Let’s Read The Wise Man’s Fear ch. 147- Epilogue [END]

the_end

IT IS THE END OF ALL THINGS LET’S READ THE WISE MAN’S FEAR

Before the grand event begins, some programming notes. Since the third book isn’t out yet I’m going to be moving onto something non-Kvothe related for my next Let’s Read, however before that I’m going to let the batteries recharge for a while. Specifically I’m going to take a break from the Let’s Reads until about December or so. I’m sure you can hold out till then. I believe in you. Between then and now I’ll be doing a full review of The Wise Man’s Fear, with EXCITING BONUS CONTENT.

CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED FORTY-SEVEN

Debts

Okay people, we’re nearing the finale! What adventures will our dashing hero get into now?

SINCE I HAD A great deal of free time on my hands, midway through the term I hired the use of a two horse fetter-cart and headed to Tarbean on a bit of a lark.

Wait, no. Something’s gone horribly wrong.

Kvothe does some stuff that’s not important so we’re going to skip right over it.

What did surprise me was the strange nostalgia I felt for this place that had been so cruel to me.

Yeah, remember that time you got raped by the street urchins and bashed that dude’s head in with a brick? No? Oh I forgot, that’s only canon when Rothfuss is being possessed by George RR Martin. What? Yeah, I know he’s still alive. They’re switching souls. That’s why nothing happens in the latest Song of Ice and Fire book.

After wandering around a bit and visiting the places where his childhood was destroyed immediately following the violent death of his parents with misty-eyed nostalgia he trolls Ambrose by writing him a letter purporting to be from a pregnant lover. Oh, that Kvothe. This takes way longer than it really should this close to the end of the book.

People all over Tarbean are telling ridiculous stories about Kvothe. Like, everyone. He goes into the taproom of the random inn he’s staying at and people are in there telling stories. Multiple people. The only way this scene makes sense is if everyone in the city is telling stories about Kvothe literally all the time. I mean think about it, imagine that you’re some massively famous person at the height of their public recognition. If you picked a random cafe or resteraunt and sat down, what are the odds you’d hear conversations about yourself? Probably very slim, because people have their own shit to talk about. Not in Kvotheland! In Kvotheland no one else ever does anything interesting, and so every deed of Kvothe’s is amazing and noteworthy and is talked about fervently months and months after it happens.

Just then an attractive dark haired woman (Denna) bursts into the room with her boyfriend. The mysterious woman (who is Denna) can’t breathe and need immediate medical assistance from Kvothe (because it’s Denna).

So yeah, Denna is back. Just all of a sudden, I guess. I’m going to start throwing quotes at you now, because you need to experience the next few chapters yourself:

I turned back to the woman and watched as her perfect mouth opened.

[…]

I looked deeply into her eyes. They were like dark pools.

[…]

he room was still enough that I could hear the velvet rush of her second desperate breath.

[…]

When she looked down her hair cascaded off her shoulders, falling around her face. It smelled warm and rich, like sunshine and cider.

[…]

“Now instead of roses they give gold, and in the giving they grow sudden bold.”

“At least you’re being bored by men of means,” I said consolingly.

“Who wants a mean man?” she pointed out. “Little matter if his wealth is above or below the board.”

I laid a gentling hand on her arm. “You must forgive these men of mercenary thought. These poor, rich men who, seeing that you can’t be caught, attempt to buy a thing they know cannot be bought.”

What the fuck is going on with that last bit?

Of all the characterization flaws in these books, I think Denna turning into this blushing, simpering wet blanket whenever Kvothe looks at her is by far the worst.

CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT

The Stories of Stones

Kvothe and Denna head back to Imre while pointedly avoiding discussing their previous argument in Vintas. This is like some sort of manual for how to not conduct a relationship.

There’s a whole lot of bullshit about Kvothe and Denna splashing water at each other in a brook and making twee rhyming quips and they come agonizingly close to finally having sex, but it doesn’t happen. It’s heavily implied here that Denna clearly wants to touch Kvothe’s wizard staff but is for some reason afraid to. That better not be because of the usual reason women in fantasy novels have hang-ups about sex.

God, remember when Kvothe first met Denna and she was this cool, mysterious, intelligent person who could run rings around him? What the fuck happened?

Kvothe finally gets around to actually doing something about the whole abusive patron thing now, months and months after first learning of it.

And for the first time in my life, I was in a position to offer her a way out. With Alveron’s line of credit and my work in the Fishery, money would never be a problem for me. For the first time in my life, I was wealthy. I could give her a way to escape….

Or you could just track the guy down and fucking murder him, you’ve killed people for way less than this before.

Just as he’s about to finally say something Denna notices the scars on Kvothe’s back.

