Chaos

Kingkiller Chronicle

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Well, Wise Man's Fear is out, so let's talk about it. I haven't finished it yet, because I want to savor the experience.

What are your thoughts on Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear?

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I would just like to say that I am currently reading a book that my wife recommended to me, but as soon as I finish it I will begin my reading of Name of the Wind. So, in the event that the thread grows stagnant before I finish, this is my fair warning that I will shamelessly use my talents in Thread Necromancy to reanimate it.

Edited by Endra kin'Fox
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We're pretty lax about thread necromancy here. I mean, as long as it isn't a topic about some sort of event (like a particular signing, or Josh and Mi'chelle's wedding) which is time sensitive, there's no worries. As long as we're intelligent about it, everything works fine.

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I own both Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear but I have to finish reading Academ's Fury bfore I start reading them.

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Add me to the list of "own both, will get to when..." That said, I'm hoping to start it some time this weekend. ;)

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I read the Wise Man's Fear yesterday. Normally I feel a tad guilty when I read a book that thick in a single day but this time I had a perfect excuse. And it was excellent. A little more along the lines of a traditional fantasy novel than the first one, but this is certainly not a bad thing.

This may not be really spoilerish but I'll hide it anyway.

Something changed, in my reaction to this book compared to NotW. In the first book, I felt like the framing part of the book, the stuff that happened at the inn, was outside the story, and I wasn't that interested in reading it. In WMF, I was really interested in what was happening at the inn, to the extent that now I'm far more worried about what will happen at the end of the third day than about what Kvothe did with his life up till then. In the first book, I had a very hard time seeing Kvothe as "a man who is waiting to die" but now I can see it.

Also -- the words of the Cthaeh have now reached #1 on the NYT bestseller list -- this can't be a good thing.

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Just started Name of the Wind today!

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I own both Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear but I have to finish reading Academ's Fury bfore I start reading them.

Great book and an amazing series. Jim Butcher is one of the only authors who has managed to satisfy me with EVERY book.

As for Wise Man's Fear, I am about halfway through. Like Eric, I am taking the time to savor it - I've been waiting four years for it, and I don't want to rush.

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Name of the Wind is shaping up to be quite amazing. I honestly went in expecting to be dissapointed but I am very, very happy. If Rothfus can keep up his momentum, he will be a short step below Brandon in my book. That being said, I am pretty inexperienced as far as reading multiple authors so, I know I am missing out on some amazing people. They will be read in time.

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I LOVE these books; I just finished The Wise Man's Fear a few days ago, or maybe a week ago, can't remember. >.>

I can't say which one is my favorite so far; Rothfuss is just amazing with his writing. I really like how the story develops in tWMF though; and I guess I can't say too much more without getting into spoilerish stuff, so I'll wait for other people to finish first.

Unless people don't mind spoilers. >.>

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I recently wrote an essay for my Literary Criticism class on The Wise Man's Fear. Since it looks like not many people have read it yet, I'll probably wait a bit before posting it. I'll let you know, however, that it got an 85%, and I am very happy with it.

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I should be starting Name of the Wind within a day or two, less then 40 pages left in Academ's Fury.

Actually technically I've already started it read the first chapter, already know I like the writing style.

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Just finished Name of the Wind yesterday. It's in my top five for sure. Maybe top three.

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Oh also, I have wanted to learn to play the lute or the oud for a couple of years now. This book did nothing but increase that desire in me. Has anyone ever played either?

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I super duper really really enjoyed them :D Just awesome! Thank you Meesha (and everyone else) for persuading me to read them! XD

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"If there had been music... but no. Of course there was no music."

That ending made me feel genuine concern for what goes on outside Kvothe's Story.

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I posted my essay. And now, since more people are getting done, my thoughts:

I loved Wise Man's Fear. While it was more episodic than the first book, I think it had to be to get the story out. The only part that really dragged for me was Kvothe's time with the Adem, but I know some people like that kind of story. Felurian, the Vintas plotline, and Kvothe's triumphant return to the academy were all really well done. My favorite part I think, was the last scene between Kvothe and Denna. There was just so much insight into their characters I think, and it really showed how their relationship has changed (they are no longer comfortable with eachother, at least, not like they were). My favorite moment was when Denna was lying on the rock with her eyes closed, and was like "Yes" to whatever Kvothe was about to say before he asked it, and Kvothe hesitates, then asks her to move over, but upon seeing her flinch at his shirtlessness,chooses to set the basket beside her instead. I don't know why, but it just got me. I LOVED it. And the scene where Kvothe took out the bandits was one of the most disturbing/epic fight scenes ever. Rothfuss really showed of the strengths of Sympathy there, and it was great!

Now, my run-on fanboy moment aside. What did everyone else think?

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I am currently re-reading the books (hoping to find some foreshadowing), but I'd like to get some SPOILER-HEAVY discussions about some of the bigger ideas in The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. Namely (seewhatididthere) the following:

Kvothe's Family

There are several things in the books that seem to imply that Kvothe is not some random Edema Ruh, but a member of the ancient family. Let's see why that may be the case...

