closing gates.

    Reply
    1. Austin H. Williams

      I wonder what translators – theoretically qualified linguists all – think when they approach doggerel.

      Or words that the native English speaker seems to not have a firm grasp on.

      Like “maul.” ಠ_ಠ

      Reply
      1. Signatus

        To be honest, I’ve been wondering myself how those words were translated in my copy but, unfortunately, I lent it to someone so it’ll have to wait till I see her.

        Reply
      2. Gabriel

        Then the translation may wind up better than the original. One of the first things I translated was absolutely wretched, I hated the fuck out of that book, but I made myself grit my teeth and do the best I could. When it came out in English, it was well-received and I remember one amazon reviewer called my translation “crisp and witty.” To which I was like, “Huh. That’s funny, cuz it sure wasn’t crisp and witty in the original.”

        Reply
  6. Austin H. Williams

    I’m starting to notice a certain preoccupation with the moon developing here.

    And again

    I’m very much with you hoping “enbighten” and “mauling” are typos from your dubiously legal copy of this book. Unfortunately, “bight” is related to knots and tying, so it may very well be what Rothfuss thinks is some sort of advanced wordplay a la all those fantastic-sounding archaisms Gene Wolfe uses.

    I’m speculating that “mauling,” at least in the latter instance, may stand in for “mewling.”

    Also, before you even said anything about it, I kept thinking to myself, “This sounds like the shit poetry I would write into ‘plays’ when I was in high school.” 15-year old Kvothfuss, indeed.

    Perhaps this is an insight as to exactly why Kvothfuss is sixteen and still awesome!® It’s painfully obvious Kvothe was written as a self-insert character, and if Rothfuss started writing this at sixteen (presumably by typing with one hand), then I think there’s a reasonable explanation for why he didn’t decide to let this character age a bit before claiming so many informed attributes.

    Reply
    1. ronanwills Post author

      I forgot to mention this but the magic tree describes Kvothe as “Felurian’s latest mauling” so…. yeah, I have no idea what he’s talking about.

      Reply
      1. Joe G

        I don’t have a copy handy, but I think “mauling” is supposed to be “manling.” Like earlier when Chronicler calls Bast a “faeling” and Bast gets all snippy. Yay digital edition autocorrect.

        Reply
  7. devilsjunkshop

    I now understand why Kvothe hates poetry. It is clearly because the poetry in this sidequest is so bad its woefulness travelled back through time and put him off forever.

    Btw, what’s with all the crappy puns for fantasy naming. Shaed, Amry. Is this some sort of joek?

    Reply

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