It was only then I realized what I was saying. The masters whipped me. Her patron beat her. And we both stayed. How could I convince her my situation was different? How could I convince her to leave?

Seriously? Seriously, Kvothe? You’r going to compare a privileged academic position that you freely chose to enter into to a person being held under the sway of a powerful authority figure based on what seems very much like emotional and psychological abuse?

They come close to having another falling out because…. something. Denna is pissed because Kvothe had tons of sex even though as far as she knows he has no idea she’s into him. Also Denna is in love with Kvothe (she stated this explicitly at the end of the first book while drugged, remember) but she regards any attempt by him or any other man to woo her as “tying her down” and “trapping her”. Which makes me very curious as to what form the relationship she actually wants with Kvothe would take.

Anyway Kvothe finally gives her the damn ring back, hooray.

I nodded and we left. Clouds cast their shadows across the field behind us as we went.

This would be a very dramatic and evocative image in a book that actually had a plot. I guess it’s supposed to symbolize the emotional baggage growing between them, but I don’t actually care about either of them or their awful relationship.

CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED FORTY-NINE

Tangled

This chapter is sponsored by The Walt Disney Company

Kvothe goes to Anker’s to discuss Denna with Fela and Sim.

I looked behind the bar, caught Laurel’s eye, and gestured for her to bring me some of whatever was in the pot.

Who the fuck is Laurel?

Who the fuck is Laurel? Have we actually seen this character before?”But since you came back it’s almost physical,” Fela said. “Now when you look at me, there’s something happening behind your eyes. Something all sweet fruit, shadows, and lamplight. Something wild that faerie maidens run from underneath a violet sky. It’s a terrible thing, really. I like it.”

manHandsOnHead

Why do people in these books devolve into sub-Shakespearean nonsense whenever they’re talking to people they want to have sex with? I thought it was just Denna and Kvothe, but apparently not.

I shook my head. “I refuse to throw myself at her like every other man she’s ever met. She hates it. I’ve seen what happens.”

This is what I don’t understand about Denna’s character. When Kvothe says she hates men “throwing themselves at her” what he means is that she’s averse to any sort of romantic gesture at all, and yet she hasn’t ever expressed a total aversion to men or relationships, and she clearly desires one with Kvothe. She keeps talking about not wanting to be “tied down” by a man, but I don’t understand what she means by that. Her lifestyle of constantly moving from place to place appears to be based on necessity rather than something she enjoys doing, so what is it she’s so afraid to lose by forming a genuine and long-lasting relationship?

The truth is Denna appears to have been written this way solely to provide an excuse for Kvothe to be be able to continue admiring her from afar. Like so much else in the story, this plot point is being continuously put on hold until some later stage when it can finally be resolved.

Fela tells Kvothe what all of the women have been saying about him, namely that he’s charming and handsome and great at sex but is like the wind (oh do you see), never staying with anyone for long. This is framed as a character flaw even though having tons of sex with a succession of attractive women without any of that emotional attachment or responsibility nonsense getting in the way is an obvious male fantasy.

“I never said I was in love,” I interjected. “I never said that. She confuses me, and I’m fond of her. But it doesn’t go further than that. How could it? I don’t know her well enough to make any earnest claim of love. How can I love something I don’t understand?”

Nope, still not buying it.

Kvothe goes to see Elodin to ask what he’d think of a girl who keeps changing her own name, and Elodin mistakenly thinks he’s talking about Name names instead of ordinary names and get all flustered and ah ha ha ha, I bet Kvothe in the framing story has somehow altered his True Name to stop someone from using it against him, and that’s why his magic is gone, and possibly why he’s become so depressed. The ultimate aim of Bast’s ploy must be to convince Kvothe to accept his original name again by reminding Kvothe of his glory days.

CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED FIFTY

Folly

Denna goes off somewhere again, and the chancellor of wizard school falls ill and has to retire. Not-Snape steps up to the plate. Oh, what miseries will he visit on poor Kvothe? If this turns into a money thing again I am going to burn the planet down.

I went through the questioning with the same careful artifice I’d maintained for the last two terms. I hesitated and made a few mistakes, earning a tuition of twenty talents or so. Enough to earn some money, but not enough to embarrass myself too badly.

I was talking with some people in the comments about this, and I still don’t get how Kvothe’s money-making scheme is supposed to work. In particular, the fact that him and the Bursar are splitting anything over ten talents baffles me- I do not understand why that stipulation is in there, and it makes even less sense when Kvothe goes into more detail about it here.

The masters had their usual muted conference. Then Hemme read my tuition: fifty talents. Apparently the Chancellor had greater control over these things than I had ever known.