  • Kvothe's father, Arliden, is unofficially married to his mother, Laurian (unless I am mistaken). I mention that because I find it important that the two of them treat each other like a husband a wife in all regards except the legal one. From a legal standpoint, Kvothe is a bastard. Which may not be entirely because his parents just didn't bother with making their marriage official. Being the son of a noblewoman, even one that is potentially disowned, carries a certain weight...
  • We know that Kvothe's mother is - or was - a noblewoman before Arliden "stole" her.
  • We know that Lady (Meluan) Lackless hates the Edema Ruh with passion. She once mentions that someone who she loved and valued ran away with the Ruh a while ago. In theory, so far, this someone could be Kvothe's mother. On a side note, Meluan has/had a sister whose name was Netalia. We'll get to this in a moment.
  • When he first Meluan, Kvothe is struck by a strange feeling of familiarity. It could be because she reminds him of his mother, Maluan's sister.
  • One of the pseudo-prophetic requirements for the heirloom box of the Lackless family is "a son who brings the blood." This could be interpreted as "a male family member." Which could, in turn, be Kvothe.
  • And finally, Kvothe shares a song his father wrote for Laurian once. The contents of the song won Arliden's a night's sleep under the wagon, presumably because of the innuendo hidden in them. Here is how the song goes:

Dark Laurian, Arliden's wife,

Has a face like a blade of a knife

Has a voice like a prickledown burr

But can tally a sum like a moneylender.

My sweet Tally cannot cook.

But she keeps a tidy-ledger book

For all her faults I do confess

It's worth my life

To make my wife

Not a tally a lot less.
  • You will note that Arliden's nicknames her wife Tally, even though this name doesn't even come close to the sound of her (presumed) real name - Laurian. It does, however, sound a terrible lot like Netalia. Not only that, but the last line makes absolutely no sense. Not if you read it like this, at least. But if you go by the sound of them, you will notice that they sound a lot like...

To make my wife

Netalia Lackless.

So that is that about Kvothe's heritage. A lot of people seem pretty convinced that his mother was Netalia Lackless, more or less due to the reasons I summarized above. On to the next big thing...


The Lackless Door

Introduced in The Wise Man's Fear, the Lackless Door refers to an, as far as we know, un-unlockable door. Kvothe's future seem to intertwine with the "fate" of the door and what lies behind it. Let me say that I don't remember the details, but I think the book talks about a box with a complicated lock more than it does about an actual door. Or was there a mention about a real door somewhere in the Lackless mansion?

Regardless, there is this piece of information we have about it:

Seven thing stand before

The entrance to the Lackless Door

One of them a ring unworn

One a word that is forsworn

One a time that must be right

One a candle without light

One a son who brings the blood

One a door that holds the flood

One a thing tight held in keeping

Then comes that which comes with sleeping

Since this post is starting to get a little lenghty, and it's starting to get a little late here, allow me to offer the popular interpretations of each one of those lines. Then I'll leave the floor open for discussion and perhaps add more big ideas some other time.

  • Ring unworn. This could quite possibly refer to the ring of air everyone who knows the name of the wind has to craft for themselves. It is well established that Kvothe wants to learn just that.
  • Word that is forsworn. This one is trickier, but it could be someone's Name. Kvothe's name is just as likely as anybody else's - except he is the main character of the novel, and not anybody else.
  • Time that must be right. This could refer to virtually any time, but it seems like the night of the new moon plays a big role in a world where the Fae know a lot about magic.
  • Candle without light. The only semi-plausible explanation for this one is that Kvothe's fiery-red hair would turn him into a metaphorical candle. Or, it could be something as simple as a sympathy lamp.
  • Son who brings the blood. Assuming that Kvothe is indeed son of Netalia Lackless, and knowing that the "prophecy" deals with the Lackless family, it is safe to assume that he could be that son.
  • Door that holds the flood. Assuming this is not as literal as a dam, the only reasonable assumption would be the door of stone in the University's Archives.
  • Thing tight held in keeping. This is a weird one. A Name would fit this one as well, but I would assume that the seven things are distinct.
  • That which comes with sleeping. Although not one of the requirements, it's worth mentioning. The obvious one here would be dreams. A little too obvious, I think, but it could eventually lead us to the world of Fae, which is also associated with sleeping and dreams. On the other hand, we know that sleep is the first door of forgetting, so there could be something here as well...

Aaaand, I think we can stop here. Plenty of material to talk about. Plus, I need to actually finish re-reading the books in order to provide thoughts of my own, as opposed to stuff taken from other forums :)

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That is rather interesting conjecture :) it makes a lot of sense.

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Wow. That's quite thorough. I always thought Kvothe's mother was netalia lackless (was quite sure of it, in fact), but never went though it the way you have. Now I feel even more reasurred.

Cannot say the same about the 'Lackless door', I'm afraid. I can't make heads or tails of it.

