- I love his prologues for this series. When I was talking to Brother about the book on the phone (he's home because of uni holidays) I got him to bring out NotW from my bookcase and we read the prologue to each other paragraph by paragraph, him from NotW and I from WMF, just to admire the beauty and sheer elegance of it. The subtle changes between the prologues for NotW
and TWMF were intriguing and at the same time I felt this sense of comforting familiarity when I opened up WMF and saw the first few sentences...
Dawn was coming. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.
The most obvious part was a vast, echoing quiet made by things that were lacking. If there had been a storm, raindrops would have tapped and pattered against the selas vines behind the inn. Thunder would have muttered and rumbled and chased the silence down the road like fallen autumn leaves. If there had been travelers stirring in their rooms they would have stretched and grumbled the silence away like fraying, half-forgotten dreams. If there had been music... but no, of course there was no music. In fact there were none of these things, and so the silence remained.
- We've decided it is impossible not to love Bast. I mean really? Such devotion for this Reshi and loved the way he wouldn't leave till he was sure Kvothe wouldn't start the narration without him. Chronicler is still vaguely suspicious of Bast which is amusing. That part where Bast scared the wits out of Chronicler and then later told him how that was the first time in months that he had heard genuine laughter from Kvothe was just such a sad and forlorn moment. I would love to know how Bast and Kvothe got together. I can't remember if this was discussed in NotW at all or not...
- Kvothe is such an unreliable but fun narrator. Brother and I just love how Bast keeps calling him out on the Denna thing - seriously what does
he see in her? And Kvothe is in some ways so arrogant but he phrases things in such a matter-of-fact way that you'd almost miss it...I mean look at this: "I gave a shrug that put his to shame. My shrug was so nonchalant it would make a cat jealous" (actually this isn't the best example, there are funnier subtle ones in there I can't find right now). Also he has the tendency to describe things in such a melodramatic fashion sometimes - the whole manner in which he described Fela becoming ~aware~ of Simmon cracked me the hell up XD
- And it is so frustrating sometimes how immature or stupid Kvothe is at stuff. How can such a genius be so bad at life's simple lessons? Flawed heroes are great and yet you can't help but *facepalm* when for example Kvothe decides that the way to increase his hard earned money and meet the tuition fees would be to gamble. Really? REALLY? I had to roll my eyes at how pleased he was when he managed to get back to the same amount of talents that he had before he managed to lose it with gambling. It is incredible how difficult it is for him to earn and keep money - I have to say I am impressed at the utter state of poverty and destitution Kvothe constantly seems to find himself in. And yet it feels entirely realistic.
- And ok sometimes his not-the-wisest moves are actually way more fun than him playing it safe. In fact he just isn't a play-it-safe sort of a guy is he. The Bell-Wether vs Tintatatornin thing for example - genius. Even if he pissed off the considerably wealthy part of his audience, even if it's a foolhardy move to make when you are so poor and trying to make a stash of talents, even if you just insulted potential patrons :P
- But then he does stuff like not bothering to think situations through before taking action ("Stupid beyond all mortal ken" indeed). Elodin asking him to open the locked door for example (I dislike Hemme as much as the next person but you gotta admit, the "Hallways, Their Form and Function: A Primer for the Mentally Deficient" bit was witty XD). Or him deciding he'll get Denna's ring back from Ambrose (ofcourse the guy has sygaldry protecting his room you fool, he's a spoilt rich brat with probably more than a few secrets lying about isn't he?).
- This was a really sad bit to identify with but when Kvothe asked Manet "You've been a student for thirty years, and never been to the Eolian?" and he replies "Well, you know. I've been busy. I don't get over to this side of the river very often." all I could think was -I hear ya Manet! I hear ya-. When I was studying Engineering at Palmy sometimes it would be a month and half before I even left the uni campus to go to the city. It was a disturbing combination of tunnel vision, anti social behaviour and just lack of a life really. It worked because I aced that degree like a boss but I gotta say I came out with very little in terms of the kind of stupid or interesting anecdotes people regale others with about their uni days. And I don't even regret it one bit. Anyway my theory is still that Manet is totally Patrick Rothfuss' way of inserting himself into the story :D They both seemed to have spent way longer at uni as a student than most people, studying anything and everything that caught their interest.
- The connection he shares with Auri is so free of guile, so simple and protective - it's endearing. And she's equally protective of him. I can't remember how he gave her the name Auri in the last book but found it interesting how Elodin was interested in why Kvothe named her so. She's such a sweetheart. It sometimes surprises me though how much Kvothe cares for her and feels responsible for her. I wonder, given the pains this book takes to remind us how in some ways their situation is so similar ("Because she has no one else. And neither do I. If we don't look out for each other, who will?") whether her life has been destroyed by something relating to the Chandarian too?
