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The Wise Man's Fear 
13th-Jul-2011 09:56 pm

- 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
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.
"That sort of thing," Simmon said absently, his eyes still scanning the pages in front of him.

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.
stock | potions maker
13th-Jul-2011 10:21 am (UTC)
And I'd be just as rich XD This is easily my second favourite series of all time, out of absolutely everything I've read so far. Eeee! The waits between them are so worth it.
15th-Jul-2011 06:43 am (UTC)
Heh and I know what your favourite is (I think?) - that Scott Lynch, Gentlemen Bastards series right? I will try that out as well some time.

Yeah I don't mind waiting for perfection like this... take all the time you want Pat.

I'd skip work and sit at home reading this all day if I could!
16th-Sep-2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
OMG! I can't believe I didn't catch this post until now! I have been saving up notes to share with you...

Totally agreed on Bast and Auri -- I really hope that Auri doesn't turn out to be Princess Ariel. I just want her to be some student who went beautifully moonlit feral.

Remember when Kvothe was pretending to do histories? One of the bits makes me think that Denna might be Ambrose's sister -- considering how the whole ring drama played out with Ambrose taking it from her and specifically the gossip about the Jakis daughter. (I'm also thinking that the house of Jakis is behind the Maer poisonings, in an ongoing succession war that also took down that family who drowned.)

Do you agree with me that Kvothe is the Lackless nephew (and the blood, one of seven things that opens that door). If Denna also has noble blood, it takes away some of the nicest bits of the story, namely that common people can be extraordinary and have adventures too. (If she is noble, As I already stated, I'm hoping that Auri is not. Ditto for Elodin.)

Being the sister could give more tension to the Kvothe/Ambrose situation, playing out in the next book, plus it puts Kvothe and Ambrose in parallel roles in terms of how they both would want to help and control her -- things Denna isn't having any of.

In general, Denna was far less annoying in book 2 and even had an entire nice scene that passes your Bechdel test. Part of me would like her to be training to become an Amyr (I'm somewhat convinced that they aren't necessarily the good guys) so she isn't just a Chandrian pawn in all of this.

Does it bother you while reading that so much of the Fellurian piece is in verse? When Rothfuss slips into poetry (which he does here and elsewhere in the books), my reading flow stumbles to a halt, turning individual lines into chunks rather than a coherent narrative. It's clever, it's beautiful, it's striking, but it's also something of a stumbling block that I find distracting in a novel. Those parts are truly meant to be read out loud...

I haven't seen any Bollywood since the Osama movie... You've got to find me more! I'm suffering from long-term Bollydeprivationwood.
17th-Sep-2011 08:01 am (UTC)
OMG! I can't believe I didn't catch this post until now! I have been saving up notes to share with you...
That's my bad! My plan was to email you once I finished the book but a short time after this entry I didn't get the chance to go back to the book. I've been home sick this weekend though so seeing your comment spurred me on to finally finish it :D

Now we can discuss at length hehe

Bast's devotion is just so sweet. I love the dynamic between him and Kvothe. At some point my brother and I wondered whether Bast is Kvothe's son via Fleurian and Kvothe just doesn't know it but that's probably unlikely...right? I'm not entirely sure I even want that. I'd rather the devotion stem from something else. But it's so interesting how stricken Bast feels whenever Kvothe speaks harshly to him in anger. And how Kvothe's anger subsides almost immediately after - whether because he can't bear for Bast to feel bad or because he's trying to be the opposite of the hot tempered man he used to be, I don't know.

But just as if to give us a reminder that Bast isn't all sweetness and devotion we have that scene at the end, which in no uncertain terms points to him being very Fae and not having the same 'rules' as mortals about things. I can understand why he sent the soldiers to the Waystone Inn - he's trying to remind Kvothe of who he was or rekindle whatever he seems to have lost but killing them because he was displeased with the results or because he feels like vengeance on those that made his Reshi feel helpless (nevermind that the plan was his) was disturbing to witness.

...more replies in a bit, I'm off to have a coughing fit *is dying* /melodrama
20th-Sep-2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
I thought about Kvothe being Bast's father but Bast is several hundred years old, and his father is mentioned specifically by name. So I'm going to say probably not. But that was my thought too!