I forced myself to bite my lip to keep from laughing, and arranged my face in a dejected expression as I made my way to the basement of Hollows where the bursar kept his counting room. Riem’s eyes brightened at the sight of my tuition slip. He disappeared into his back room and returned in a moment with an envelope of thick paper.

I thanked him and returned to my room at Anker’s, maintaining my morose expression all the way. Once I had the door closed, I tore open the heavy envelope and poured its contents into my hand: two gleaming gold marks worth ten talents each.

Okay, so the Bursar is taking the illicit money from the University itself, it seems, which is the only way he could have just collected it right then and there, the idea apparently being that…. what, he takes forty talents out of the wizard-coffers and then draws 90 talents from the Mayor’s account to cover the tuition fee as well as the withdrawal? Again, wouldn’t it be really obvious that that had happened? I know they don’t exactly have computerized databases automatically recording deposits and withdrawals, but surely someone else besides just the Bursar is keeping an eye on these things?

CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-ONE

Locks

KVOTHE DREW A DEEP breath and nodded to himself. “Let’s stop there,”

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The three most beautiful words in the English language.

Our three storytime bros turn in for the night. When Bast is in his room he hears a tapping at his chamber doorwindow and opens it to find Chronicler.

Chronicler is confused about the whole evil tree thing (you’re not the only one, dude) and it seems we are indeed supposed to accept that Kvothe wandering naked into a field to talk to an evil tree is an important and consequential part of the story, as opposed to something Rothfuss came up with while high.

“I would rather fight Haliax himself,” he said. “I’d rather face all the Chandrian together than have ten words of conversation with the Cthaeh.”

No, look, the evil tree is stupid. I don’t care about it. Is this supposed to make up for the fact that the Chandrian plotline didn’t get advanced at all during the book?

Chronicler slaps Bast to prove that, like, the evil tree can see the future but it’s pointless to worry about it or whatever the fuck, I’m not even going to bother summarizing this bit, this makes no sense. Also during this conversation Bast sighs like a million times.

Bast sighed, finally pulling his eyes away from the fireplace.

[…]

“It’s not coincidence.” Bast gave a short sigh.

[…]

Bast gave a weary sigh, and looked up at Chronicler, his expression utterly empty of all hope.

[…]

Bast looked thoughtful, then sighed.

[…]

He sighed.

Getting excited by all this sighing, Bast decides that if the evil tree has fucked everything up he may as well just do whatever he wants and leaves on some mysterious errand.

Meanwhile Our Hero takes out a small wooden box (the Lackless mystery box?) and opens it to reveal two keys, one copper and the other iron. He tries to open the chest he showed Bast earlier with them, but nothing happens.

His expression, however, showed no surprise, no grief. It was merely resigned. It was the expression of a man who has finally received bad news he’d already known was on the way.

WooOOOoooOOOooOOOoooo

I think this is supposed to be a sort of JK Rowling Thing where we get a clue about something in an earlier book that we only learn is important later on, but for that to work you need to take one of two approaches- either don’t tell us that that the clue is important so it’s a surprise and all the people who noticed it at the time can feel like clever dicks, or have the clue be obviously related to something important to the story so we know it’s worth getting excited over. As it is I have no idea what this chest is about or why I should care.

(By the way I’m aware that Rowling didn’t exactly invent this idea, nor am I holding her up as the best practitioner of it, it’s just that whenever I want to compare these books to something else Harry Potter keeps springing automatically to mind for reasons I just can’t quite put my finger on)

CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-TWO

Elderberry

OKAY LAST CHAPTER HERE WE GO

Those two soldiers from earlier who beat the shit out of Kvothe are camped by the side of the road. Bast arrives and WOAH it turns out they were collaborating together on a Clever Ruse to do…… something. Rob Kvothe? I think? They’re talking about splitting the money they stole with Bast. Maybe Bast wanted them to try to rob the Inn so Kvothe would have an excuse to re-awaken his ninja powers and beat them up?

Well anyway it implies Bast is going to kill them THE END I GUESS

HIT THE MUSIC

EPILOGUE

A Silence of Three Parts

Ahhhhh.

IT WAS NIGHT AGAIN.

This sentence still seems really weird to me.

The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a steady rain it would have drummed against the roof, sluiced the eaves, and washed the silence slowly out to sea. If there had been lovers in the beds of the inn, they would have sighed and moaned and shamed the silence into being on its way.

I’m quoting this just to remind you all of how horrendously bad these little prologue/epilogue things are. In fact- if we can turn on the mood lighting and get nostalgic here for a second- it was reading the first Silence Of Three Whatever that made me want to do this post series in the first place. It was so bad I realized that I could write paragraphs unpacking every single sentence, and then a light-bulb went off in my head and I said “yeah, let’s do it!” and now it’s months later and I’ve written thousands upon thousands of words about this trilogy.

