Back to The Name of the Wind
Might as well just glue the front cover to the back cover of The Name of the Wind. Yep. It's a must, as Kvothe's maturation continues to 1650 total pages. And, phew, he finally gets out of the University and hits the road. But that doesn't mean to say he passes the roadsign CLOSURE on his two, jack-in-the-box obsessions.
No, but we do get to ride shotgun.
Patronage. The key to an artist's success. Being an Edema Rue—that's Gypsy Scum in modern slanguage—Kvothe is a first-class luteist, and earns just enough to pay tuition, and to keep him ahead of the enignmatic and teasingly sexy Divi the Moneylender and rogue Sorceress. Noble-born Ambrose has, among other determinative stops, destroyed his chance for local patronage, so Kvothe blows town hoping to stick to a powerful noble in faraway Vintas. Talk about rolling 300, crafty Kvothe thwarts a poisoning attempt on the blueblood, plays Cyrano for him propitiously, and even leads a successful guerrilla squad into the wilderness to hack and fletch some pesky highwaymen. As addendum, he rescues two local farm Pollyannas from their abduction and butchers seven or so foul rapeists singlehandedly. He also sidebars into the Adem, a powerful culture of mainly female warriors, where he is reluctantly trained, then put on trial, then given a praise and ceremonial sword, then sent off for further adventures. Oh, I almost forgot, Kvothe also barges through Faeryland as the sex slave to the ravishing and ageless Felurian, known to us Westerners as Aphrodite.
And Denna doesn't remain emblematic to The Name of the Wind. She flits in and out; a teacher of human behavior one span, then a denotative cougar to teenage student Kvothe, who possesses hardly a slosh-bucket of knowledge about courting, but is aware enough to not throw a net over Denna, as "I had watched a hundred men dash themselves to pieces against Denna like ships attempting to ignore the tide"(p.456). She miraculuously shows up in Vintas--in and out of the smitten Kvothe's love and life, as usual--but their prime scene together is sifting through a Chandrian carnage site and pestering up a dragon who wanders off, chewing trees, never to be seen again.
Kvothe comes full circle by ending up back at the University, letter of support in hand from his Vintas noble, and preceeded by a tinker's cart full of legendary escapades and tall-legged tales to rival Taborlin the Great himself. But like a skipping stone, the Chandrian dance on the surface a couple of times then sink once again into mystery and obscurity. And Denna? Well, after Kvothe professes his love, her silence returns, "thick enough that you could spread it on your bread and eat it"(p.973). Their tumbling affection for each other continues, skimming the surface yet refusing to drown.
The framing story, where Kvothe is an innkeeper/owner in present time verbally giving his autobiobraphy to the Chronicler, leaves loose ends all over the sawdust floor, presumabley to be swept up by the upcoming third volume.
postscript: Jo Walton, who wrote the fabuluous Among Others, reviews this second volume here. I include it on this page because as of the start of 2014, there is no trending a third volume of this series. If Rothfuss pulls a GRRM on us, this is a good place to go for a synopysis to get back into the series.