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  1. #46
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    I think it's only fair to say that I should back out of this. I've not articulated myself as well as I should have, and some of my comments have been - I admit - unnecessarily critical or harsh. It isn't my place to criticse Rothfuss so heavily without reading his books, simply basing my arguments on recurring elements of reviews.

    Hopefully anyone hasn't found my posts too frustrating, but if they have, then I apologise.

  2. #47
    If you look at Kvothe's early life, it is no surprise as to why he is grown to be so arrogant. He is intelligent, naturally curious, and is gifted in all sort of talents, and due to this, he has suffered through so much hardship caused by spite and envy. He is "above" all of his peers, but is constantly restrained by others. I personally find the contrast between his arrogant youth and the mild timid old man persona to be refreshing. It adds so much more to the book, and I welcome his early arrogance knowing that it will not last.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdI View Post
    Just to clarify something mentioned earlier...

    This story will be concluded in book three. Which at the moment is called The Doors of Stone. I don't expect the name will change. Rothfuss has made it crystal clear that KKC is a trilogy. He has no plans on revisiting the Kvothe story at any point in the future. He does plan to write in the same world again.
    Argh, this worries me. How do you guys think the third book will be structured? I hope that he concludes all the flash back fairly early and then spend a lot of time in the present with Kvothe regaining his youthful vitality or what not.

  3. #48
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuttz96 View Post
    Argh, this worries me. How do you guys think the third book will be structured? I hope that he concludes all the flash back fairly early and then spend a lot of time in the present with Kvothe regaining his youthful vitality or what not.
    I suspect not. I think It'll be structured just like the previous two, all flashback framed in the present. Maybe he'll kill himself at the end, maybe he'll decide he has to get back to Kvothe, but I don't think we'll get to read that part. These books are all about the story that happened previously and, more importantly, the story that Rothfuss isn't really telling except through hints, clues, innuendo, etc....

  4. #49
    Registered User JustaStaffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erfael View Post
    I suspect not. I think It'll be structured just like the previous two, all flashback framed in the present. Maybe he'll kill himself at the end, maybe he'll decide he has to get back to Kvothe, but I don't think we'll get to read that part. These books are all about the story that happened previously and, more importantly, the story that Rothfuss isn't really telling except through hints, clues, innuendo, etc....
    I suspect that a second trilogy will follow detailing the "now" events.

  5. #50
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Given all he's said about it, though, I don't think Rothfuss cares all that much about the now events. And to be honest, I think he would be selling out to tell that story, no matter how much people want to read it (unless he's got something very clever up his sleeves). The story he's telling on the surface is Kvothe, but I think the story Kvote is really telling is that of the history of the world, the Chandrian, Felurian, the moon, the waystones, Fae, Lackless/lockless, stone doors, etc. And I think he'll wrap up that telling with the next book, no matter where that leaves Kvothe/Kote.

  6. #51
    Registered User oasis seeker's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I read it when it first came out and I find it interesting that I never got that impression that Kvothe was arrogant. And he never came across as a Gary Stu or a version of an adolescent male fantasy. I'll have to re-read it soon.