The Waystone was his, just as the third silence was his. This was appropriate, as it was the greatest silence of the three, wrapping the others inside itself. It was deep and wide as autumn’s ending. It was heavy as a great river-smooth stone. It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die.

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40 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Wise Man’s Fear ch. 147- Epilogue [END]

  1. Leah

    Thank you for this entire series of read alongs. I realize I’m reading it years later and all. I still enjoyed it very much. I would love to read many of the alternate versions proposed by braak and Fibinachi. The one about the refugee caravan sounded especially good.

    There were a few things that puzzled me. First of all, the references to other books are almost all either fantasy best sellers (Rowling, Jordan, Martin, even Eddings), game tie ins (Dragonlance, Warhammer) or classics (Beowulf, Chaucer). This seems odd to me because there are many influences obvious in the books being discussed that come from elsewhere than those series. The blog author did bring up Earthsea several times. One commenter did mention Tamora Pierce. But – Patricia McKillip? Elizabeth Moon? Gene Wolfe? Liavek? Barbara Hambly?

    By reading Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Paksennarion book 1, and the Knight by Gene Wolfe might give a little insight into some of the sources of the less plausible content – and how it made more sense in its source material.

    Anyway, the mystery of why people like these books so much remains. My theory is that it’s the puzzles. I know that’s what I liked about it. Not that they were particularly well constructed, but they’re there, and they’re interesting: the general readability of the writing, along with the interesting puzzles about what’s really going on, and that’s what made the books enjoyable. Given that, I didn’t mind that there was no plot; I don’t care that much about plot. I did mind that there were so few good characters, and even the ones I liked had inconsistencies, and the offensive stereotypes and so on, but not enough to completely pall my enjoyment. The padding in the story is there to make the clues hide better while you try to figure out what is in the box, So, there’s lots of random stuff. Maybe it’s more of a game than a story. Sure it’s a random assemblage of tropes from other books mixed together willy-nilly. But the puzzle of how did what the Ctaeh say make bad things happen, how does talking about Chandrian make them show up, what characters in the book are secretly Amyr, who are the “Wagon Bros” really and the Lackless family, and how was K destined to this whole sequence merely by being born from both those lineages, was enough to keep me entertained. I didn’t notice all the grinning and nodding till it was pointed out; at first I didn’t see the problem, but then after the parodies by Fibinaci and reading the link to Rothfuss’s blog, I got what was wrong with it. So thank you for that too! I’m looking forward to if you do one of these for book 3.

    Reply
    1. ronanwills Post author

      The lack of references to those books is due to the fact that I haven’t read them.

      I think I sometimes come across like I believe I’m an expert on fantasy, which very definitely isn’t the case- my experience with the genre is severely limited.

      Reply
  2. Fibinachi

    It’s actually kind of an underlying trend, isn’t it? Those guys who did the raping were beasts, the Lethani hold that women are more noble / capable of reason / less passionate in a negative way than men, Halifax went genocidally murderous when he came back from the dead (brought back by his female lover, by the by), Kvothe sees men who throw themselves at Denna every time he looks at her, that guy in the moon story were kind obsessed with the moon, Great Tehlu isn’t exactly the model of moderation with that hammer of his, Elodin runs rodshod over random laws with little consequence….. I’m probably reaching here (I am), but it’s… something… If it was just one instance or some point of cultural stratefication, sure, but… It’s a bit on the nose how men seem to tend toward a role of natural forces and wild, heedless flailing with other people left as the muttering, nagging caretakers to pick up the pieces. Hell, Kvothe is more “Lamplight and shadows” now than human, if his mysterious twee eyes is any indication.

    It’s like reading the Wheel of Time all over again. Weird. Only this time there’s less sadomascochistic, matriarchial societies.
    … Still a lot of leather wearing women, though.
    Huh.
    Now I’m getting Terry Goodkind flashbacks.
    shivers

    Anyway,
    I’m with Signatus here – Team Devi, gooo!
    Unfortunately, that’ll never be, because the hero coming to realize that the woman he had been pinning over and twirling romantic tendrils with for 2000 pages wasn’t the right woman would be…. different. And subversive. And Kvothe and Denna sitting down and going:
    “Hey, oh Light of my Crystalized Heart, I shall now speak my tenth name”
    “What?”
    “Verily, the locked chest of my heart of hearts I will open now to share with you this ephemeral secret, that I find our twinned passages through the world make crossroads of our destinies”
    “I… don’t… what?”
    “For you may have heard me also, that name spoken in taverns and alehouses and those little shrimpshops down the corner – my tenth name is Sugarplum Kvothanistoff the Ninth
    “I… really don’t think this is going to work out? Maybe we should see other people. It’s not you, it’s me… I don’t think I’m quite grinning enough for this”
    “I don’t understand, oh Firey Magmasprout, that Sunsorched Desert Flower Broken Upon A Sudden Spring, you are the captured moondew that the cup of my heart brims with, without you my tears taste less sanguine”
    “Doesn’t that mean blood? Do you actually cry blood? I know you didn’t like poetry, but I always thought that was just oh nevermind. Look, I like you, but I don’t like you, like you. Can’t we just be friends? You’re a great guy, with the shadows and lamplight and… grinning… and you do play such fantastic music and you are fun to hang out with…”
    “…. Man, friendzoned. Screw this, HB8, I’mma out!”