(Please feel better soon...)
20th-Sep-2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
Oh and that reminds me! I think Kvothe locked his name in that box, and that Bast is trying to get him back to being himself -- but doesn't realize that he can't until he opens the box, and now Kvothe doesn't seem to be able to open the box either.
21st-Sep-2011 08:07 am (UTC)
Yeah that seems most likely doesn't it? I kinda don't want it to be but it is the most likely thing.

Though that bit when Kvothe asked Elodin what he thinks about someone who changes their name a lot and Elodin panicks gave me pause as well (after I had finished giggling a lot at how cute the scene was ofcourse).
21st-Sep-2011 08:04 am (UTC)
Hmmm grandfather then? I dunno, could be possible just because of the wibbley wobley timey wimey way time may run in the Fey realm? But I won't be cut up about it if they aren't related. In some ways I would find it all the more moving if they weren't.
17th-Sep-2011 08:17 am (UTC)
By the way I thought this was a fairly accurate description of what makes these books so wonderful to read:

I view this story like a Batman Begins-type realism reboot of many classic fantasy tropes. We get to hear the legends of Kvothe, then read the truth, and make the connections of how things spiraled from realistic to fantastic. The way Pat does this is genius. In some places, you can barely pick out the tropes he is using—after one sequence in Wise Man's Fear, I found myself laughing uproariously as I realized the mythological foundation for the sequence. There are familiar tropes, but they're taken and made so new and fresh that you have to peer through several layers of silk to see them for what they are. In other cases, there is delightful originality.
17th-Sep-2011 08:18 am (UTC)
Any ideas on what part the reviewer found so hilarious though?
20th-Sep-2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
There are lots of delicious light-hearted bits, especially things that involve Elodin
17th-Sep-2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
I really hope that Auri doesn't turn out to be Princess Ariel. I just want her to be some student who went beautifully moonlit feral.
(If she is noble, As I already stated, I'm hoping that Auri is not. Ditto for Elodin.
Woah I hadn't connected the two and I agree with you.

I also hadn't really connected that Denna and Ambrose could be related. That would be interesting. Especially because of the potential parallel you pointed to:
Being the sister could give more tension to the Kvothe/Ambrose situation, playing out in the next book, plus it puts Kvothe and Ambrose in parallel roles in terms of how they both would want to help and control her -- things Denna isn't having any of.

Did Denna appear to know much about the University or its existence when she first met Kvothe in NotW? Because Ambrose going to there would surely have been long decided when they were kids so technically if she was aware of it that lends credence. I don't exactly remember what went down between Denna & Ambrose now, will have to look up how he ended up with the ring...?

What is it that Master Ash has/can provide access to that Denna is willing to stay under his patronage despite everything (thinking back to the conversation about Kvothe describing how a few whippings wouldn't make him leave the University). She did begin to get a lot less annoying in this book later on - I was so touched by her gesture to Kvothe with the lute and case... and by the way Master Ash is Cinder right? But despite the odd coincidences about dancing lessons and walking sticks and what not Brother and I don't think Bredon is Master Ash/Cinder or hope he isn't!

Do you agree with me that Kvothe is the Lackless nephew (and the blood, one of seven things that opens that door).
Absolutely. I'm not exactly sure what is behind the door or on the box and is this box different to the one that Kvothe is unable to open in the present? And are these boxes different to the one in which the moon was once trapped. There seem to be all these things that can't be opened and I'm afraid everything is starting to blur in my head.

Yeah I think Cadicus must have been commissioned by the Jakis family for sure. In terms of the Kingkiller tag and then later Caesura being called "poet killer" - I wonder if they both reference the same event - that has led to the war that Kvothe feels personally responsible for? And whether this involves either the Maer or one of the Jakis family being killed? But neither are very well know for their poetic skills, though Ambrose is meant to be an amateur poet?

When Rothfuss slips into poetry (which he does here and elsewhere in the books), my reading flow stumbles to a halt, turning individual lines into chunks rather than a coherent narrative
I must admit I haven't found this an issue. I enjoy reading the turn of his phrases so much (verse or otherwise!) it's worth it.

And because this was one of the last scenes and I'm still laughing over it - how brilliant was the scene with Chronicler and Bast in Bast's room right? I was also a bit perplexed about the extent to which the Cthae can manipulate events through people but I think it can only do so much. It can poison you with truths that can have an effect on your actions but it can't know exactly what action you will be taking surely. Else if it can see all futures would it not have known how to avoid Cinder's "bad turn"?