  7. #52
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Thread summary focusing on characters:
    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye
    For a coming of age story, it played true to form. The very talented young man still must learn through experience and he is no better at that than most of us. His experience of women seemed true to life; his experience of his peers likewise...
    The story behind the story - why he is fading away - makes for good theater.
    And the heroine is as tragic as any fantasy heroine, ever. I know there is much more to learn about her and I wish I didn't have to wait for Day Two to learn it.
    Quote Originally Posted by LostLannister
    I find Kvothe to be a very interesting character. I like how throughout the book, we're never told exactly why he is so special, or what he did to earn his reputation. It's revealed to us little by little.
    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice
    I loved it, Rothfuss' prose is beautiful and Kvothe was an endearing protagonist. The magic system was simple but well thought out and interesting, and I was glad that Rothfuss was really light on the worldbuilding bullshit. His life in poverty at that massive city (forget the name atm), the burning of Trevalion and all his time at the university had me totally captivated.
    That said, it could have been a tad shorter (the story felt pointless up to the stage where Kvothe meets Chronicler for instance), and his relationship with Denna drove me up a wall.
    Quote Originally Posted by tmso
    I didn't like the main character. When I realized it was gonna be from his POV for the entire book...I put it down. I just didn't like him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darksbane
    I think characterization and prose is what Rothfuss does best. Some might disagree on the characterization bit, but I love what he has done with Kvothe and how he has demonstrated that he is not entirely trustworthy in telling this story. I think he has also done a good job of keeping his characters consistent. So no, I wouldn't say his characters are thin at all. You mind find them reprehensible where I did not. But how does Kvothe have anything to do with Richard Rhal? I don't see a similarity (even in talent) at all.
    Other positives- an interesting magic system, well written dialog, and just generally a well written, character driven story.
    Quote Originally Posted by Contrarius
    One of the biggest things I didn't like: I couldn't stand the character of the younger Kvothe. This is a type of character that just completely turns me off -- oh so perfect and brilliant and capable and arrogant. I could forgive this if it were the *younger* Kvothe doing the narrating (in which case it would be natural for him to think highly of himself), but instead this is the OLDER Kvothe/Kote telling us what a wonderful kid he used to be. He doesn't appear to have any perspective on his younger self at all, and that annoys the hell out of me. Whyinthehell should I care about an arrogant braggart who is still an arrogant braggart after he grows up?? That's not somebody I really want to invest in -- and given that he's the main character, that really destroys a lot of my interest in the book as a whole...
    it just had a main character that the author didn't make me care much about.
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWilliam
    Specifically in that the story is narrated by an unreliable narrator. With Kvothe narrating a story about himself, you're getting the romanticized version of everything he did. You have to distill it to get more objective views. For example, Kvothe likes to portray himself as someone who is always sticking up for those who need protecting and taking it to people who prey upon others (i.e. the wealthy, privileged classmate he has a grudge/vendetta going with). In its more distilled form, Kvothe is simply someone who is stubbornly confrontational and doesn't know 'when to say when.' By that, I mean something a history professor mentioned in class once, which was that from General Custer back to Christ, people choose the hills they die on. Kvothe can't seem to understand that not every hill needs a battle to the death.
    I understand some of the difficulty with Kvothe's characterization, however. He is portrayed as the consummate good guy, superiorly intelligent, affable, artistically ingenious, struggling against circumstances that would seek to oppress him....hey, you'd have to be a real jerk to be anti-Kvothe, right? Yeah, didn't really like how Rothfuss wrote the reader into a corner on that one. But is that the author's intent, or is it the character's voice being more then generous with himself?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bastard
    Kvothe is very honest about his shortcomings, he just happens to have a lot of quality traits too...
    He also blames himself when he's careless and people get injured, etc. In all, Kvothe seems to me like a very self-aware person and considering that he's a legend, that he's great at so many things, and that he thinks himself good at those things seem to be a fairly objective view of himself. If he had some sort of bad characteristic to inform of to the reader, I don't doubt he would inform us of it.
    So what people see as braggart, which in some ways he is, I see more of a self aware character... be it the good or the bad. Now, how much he embellishes the stories, that I can't tell. But all evidence points towards him being as good/bad as he portrays himself to be. And he's very hard on himself, and as we've learned he has lived a very hard life, so if he's worst characteristic is that he's seems himself to be great, I really don't see much of a problem particularly when it seems to have been earned.
    Also, for all the good he is, he's also quite the hard worker...
    He's also careless at times and prone to letting his temper get the best of him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arkeus
    from the perspective of someoen who only read 400 or so pages in the first book, Kvothe pissed me so damn much.
    He was the exact kind of 'perfect' character that digust me, and as *everything* was about him, i gave up on too painful a read.
    Quote Originally Posted by nuttz96
    If you look at Kvothe's early life, it is no surprise as to why he is grown to be so arrogant. He is intelligent, naturally curious, and is gifted in all sort of talents, and due to this, he has suffered through so much hardship caused by spite and envy. He is "above" all of his peers, but is constantly restrained by others. I personally find the contrast between his arrogant youth and the mild timid old man persona to be refreshing. It adds so much more to the book, and I welcome his early arrogance knowing that it will not last.

  8. #53
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    Nice thread summary... I guess. Why did you assemble it?
    Thanks!

  9. #54
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Minor sidetracks in the conversation had me uncertain about what the feedback truly looked like so I pulled the actual critiques and laid them in order.

  10. #55
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    Ahh.. I see. I hope it helped you.
    All the best-

  11. #56
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Well, from reading the first book and then hearing some bits about the second, it seems pretty clear that Rothfuss is playing off different bits of the Merlin myth and making Kvothe Merlin-esque. Kvothe is supposed to be a legendary sorcerous figure involved with the king, ensorcelled by the Fae, conducting great feats of magic, etc. He's the mysterious figure who has a foot in multiple worlds, who is determined, with a sense of duty, but also possibly discombobulated by his power and circumstances. He's scarred and outcast but fate bends his way in his early days. So Rothfuss plays with what actually goes into a Merlin, a Gandalf, Baba Yaga, Medea, etc., while also being satiric about our notions of heroism, magic schools and so forth.

    Some of Kvothe's "arrogance" is Kvothe's smarts and natural ability, but a lot of it seems to be survival mode. He's Ruh, a nameless orphan, a street thief, competing with rich and quick wizarding kids. To survive and to make it through his training, Kvothe is compelled to go on the attack, out alpha those trying to alpha him and stare down teachers who might otherwise boot him from the school. Swagger is the defense mechanism to prevent being a further victim. In fact, Kvothe frequently thinks in those terms as strategy, which contrasts with older Kvothe who seems to accept being a victim and hiding. His swagger often hides his intent.