    Sorry, I had too much coffee and got carried away
    … Would be odd and strange and really, really cool. The morale of “Sometimes the person you pine for is not the person you need and want, but makes a much better friend” is awesome and great to have in a story. But, everyone knows it’s not going to go down that road. It’s twee from here on out.

    At least if Denna actually had a serial succession of relationships, you’d have a great twist of her being a serial flirt but still a great person worth spending time with.
    Sigh.

    Why do people like these books?

    Reply
      1. Fibinachi

        Only so long our noble host allows us into his fine corner of the internet and continues providing such brilliant reading, analysis and deconstruction himself. Then?
        Then we may have a deal q:

        Reply
      2. redsilkphoenix

        When is the third book due out, btw? Next year, next decade, next century? And what’s it supposed to be called? Haven’t kept up with the various fantasy boom news sites lately…. :/

        Reply
        1. ronanwills Post author

          Rothfuss stated in a recent video interview that it should be out next year, although I don’t think authors actually tend to know these things for sure until the publisher makes a final decision.

          Apparently it will be called “Doors of Stone”.

          Reply
    1. Signatus

      That was… wow! Just, wow! What an amazing comment! 🙂

      Funny thing, this kind of shows that, if the story was being worked on by someone else, it has the ingredients to be a pretty decent one. If Denna was a flirt, or a prostitute (still a favorite of mine, they make interesting characters), she would be far more interesting than how she is portrayed now.
      But for that you’d need a writer who can keep personalities consistent, something Rothfuss was totally uncapable of doing for his two main characters, while the others simply have no personality at all.

      Reply
      1. Signatus

        You know? It’s not really that complicated. It only takes some planning and good editing. Is one heck of a job, but pretty much anyone who takes it seriously enough (and doesn’t write THE END and makes it a day) can write some pretty consistent story. Whether it is good or bad, that is a different story.

        Anyways, I find some new writers are completely paranoid about writing totally original and revolutionary ideas, not realizing there is a big difference between originality and quality. A story about a time travelling mermaid zombie that can shoot beams out of her ass might seem original… but I doubt it would be a good story.
        Mass Effect is a formulaic hero and friends stands up against the odds to save Earth (I haven’t played the third, so I’m focusing on 1 and 2) and yet it is a pretty good story.
        Assassin’s Creed is quiet original in the background, that is, an assassin’s brotherhood against templars to save Earth (yet again), from some disaster, well, I have never seen something like it. It works because the story is a typical vengenance and initiation story, where the hero goes on a quest against all odds to claim revenge on his family’s murderers.

        Rothfuss goes as far as to try to break all conventions because he wants to be original and unique, and then fails by going according to the same conventions he had tried to break in the first book, and finally fails completely by throwing in some RPG game he had stuffed somewhere and merging in some loose ideas he had one day during a boring class. All of this, of course, is done following absolutely no writing rules at all (because he’s so cool he can write down without even planning the plot).
        He tried so hard to be smart and subversive he failed being either, and he failed at writing itself.

        Reply
    2. braak

      Yeah, it’s definitely got that complementarian/male-inferiority-complex that sometimes misogynist nerds try to pass off as “feminism.” “Hey, ladies! I hate men, too! Men are a bunch of stupid animal jerks! I hate those guys! Can we bone now?”

      Noooooope.

      Reply
      1. Signatus

        Yeah, it is surprinsing how they try to pass such a ridiculous concept as feminism. They try so hard to get away from sexis tropes they end up creating an ever more ridiculous trope. Funny thing is how Rothfuss failed even at that. He created this matriarchal culture where it is stated men are pretty useless, temperamental creatures. However, what we’ve seen so far are women who are pretty much damsels in distress. I believe he said in the first book only 10% of students were women. That would make sense in a society where women are supposed to be ladies in waiting, as in medieval era Europe, where the nobility expected their daughters to marry well, or become nuns, and only they had the money to send their children to study.
        But Rothfuss has portrayed a culture where women have more freedom than that, and yet they do labors such as healers, and are uncapable of saving themselves from a fire and need a man to save their hides.

