I’M STILL NOT FINISHED THE FIRST CHAPTER
Okay, the illustrations are seriously messing up the formatting on the kindle app, which means I keep thinking I’m at the end of a chapter but I’ve actually just gotten to the next full-page illustration. To be honest the chapters are so long I might have to just split them anyway.
Last time: Auri found a cog.
It was full of true answers and love and hearthlight.
WHAT DOES THAT MEEEEAAAAN
HEARTLIGHT ISN’T EVEN A WORD
So the illustration for this scene makes the cog look kind of wheel-like. Wasn’t there something about the hammer dude binding someone (Haliax, or something?) to an iron wheel? And Kvothe used a wheel to kill the stoned dragon back in the first book. Rothfuss’ sole method of plot advancement seems to be to throw out tons of seemingly random hints that may or may not become important later on, which makes me super over-analytical about everything.
Auri smiled and heaved up half a stomachful of water on the stones.
Yeah that…. doesn’t sound healthy. Remember, last time she came up for air her lips were blue.
It looked like a piece of sun she’d brought up from the deep.
Hey that’s actually pretty good.
Auri dropped Foxen’s bottle during the ascent and considers going back for him, but can’t as she believed for some reason that she can only go into the water three times. It turns out not to matter though because the bottle comes bobbing back anyway.
Next up we have the somewhat intriguing question of how Auri dries herself before succumbing to hypothermia. We don’t get an answer to that second part (after swimming in freezing cold water she swims in more freezing cold water to wash herself, then runs around soaking wet and
nekkid naked for a while) but for the first part, the radiant heat from underground steam pipes. That’s plausible, I guess.
Auri spun in a slow circle to keep any part of her tender altogether from getting roasted
I don’t even know what the fuck that means. At least we’re not hearing about her nethers anymore.
Anyway Auri wonders whether the belt buckle she found would make a nice gift for “him” (Kvothe) but decides she needs to find him a gift that suits his hidden tangled nature or whatever the fuck, words don’t mean anything anymore. We’re adrift on a churning tide of emptiness, meaningless symbols floating in the
He was emberant. Incarnadine.
Incarnadine is a real word, but emberant appears to be highly cromulent. This just reinforces my earlier notion that this novella’s sole purpose is for Rothfuss to play with language. Which, hey, fair enough, whatever floats your boat, but I question whether such a self-indulgent exercise really warrants a full-priced commercial release.
Auri runs around arranging things and putting things in places some more, then tries to find the door that the key she found belongs to, using ~whismy~. It’s not very interesting. Auri’s viewpoint is starting to seriously annoy me, such that reading this feels akin to attempting to gouge my own teeth out with a spoon.
While nothing interesting is happening: why does no one ever come down to the Underthing? It houses what appear to be steam or gas pipes and rainwater drains, all of which are important pieces of infrastructure that need to be maintained. There should be University staff down here all the time doing repairs. And even if the copper pipes are somehow enchanted to make them last forever, the rooms Auri passes through contain all sorts of interesting shit like frescoes and the foundations of ancient buildings; in a school full of wizard scientists and wizard scholars would no one ever think to undertake an archaeological or historical survey? Or hell, what about basic security concerns? Kvothe found a secret route into the archives, the whole University could be like swiss cheese for all anyone knows.
Anyway Auri goes to a place with twelve doors, three of which she’s opened before. She also finds a piece of crystal from a chandelier (why is there a chandelier deep underground? Multi-year excavations have been launched over far less than this). All of this is conveyed with the absolute maximum level of quirkiness and whimsy. Here’s a sample:
Skipping close, she saw a crystal had fallen from the chandelier to lay unbroken on the floor. It was a lucky thing, and brave . She picked it up and put it in the pocket that didn’t have the key inside. They would only fuss if they were put together.
Just to be clear, the entire book appears to be written like this. I’m just not bothering to point out the vast majority of it. This is the kind of style that could maybe sustain itself over an extremely short period- a picture book, say- but not a novella, where it very quickly becomes annoying.
Auri opens one of he doors with the mystery key, which reveals a nicely furnished room (underground, behind a locked door, nope nothing interesting here let’s just ignore it). The room is whatever, because it’s a white day, and that makes things that otherwise wouldn’t have been whatever more whatever, or something.
Everything was almost.
I’m just…. not even going to comment on that.
After poking around a bit more Auri finds a new area to explore, and pokes around some more.
There was a door, but it was terribly bashful, so Auri politely pretended not to see it.
MENTAL ILLNESS IS ABOUT SECRETS FULL OF RAINBOWS AND BASHFUL DOORS LOLOLOL 😀 😀 😀 😀
Okay let’s zoom through this: nothing much happens for the rest of the chapter, Auri just wanders around and looks at stuff and makes quirky, completely nonsensical observations or ascribes emotions to inanimate objects because she’s such a carefree whimsical ray of special sunshine.
She brought Foxen with, of course.
She “brought Foxen with”? What? First nekkid and now this. Is this supposed to sound like a teenager’s narrative voice? Then why the fuck does Kvothe not talk like that when he’s younger than Auri.
Guys, having reached the end of the first chapter (for real this time) I am utterly baffled. What is this? What is the point of it, why did Rothfuss write it, why did anyone think it was worth publishing it? Hell I made fun of him in the first post for describing it as weird, but I have to take that back now- it is weird, but not in a pleasant, surprising way, in a “what the fuck am I reading” way.
The constant infantalization of Auri and the general feeling that I’m being given a far more intimate tour of the author’s mind than I wanted has left me feeling honestly slightly disturbed by the whole thing. And is this is just the first chapter. What’s going to happen in the rest of them, assuming anything happens at all?