Heh let me ponder in the Bolly recs tomorrow morning. I spent way too much time reading some posts on here and now it's 2.20 am XD
20th-Sep-2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
Try reading the conversations between Kvothe and Fellurian out loud. They're all rhyming iambic pentameter -- or something like that.

I'm also more than half convinced that the King of the "King Killer" is Ambrose, which loses him Denna. Agreed on the Jakis family and Cadicus. I believe they hired him to help clear some more way to the throne.

As far as Netalya Lackless goes, I'm not sure what standing her bastard son would have, but I was more than a bit disappointed by her sister -- it seemed that she had to hate Kvothe because of the plot more than because of any rationality.

Did I mention how much the whole "man mothr" sequence drove me crazy? I'm hoping there's a bunch of red headed babies there in 9 months and someone figures out Mendel.

As for Master Ash, we know Kvothe has a gift of apt naming. Cinder, Ash. It seems so obvious. And why would someone like Bredon spend time cultivating a no one? So possibly him.

We do know the Cthaeh can see all possible futures, and always does whatever nudges its listener to the worst possible outcome.
21st-Sep-2011 08:19 am (UTC)
What cracked me up was how Fleurian thought of Kvothe as a poet - the one thing he really wouldn't want his reputation with XD

Yet surely Kvothe has to somehow end up at the Lackless estate in the next book right? I mean there's that door, and the box.

See I'm just hoping Bredon is a red herring. Keep us guessing and confused. But who knows maybe they are all the same.

The man-mothers thing was so utterly bizarre and I wondered what the point of it even was. I did find the world and culture building fascinating and it was interesting glancing into the Admere customs and society. I guess we were meant to see how easy it is to be so completely wrong yet be convinced you are right. The entire time they kept calling everyone barbarians and you took them at face value y'know and then the man-mothers thing came up and that just gave it a whole other dimension full of irony.
21st-Sep-2011 08:41 am (UTC)
Storytelling - I just love the approach to it in these books. I love hearing them talk about their mythology, share bits of folklore etc. And I love that the stories aren't there just for the sake of being fun tangents - for example Kvothe's story set at Faeriniel was good set up for when he himself was on the road alone and ran into "Edema Ruh" ... the water and wine part fooled me as I'm sure it did him!

I liked the part where Kvothe explained that when Edema Ruh tell each other stories its so they can remember each other and learn things.

The story Kvothe told about the man whose bottom fell off literally had me laughing for a good ten minutes but it also was so interesting how one character thought it was a cruel story to tell a child but Kvothe didn't think so at all.
20th-Sep-2011 06:22 am (UTC) - Bollywood recs
Ok! Now that I have some brain cells back and am feeling less like I'm dying I can do recs. Remind me if I've already rec'd some of these or you've already seen them:

1. Band Baaja Baaraat - a sweet, loud, colourful romcom, especially loved because of how well it captures the essence of Delhi perfectlya
2. Chalo Dilli - a road trip with a mismatched pair, of note because it's still one of a handful of movies with a female as the main protagonist but not involved in a love story.
3. Incidentally in the same vein as above (a movie standing on the female lead's shoulders), I'd recommend Aaja Nachle if you haven't seen it.
4. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara - This is the most recent movie I've seen and utterly adored despite it having some flaws (rare is the movie that doesn't!). 3 guys go on a road trip through Spain and rediscover themselves and their friendship... is the worst and most cheesy way I can describe it, so I won't try and describe it :P
20th-Sep-2011 02:00 pm (UTC) - Re: Bollywood recs
Thank you thank you thank you! Off to hunt these down...

Flaws are always a given, but there's a bigger picture.

Oh and I *finally* saw Slumdog Millionaire which you recommend a badjillion years ago (good). And I recently saw Xmen First Class, which I loved.
21st-Sep-2011 08:43 am (UTC) - Re: Bollywood recs
I hope you find them!

I can't have rec'd Slumdog, I haven't quite seen it myself ^^;; Well that's not true, I saw bits and pieces of it but never all in one go but it was good.

I've been meaning to watch Xmen First Class, I heard it was good. Might have to track it down.
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