        Unknowingly, he did a better job with the lazy female warrior. He didn’t try to show anything, it was such an archetypical barbarian class woman, he actually succeeded in not portraying gender tropes.

        I believe true egalitarism in books come from authors who don’t even try.

        Reply
  3. Aaron Adamec-Ostlund (@AaronAO)

    The creepiest part of Kvothefuss’ obsession with Denna is that there doesn’t seem to be any change in his feelings for her ten years later. He’s just a lovesick and twee as all fuck.

    In fact he doesn’t seem to view his experiences any differently now than when he did them over a decade ago.

    Reply
    1. Fibinachi

      I agree.
      However, the part I find the creepiest is this:

      “I never said I was in love,” I interjected. “I never said that. She confuses me, and I’m fond of her. But it doesn’t go further than that. How could it? I don’t know her well enough to make any earnest claim of love. How can I love something I don’t understand?”

      and

      Now when you look at me, there’s something happening behind your eyes. Something all sweet fruit, shadows, and lamplight. Something wild that faerie maidens run from underneath a violet sky. It’s a terrible thing, really. I like it.”

      and

      I shook my head. “I refuse to throw myself at her like every other man she’s ever met. She hates it. I’ve seen what happens.”

      Oh, excuse me, Kvothe. All that dick you’re giving out isn’t actually anything special, for verily, you are in loving love with a special someone, and all that other stuff is just time passing? Well! I shan’t judge – I’ll leave that to you, with what your entire “Men who throw themselves at women are bad”. Oh-ho-ho, you bad boy that women now dig because some fey plucked at your lute for a bit (Don’t’cha know, feminists – women love a bad boy, with shadowy eyes).

      I’ll deal with the weird narrative structure and the oddly constructed plot and the meandering, goes nowhere plot. All that, you can kind of just… accept as part of the book itself, if you hammer yourself enough times in the head with a brick.

      What I can’t take is the rank hypocrisy of serial dating a pool of women just like Denna serial dates a pool of men, but Kvothe gets to sleep with them (Because he’s manly, and fey-like) whilst Denna must remain pure (because she’s a woman, and they’d be… taking something) and as if that wasn’t enough, Kvothe starts complaining about those other oafish folk who throw themselves at his fair Denna, because they’re doing it wrong, and they want something from her she can’t give, and woe!. Fuck him and his entitled ownership complex over someone else, his inability to measure up to his own feelings, and the fetid bullshit of going around like a fey-blessed super-love machine while still not having the guts (Because Rothfuss has this romantic pinning) talk to the damn woman about stuff that’s important.

      Welcome to Rothfussville view of relationships. Women love bad boys, All that sex he’s having isn’t important, because it’s not with Denna, and it’s perfectly okay for him, yessir, but Denna dear needs to flail around like a deer to get material support from a succession of men in an ethically questionable manner.

      Oh hey, Kvothe? You have an infinite, stupidity and money generating scam going. Go rescue you fucking friend from her abusive relationship and need to serial date people. Oh. Oh what’s that? You’re just going to keep sleeping with a multiple of people, not date them because they’re not Denna, and pine from afar while complaining about people doing exactly what you’re doing? Uh… sure. I guess that works. Very heroic. Uhm.

      Yeah.

      so stupid
      —-

      Go Ronan for surviving all this, though! Massive props 😀

      Reply
      1. Signatus

        Agreed so much. While we’re not sure Denna is a virgin, she sure seems to be portrayed as one. It’s so cliched it makes me roll my eyes.
        Male is an experimented sex machine, while the woman is pure and virginal. Never seen that before, no way! (/sarcasm)

        Also, I really dislike this trope so much. The fact that the male sleeps with as many women as he likes with no consequence is never viewed as something questionable, or bad (it isn’t, I couldn’t care less what people do in their private lives as long as both parties agree to the pact). Meanwhile, the female who sleeps with many men is viewed like the worse type of slut, something horrible that should be condemned. A woman must remain pure for the protagonist to deflower in an adequate manner, showing his experience and prowess in bed.

        That’s disgusting.

        Although it doesn’t surprise me that this writer falls into such tropes. We’ve seen a few chapters back how, a man raping a girl is no more than a bestial creature, no better than an animal (I’m pretty sure animals don’t fall into raping pups, tho). While a woman who keeps her mouth shut to save her hide is a monster because she didn’t try to stop a pack of adult, grown men to do what they did out of fear. Rothfuss created a clear distinction between the blame received by men and women, making the male gender less guilty just because.

        Reply
  4. Reveen

    That’s it? That’s where he sighs and ends the story? Him chortling over stolen money in his room. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at the anti-climax. But I was hoping that there would be something especially dumb saved for the last chapters.