Edited by Alliare
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I really liked Name of the Wind. However, I am mixed on Wised Mans Fear. I thought it was far longer that it should of been. The book followed a series of events, but event seemed to drag on. Too many stories, too many conversations, and so on. I like the overall material, but I think it would have been a better book if 200 pages were trimmed out. It really dragged on.

Likes:

-- magic system. He clearly spent alot of time on it and did alot of research

-- the concept. Kvothe basically going, I'm not so great

-- the hero is not a super hero. You get that impression in the first book which is cliched, but as the story goes

on Rothfuss makes it clear, he isn't superman

-- interludes: the parts of the story that were in the Inn were outstsanding. crisp, short, and to the point

-- I like the mysteries in the book. hopefully when he explains them, they will be interesting.

-- I like it when Kvothe screws up. he seems like more a real person

-- I like how Kvothe blows off his mouth AND this gets him in trouble. The trope in fantasy is the annoying character

who blows off his mouth then gets what deserves. In this book its the hero that does it. Which I like. He doesn't even mean too, which reminds me of smart people that I have met.

-- I like how its going to get dark and bad things are going to happen to our hero. This is different than most fantasy novels. It seems to be setting up as a tragedy, which is unique in fantasy books.

Dislikes:

-- too long. really dragged on. would go from event to event, then spend too much time at each. too many stories.

-- Kvothe is too over the top as an entertaining. Its a too much. He keeps saying he "grew up as an Edema Ruh". His parents died when he was like 8 or 9 right? That isn't growing up. You would only have images for memories. Even at 16.

-- Rothfuss used the word clever too much. That word stands out. First off there are different types of cleaver. No one is cleaer at everything. The part where he was this marvelous poet for his Patron was kind of ridiculous. The kid never had a girlfriend before that. It was too much. It got pretty annoying after a while.

-- quest is too good and too smart at too many things. It is a bit much.

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actually Kvothe was 12 when his parents were killed.

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A few more things I observed as I was finishing my The Name of the Wind reread and moving into The Wise Man's Fear.

First, TNotW: Chapter 1 describes Taborlin the Great as having three tools: "key, coin, and candle". I didn't find that significant until I noticed something about Kvothe's encounters with Auri. Remember how every time they meet, they exchange (three?) gifts? Well, I believe there are exactly three gift exchanges described in the books, and each one of them features one of Taborlin's items; Auri gives Kvothe a key, then a coin, then a candle. Check the chapters if you want:

The Name of the Wind: Chapter 53, Slow Circles

I smiled. “What did you bring me?” I teased gently. She smiled and thrust her hand forward. Something gleamed in the moonlight. “A key,” she said proudly, pressing it on me. I took it. It had a pleasing weight in my hand.

“It’s very nice,” I said. “What does it unlock?”

“The moon,” she said, her expression grave.

“That should be useful,” I said, looking it over.

“That’s what I thought,” she said. “That way, if there’s a door in the moon you can open it.” She sat cross-legged on the roof and grinned up at me. “Not that I would encourage that sort of reckless behavior.”

The Name of the Wind: Chapter 68, The Ever-Changing Wind

Auri relaxed a bit and came a few steps closer to me. “I brought you a feather with the spring wind in it, but since you were late...” she looked at me gravely, “you get a coin instead.” She held it out at arm’s length, pinched between her thumb and forefinger. “It will keep you safe at night. As much as anything can, that is.” It was shaped like an Aturan penance piece, but it gleamed silver in the moonlight. I’d never seen a coin like it.

The Wise Man's Fear: Chapter 11, Haven

I came to my feet and she held out something wrapped in a piece of cloth. It was a thick candle that smelled of lavender.

“What’s inside of it?” I asked.

“Happy dreams,” she said. “I put them there for you.”

I turned the candle over in my hands, a suspicion forming. “Did you make this yourself?”

She nodded and gave a delighted grin. “I did. I am terribly clever.”


I am not sure what this means, but it must be significant. Add this to the fact that Elodin has been trying to get to talk to Auri for a while now, it makes it pretty much certain that she used to be somebody important in the University. Plus, she does imply that her old/real name had grown heavy before Kvothe named her Auri. But then, I think Pat said in one interview that Auri wasn't in the book originally, so her role can't be all that big. Perhaps the key, coin, and candle are hints that there is something important in the Underthing; or they could be merely symbols to draw a parallel between Taborlin the Great and Kvothe the Arcane.

Edited by Argent
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On a second note, there is a second thing I wanted to mention. Not as significant, but interesting. In Chapter 5: The Eolian of The Wise Man's Fear, Kvothe, Sim, Wil, and Manet go to the Eolian for a few drinks, music, and a game of cards. In the next chapter, Kvothe plays sloppy and Manet, who was being his partner for the game, asks him sarcastically how many spades, in total, would he have if he had three spades in his hand and there have been five spades laid down. A few chapters later, when Kvothe goes through admission, Elodin asks him the exact same question. Interesting, no?

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