  12. #57
    Repudiated Ursus s271's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erfael View Post
    I suspect not. I think It'll be structured just like the previous two, all flashback framed in the present. Maybe he'll kill himself at the end, maybe he'll decide he has to get back to Kvothe, but I don't think we'll get to read that part.
    My bet is Kvothe will go back to Kvothe The Magnificent, but from the following books in the same world we will know that be bad for everyone.

    These books are all about the story that happened previously and, more importantly, the story that Rothfuss isn't really telling except through hints, clues, innuendo, etc....
    I think people here tend to overestimate depth of the narrative. Sure author may retcon some events/threads later, but I don't think most of dropped plotlines, inconsistencies, omissions etc is intentional.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by s271 View Post
    I think people here tend to overestimate depth of the narrative. Sure author may retcon some events/threads later, but I don't think most of dropped plotlines, inconsistencies, omissions etc is intentional.
    Not in this case. Not in any way, shape or form is what you are describing attributable to these books. People could and will read these books a hundred times and not catch on to many of the meanings, nuances, foreshadowings, and details hidden here. But once you do, there can be no question that, at the least, the vast majority of them are intentional.

    Allow me illustrate one of the extremely minor examples, so as not to spoil anything of substance:

    From the middle of TNotW in regards to Denna, "The months had changed her. Where before she had been pretty, now she was lovely as well". It's a nice line, but it doesn't mean anything of significance, right? Until we get to nearly the end of WMF, and we find out that
    Spoiler:
    Denna had been braiding the word "Lovely" into her hair in Yllish knots. Kvothe hadn't been able to read Yllish knots previously, but as soon as he did, then he was able to make the connection. Then, we as the readers are able to look back and, as we try to figure Denna out, know that she must have learned this during the period where the first quote is from and her meeting with Kvothe previous. We can then infer that during Denna's absence in this time she was either in Yll, or had studied with someone who was learned in this subject. Which is itself informative, as we know from Kvothe's dialogue that there are few remaining who can write Yllish knots.


    Is this incredibly important knowledge for we readers? Probably not, but it gives us a bit more information. And again, this is only a very minor example based on a line that almost no one would have looked at and thought to have meaning. There are many, many, many much more significant examples throughout both books, and I'm sure that there are more that we won't be able to understand until Book 3.
    Last edited by AmethystOrator; August 1st, 2011 at 05:35 AM.

  14. #59
    Supercalifragilistic teahupoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmethystOrator View Post
    Not in this case. Not in any way, shape or form is what you are describing attributable to these books. People could and will read these books a hundred times and not catch on to many of the meanings, nuances, foreshadowings, and details hidden here. But once you do, there can be no question that, at the least, the vast majority of them are intentional.

    Allow me illustrate one of the extremely minor examples, so as not to spoil anything of substance:

    From the middle of TNotW in regards to Denna, "The months had changed her. Where before she had been pretty, now she was lovely as well". It's a nice line, but it doesn't mean anything of significance, right? Until we get to nearly the end of WMF, and we find out that
    Spoiler:
    Denna had been braiding the word "Lovely" into her hair in Yllish knots. Kvothe hadn't been able to read Yllish knots previously, but as soon as he did, then he was able to make the connection. Then, we as the readers are able to look back and, as we try to figure Denna out, know that she must have learned this during the period where the first quote is from and her meeting with Kvothe previous. We can then infer that during Denna's absence in this time she was either in Yll, or had studied with someone who was learned in this subject. Which is itself informative, as we know from Kvothe's dialogue that there are few remaining who can write Yllish knots.


    Is this incredibly important knowledge for we readers? Probably not, but it gives us a bit more information. And again, this is only a very minor example based on a line that almost no one would have looked at and thought to have meaning. There are many, many, many much more significant examples throughout both books, and I'm sure that there are more that we won't be able to understand until Book 3.
    YOU SIR!!! I said, you sir.... are a gentleman and a scholar. I enjoyed this post so much that i have just decided to read The Name of the Wind a 3rd time and WMF a 2nd.

    I thank you.

  15. #60
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    While being detailed is sure a good thing, it's far from rare when it comes to epic fantasy.

    I wouldn't quite say the majority of author do this, but i don't think it's a small minority either.

    I think whether you like the book or not lie on whether you like Kvothe or not. As Kvothe is not only the Protagonist, but is one in the sense a manga main character is one (as in, reality warps to have everyone's world being centered on him), *and* that it's not action-centered, this is either a deal-maker or a deal-breaker.

    Given the popularity of the books, it's pretty clear that Kvothe does somehow work for most.

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