    Well, until the next book proves otherwise I’m going to assume the next part of storytime involves the University sending some goons to call the name of the beatdown on Kvothe’s ass for scamming the school. I find it hard to believe nobody ever noticed how easy it was to fleece the place before.

    Reply
  5. Signatus

    Brilliant work. I’m going to feel a little sad now that it is over, as of late I checked almost daily eagerly waiting to see if a new chapter was up. It’s been so entertaining and interesting, a different way to read a book, one that appeals me more. I’ve been thinking of doing something along the lines, but I’ve got so many things to do I’m not sure where I’d get the time to do so.

    Anyways, onto the book.

    The whole part about Qvothe not loving Denna made me raise my eyebrows. I mean, it makes no sense. Two thousand pages of Qvothe drooling after Denna like a hungry dog, stalking her, looking for her and getting jealous fits, I think it shows pretty much he does feel something for Denna. Rothfuss wants to be all clever and subversive again, and tosses this senseless stuff at the end of the book to get away from the “romantic” plague that infests our society.
    It is another example that he’s making shit up as he writes, and doesn’t keep a guide, or has thought out a plot.
    The truth is, Denna, IMO, is another quota woman who solely exists to be the protagonist’s love interest, which is not saying much considering each and every one of this book’s characters exist solely to orbit around Qvothe.

    To be honest, I was never fond of Denna. I admit I did like Devi, found her the most interesting female character so far, strong, cunning woman that stops to nothing in order to achieve her goals.
    Denna is as interesting as a bowl of porridge. She’s like a doe, when she’s too afraid, she flees… and that’s as much as she do in the whole two books. She’s a prostitute who uses men to buy her nice things, and then flees when men want to have sex with her (men who do love her, they don’t seem to know she’s a prostitute).

    To me, it was more a distracting element than something I was rooting for. I admit I’m not too fond of romance stories (I hate the quota woman in movies), and the fact that 99% of Denna’s appearance had a romantic element, and it meant pages of slooooooowww, romantic BS, made me dislike that character even more.
    The other 1% is the only part that makes me feel mildly intrigued about the story. Her master (who is a Chandrian, or an Amyr), and the fact that she runs away (she’s probably half Fae and during new moons, she has to return to Faeland, or maybe it’s during full moons… I hope Rothfuss doesn’t make her a werewolf…).

    Anyways, the main problem I have with this book is that the story Rothfuss is not telling us seems far more interesting than the one he IS telling us. The Qvothe who has forgotten who he is, Bast wanting him to remember his true name to be the warrior he used to, the darkness in the realm… that story is far more intriguing than an arrogant manchild frolicking with succubuses, summoning thunder and lightning and having a childish anime-rivalry with the petulant, self centered son of a nobleman.

    Reply
    1. Austin H. Williams

      To be fair, Denna isn’t necessarily prostituting herself – more leading men on, getting them to think they can buy their way into her heart (and her bed), only she leaves them before they can seal the deal.

      If anything, she seems like a kind of con artist/courtesan, which makes Kvothe’s “I don’t love her, I swear!” even more irritating, as if he’s somehow conning the con-artist.

      I’m so glad I’m never going to read these books. Ronan, you are so brave…

      Reply
      1. Signatus

        I think that makes it even worse. If she was a prostitute, it would be clear for both parties that between them there is nothing more than business. She’s selling her body in exchange for favors, or money, or whatever it is she wants to charge. Thing is clear.
        By doing what she does, she is using the men. She makes them love her, takes whatever money she wants from them, and when they are no longer useful to her, she shatters their feelings, spits on them and runs away. That’s cruel and miserable, and I frankly don’t see why Qvothe would want to be anywhere near her.

        Well, actually I do. He’s different, he can change her, he can make her truly love him. I’ve heard that story a hundred times, and it alwyas ends bad for the arrogant part who believes he or she is the “chosen one”.
        Obviously, since this is Rothfuss’ fantasy, he will surely change her and make her a docile lamb.

        Reply
      2. Grumpus

        Denna really is one of those “I Have Issues With Women: The Character!” characters. Like her actions mostly make sense in the context of the whole creepy nice guy mentality vs. things that a person with, like, motives and shit would do.

        Reply
    2. Satu

      “I’m going to feel a little sad now that it is over, as of late I checked almost daily eagerly waiting to see if a new chapter was up.”

      Me too, how will I now fill my days 😉

      “The whole part about Qvothe not loving Denna made me raise my eyebrows. I mean, it makes no sense. Two thousand pages of Qvothe drooling after Denna like a hungry dog, stalking her, looking for her and getting jealous fits, I think it shows pretty much he does feel something for Denna.”