- This book is so genuinely funny in some places. Be it "The Name of the Class" thing (p. 27), or the "Kvothe is crap at Interesting Fact" (p.133) one ...actually it's Elodin - he just cracks me up. Brother said during NotW that Elodin reminds him of Fizban from the Dragonlance Chronicles and yeah they belong to the same Loopy Wizards Anonymous club I am sure.
- The Chandarian thing - still not sure how it works. We talked it over and Brother and I think they can only really know when someone is talking about them through rumours. So for example word would have spread about Kvothe's father writing a ballad about them. And then about something being unearthed at that wedding which the Chandarian would know relates to them. It isn't like you just think about them or say their name and they ~know~. That's just the kind of superstition that arises, just like the whole You-Know-Who thing in Harry Potter.
- "I don't wonder why they talk, I wonder what they say." - we've always known he is interested in how he is perceived but the first scene with Sleat was good for me because it clarified why this is so. "Everyone know's a man's reputation except the man himself" is so obvious when you hear it articulated that way but I had never really thought about it before.
- Had to LOL at the plum bomb thing, especially the bits with Simmon. Oh Wilem and Simmon, such good friends. They were so good with the malfeasance bit too.
- Woah! Kvothe's first real defeat! His Alar like ramston steel totally got pwned by Devi's Alar like the ocean in storm. To be fair he was suffering from severe exhaustion while defending himself from Ambrose's sympathy as well but still. I always love it when he goes through things like this though. Because of this fight his binding level went up from five to six and I'm sure though its problematic now the whole -constantly defending yourself from malfeasance- bit has to strengthen his Alar to some extent.
- Brother calls Kvothe the Simmon/Fela shipper now LOL. I have to include all this here JUST BECAUSE.
"Do any of you read Eld Vintic?"
I read the chittering gibberish you people call Aturan," Wilem said sourly. "I consider myself sufficiently multilingual."
"Only a smattering," I said. "A few dozen words."
"I can," Sim said.
"Really?" I felt hope rising in my chest again. "When did you pick that up?"
Sim scooted his chair across the floor until he could look at the book.
"My first term as an E'lir I heard some Eld Vintic poetry. I studied it for three terms with the Chancellor."
"I've never cared for poetry," I said.
"Your loss," Sim said absently as he turned a few pages. "Eld Vintic poetry is thunderous. It pounds at you."
"What's the meter like?" I asked, curious despite myself.
"I don't know anything about meter," Simmon said distractedly as he ran a finger down the page in front of him. "It's like this:
Sought we the Scrivani word-work of Surthur "That sort of thing," Simmon said absently, his eyes still scanning the pages in front of him.
Long-lost in ledger all hope forgotten.
Yet fast-found for friendship fair the book-bringer
Hot comes the huntress Fela, flushed with finding
Breathless her breast her high blood rising
To ripen the red-cheek rouge-bloom of beauty.
I saw Fela turn her head to look at Simmon, almost as if she were surprised to see him sitting there.
No, it was almost as if up until that point, he'd just been occupying space around her, like a piece of furniture. But this time when she looked at him, she took all of him in. His sandy hair, the line of his jaw, the span of his shoulders beneath his shirt. This time when she looked, she actually saw him.
Let me say this. It was worth the whole awful, irritating time spent searching the Archives just to watch that moment happen. It was worth blood and the fear of death to see her fall in love with him. Just a little. Just the first faint breath of love, so light she probably didn't notice it herself. It wasn't dramatic, like some bolt of lightning with a crack of thunder following. It was more like when flint strikes steel and the spark fades almost too fast for you to see. But still, you know it's there, down where you can't see, kindling.
"Who read you Eld Vintic poetry?" Wil asked. Fela blinked and turned back to the book.
Also Brother's now wondering what Simmon/Fela's ship name could be but we couldn't come up with anything good. SiLa was the only thing we could manage and I offered Sheila Ki Jawani
as their theme song ...but eh.
- Before all this though I was like -awwww- when she told him "First you have to promise me dinner" and Kvothe says "Once this is over, I'll take everyone to dinner." Is he that clueless. Actually, ofcourse he is. It is so easy to forget he is only 15. It sounds indecent just saying that, because he's been through so much and seems so smart in certain things. I like how when Kvothe is narrating things like this sometimes you can't even be sure that he realises what the other person actually meant. I have no idea if he ever even cottoned on that Fela used to have a crush on him.
I'm glad we ended up getting two copies of WMF. It is so fun calling home and seeing what part Brother has gotten up to and discussing every single happening like excited kids at a candy store. If I had a penny for every time one of us would exclaim "I freaking love this series/book" I'd be a rich gal.