It only took me two months to finish reading this book. Most books that are a thousand pages long take more time than that. What can I say? I was eager to continue Kvothe’s story that I didn’t delay. A lot happens in this novel that fills in the blanks of the opening lines.
Kvothe continues to tell his story for Chronicler to write on the second day of the latter’s stay at the Waystone Inn. With so much content in this book, Chronicler is a faster writer than me!
In the beginning, Kvothe is expanding his studies at the University as he attends Master Elodin’s class of naming. As I’ve got to know Elodin more at the beginning of this book, I concluded that he’s crazy, especially when he burns Master Hemme’s clothes, but Kvothe eventually comes to understand Elodin’s way of teaching that creates a close relationship between them. They even engage in private lessons to help Kvothe strengthen his sleeping mind in situations where he calls on the name of the wind.
That was what absorbed me first in starting this book, especially the chapter where Kvothe introduces Auri to Elodin and they all share a meal together. I was worried Auri would run away but she never did which made me let out a sigh of relief.
Another touching chapter earlier on was when Kvothe came back to Anker’s to find his lute missing but then discovered it wasn’t stolen, but someone none other than Denna was having it fit for a brand new case. Reading about how Kvothe was so touched by this gift from her was just really heartwarming. Denna has always been a mysterious girl who changes her name constantly and the bond she shares with Kvothe is unique, it only grows deeper as they spend more time together in Severen. However, it is also shown to be flawed when they argue at one point about a song she played.
Did I mention I like the way Patrick describes things like music, sex, and combat in these books. It’s done in a way that is quite vivid but not always obvious, especially the music parts. All these songs I may never hear what they actually sound like but reading the lyrics allows me to construct my own melody for the song.
After Kvothe retrieved Denna’s ring by breaking into Ambrose’s quarters came my one and only complaint about this book which is the trial. Kvothe left out a lot of details about what and why, and Chronicler seemed to object. Those events led to persuasion from his friends and Elxa Dal to take a break.
And so going abroad to work for Maer Alveron, the events that followed either had me engaged or not. When Kvothe set out on an errand for the Maer he encountered the faerie Felurian, he wasn’t afraid like most men were and spent what felt like a long time in her realm. She taught him the art of lovemaking and he played songs for her. I must say I felt like he had nearly lost his sanity after stumbling upon the Cthaeh.
Still, there was something that made Felurian release him in the end and she made him an enchanted cloak. The chapters that followed made me now discover the womanizer awakening within him thanks to his time in the Fae!
I didn’t feel as engaged in the story during Kvothe’s time in Haert but he learned how to fight there so hey, that’s good. There I realized there is a lot to remember about the Edema Ruh which comes in handy afterwards. How exactly did Kvothe poison the stew once he realized those travellers weren’t Ruh? Binding maybe? Perhaps the first red flag was when they told him about the ale they stole before revealing the two girls they captured.
Let’s just say I hate the Maer’s new wife for her reaction to Kvothe killing the false troupers and revealing his Ruh blood. But he ends up wearing those remarks like armour. As long as you are proud of what you are then no one can hurt you.
Other than that, just a few closing events and no one knows when the third book will arrive. How much longer can the tension between Bast and Chronicler last? What was Kvothe trying to open? Will we finally learn what made him go into hiding permanently? It’s a total mystery.
In the meantime, I have tons of other books to read, one of them being a spinoff story about Auri. But I will say this book was enjoyable, even if not every single part had me extremely engaged.