      Could it be we’re supposed to think that Kvothe is in love with Denna but just doesn’t realise it himself because he’s said to be soooooooooo inexperienced with women and by that, inexperienced in romantic love? Ofc he’s never acted inexperienced what with all that “smooth” talking and by now he’s at least had tons of pointless sex. But Rothfuss is always saying Kvothe knows nothing about women. I think that could be it.

      Reply
      1. Signatus

        Well, in the first book, when he introduces Denna during an interlude, he purple proses her, and now he’s saying he doesn’t love her? I’m not buying it.

        Not to mention what you said, no matter what Rothfuss tells us, it is pointless if he’s showing us something completely different.

        Reply
  6. Austin H. Williams

    You’d think he could play on a theme.
    “A disturbance of four parts.”
    “A silence of one part.”
    …Something to illustrate some sort of progression in the narrative.
    But no. Just like every bleeding plotline of the narrative, the bookends remain exactly the same, betraying no hints of progress, providing no hope of ending or closure. Heavens know why. I hope it’s not because he’s so impressed with that first “Silence of Three Parts” bit that he genuinely thinks he can’t top that, but that may very well be the case, and he may also very well be right.

    Reply
  7. Patrick

    I think Kvothe is just stealing from uni. He gets a tuition of 50. 50 get withdrawn. Everything above 10 is split, and the uni gets 10. The scam being that Kvothe tries for a high tuition and the basir marks it as paid.

    Reply
    1. braak

      But that doesn’t make any sense as a scam! Wouldn’t he be better off trying for a low tuition, then having the bursar mark up the amount that he draws on from the letter, and then keeps the difference?

      Reply
      1. braak

        I mean, don’t get me wrong. I actually really like the idea that he figured out a scam that let’s him sandbag his tuition test so that he gets extra money. I think it’s clever and subversive, and I think Rothfuss thinks it’s clever and subversive.

        The problem is that this can’t be that scam. The way he’s doing it now, he’s creating a record of how much money there should be (by taking the test) and then drawing that amount off the letter and only giving part of it to the university.

        The only way this makes any sense is if the Bursar is completely individually-empowered to collect as much tuition as he feels like. So, the university sends the Bursar a note that says, “Charge him fifty talents”, and the Bursar passes it along to the bank that the draft letter is with so they give him the whole fifty, and then he just only puts ten in the university coffer.

        So, I mean, it’s not really Kvothe’s scam at all. The Bursar is just embezzling.

        Reply
      2. katz

        I mean, don’t get me wrong. I actually really like the idea that he figured out a scam that let’s him sandbag his tuition test so that he gets extra money. I think it’s clever and subversive, and I think Rothfuss thinks it’s clever and subversive.

        I wouldn’t find that clever even if it worked; it’s obviously just Rothfuss being sore that he had to pay so much for something (his nine years of college tuition, no doubt) and coming up with a wish-fulfillment scenario of “I paid you, but the joke’s on you, I’m the one who profits from it!”

        Kvothe’s tuition wanks are just another piece of entitlement: He has no conception that other people actually need money for things. Money is just something he needs. No sense that this big university with all its staff, its buildings and grounds, its facilities with all their tools and chemicals and stuff, might actually take money to maintain and it’s fair for that money to come from the people who benefit from it. No, tuition only exists because of that mean professor who has a grudge against you for no reason.

        Reply
      3. braak

        @Katz: I mean, that’s reasonable. I guess in my head, the University is actually representative of an oppressive power structure that restricts access to resources, technology, and education in order to maintain the privileged position of the nobility, and (again, in the imaginary Patrick Rothfuss books I’m writing) Kvothe is actually a subversive anarchist who slyly enriches himself while disrupting that systemic oppression.

        I think it would have been a good scam maybe in a better book.

        Reply
    2. rmric0

      Yeah, every time this scam is explained it gets dumber for no reason. I was clearly wrong to assume it would make sense – because Rothfuss cannot construct a coherent plot whether it’s narrative or criminal.

      Reply
    3. katz

      But the uni is expecting him to give them all 50. So he is, in the end, just taking money from the university treasury. So he might as well not have bothered with the tuition bit and just struck a deal with the Bursar to take money straight from the treasury since it’s straight up theft anyway.

      The correct way is the way braak suggests; Rothfuss’ way works about as well as Maeby from Arrested Development throwing away the bananas at the banana stand so that she can get money from the till.

      Reply
  8. devilsjunkshop

    Bravo. Thanks for doing all this work 🙂
    That first ‘silence of three parts’ bit was the only part of the book I read. I just thought it was so clunky and terrible I couldn’t go on. You’ve certainly proved I made the right choice.

    Reply

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