Pat Rothfuss' The Kingkiller Chronicle [spoilers] - the rambling review of an undecided reader

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Silvion Night, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 Surgebinds with Szeth-son-son-Vallano

    The Felurian scenes should have been cut WAY shorter. This is where the book dragged at times for me (I still loved both books) along with too much Denna.
     
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  2. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Any Denna was too much Denna for me.
     
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  3. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    Denna was terrible. Felurian was a cheap way to ramp up Kvothe's sex life from nonexistent to super-human in a couple of chapters.

    I think you're giving authors in general too much credit if you think that AWMF's perspectives on teenagers having sex would noticeably impact the outlook of a teenage reader. When I was Kvothe's age I was already thinking about sex constantly. If these books had been out when I was Kvothe's age, and if Rothfuss had decided to make Kvothe the epitome of self-restraint and waiting for love/marriage before sex, teenage me wouldn't have been any less horny. Hormones (now known as Dennamoans, trademark pending) > books.
     
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  4. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I find it disgusting when people puit words or intentions into any author's mouth - truly disgusting, more so for it happens so often, even in school they teach is this nasty habbit of presumption.

    First of all how can we tell if Rothfuss has had any intentions to but as much meaning between the lines as people like to give him credit for, did he even wanted to put any meaning between the lines? Probably not, at least not in the sense idscussed in this thread.

    Books are about stories - fiction that is. Some are trying to influence the reader, yes, but most are just asking questions instead of answering them, the good ones that is. But still - there is story in the forefront, people.

    I am appauled by the idea that the stories I am writing right now, when published, will be nit-picked by people searching for things that aren't supposed to be there, or even if they are there - were put for a completely different reason, easily deductible with common sense - like that when you tell stories, you need for things to happen, otherwise there is no story.

    And why are we taking the things through a 21st century Western World prespective? There were, for thousands and thousands of years - sex and marriages between 13-14 years old. Back before electricity was so kind to come around, people were forced to toil on the fields in order to eat. Marrying young ment you could have more kids by the age of 25-30, more kids ment more help on the fields, more sons to look after your land once you turned 35 and you started to feel a little bit older every day, because back in those days you were using your body's limits much faster too. The same thing was more or less true about the upper classes like nobles and royals.

    In fact - there are still societies in which this way of life continues. One of the minorities in my country does it - you can come and check, I will introduce you to one of our employees - he has became a grandfather at ~45 - do the math yourselves. He is also a gypsie - culture offly similar to Edema Ruh - but that's besides the point. The fact is - human bodies, at age of 13 or 14, have matured enough to take part of the continuation of the human race thingy. The nature have made our kind that way. It encourages us in fact - our brains are programmed to seek pleasure and avoid pain, at age of 13 or 14 when we have matured enough for sex, our brains switch on the "have sex and we will release awesome hormons in your body and you'll feel great for a while, but not for too long, because we need you to participate in this process again, very, very soon". A person can ignore this to an extent, or even live his life meticously avoiding the inner drive, but some people don't - in fact, I think that this day and age, most people don't.

    I myself was a part of a transitional generation in our culture( when we were 13-14-15), with the transition going from "while stealing kissed, beware, for they may catch you" to "while stealing kisses, beware, for... wait, what? my old people know what we are doing, they have even met my 14 years old girlfriend". So it stands to reason that some of my peers have already walked the mile, while others were on the verge, still contemplating the idea. What I am trying to say here - it was a personal decision, not based on laws and social dostrines, but on one's own views about the matter - same as now.

    Also - the age of 18 has nothing to do with one's ability/desire to have sex, nor with one's ability of making decisions, taking care of his family, or participation in the work activities of his let's call it tribe. It's just an number someone picked with the intentions to give more time to the young people to get on grips with the fact that decisions have consequences. It could easily have been 16 or 20, or 25. But 18 is a nice practical number that compromises between giving someone a few more years to find his place in life, but not too much as to give that individual too much leeway of avoiding participation into the working class activities, thank you very much.

    And last of all - not having sex with people younger than 18 in many countries is not a thing designed to prevent you from having sex with a person under that age, it's supposed to make the activity more risky for you, therefore discouraging you from contemplating it too much. As is the case in my country where it's technicaly illegal to sleep with a girl under 18, but they cannot sue you unless the girl itself brings charges for sexual harrasment, which let's be honest, is a pretty serious thing even if a woman of 25+ bring up against you. It's a case of "we won't sue you without a reason, but if someone brings up charges of sexual harrasment against you, you are in a much bigger trouble if that person is under-aged." I believe this is the case in many other European countries. Here it's illegal, i.e. the country can sue you, only if you sleep with someone under 14.

    So - sleeping with people under 14 - IILLEGAL, a big NO NO.
    Sleeping with people between 14 and 18 - RISKY. They can sue you more easily than people 18+. Being sued sucks, but the general rule is you don't get sued unless you did something bad, so there you go.

    I am just stating facts here - no personal opinion so far. My personal opinion is that if someone in age between 14-18 wants to have sex, have a willing partner of at least 14 years old, then yeah, why not. If someone in age of 14-18 doesn't want to have sex, but has a willing partner, then at least that person has the law on his side. So there's that too.

    And a big disclaimer, while it would be on-topic. Say one day I publish one or more of my works. Say someone buys them, because they love fantasy. Say someone reads them. If there are things in my books such as people between 14 and 18 having sex with 14+ years old people, people under 14 being raped, people eating other people, regardless of age( a.k.a. canibalism), people torturing other people( despite their respective ages), people being racist, people being not racing, people being straight, people being not straight, people being dumb, people being not dumb, people farting in public, people farting in a closed room, people farting in a steampunk car, people killing people lovingly or in gruesome ways, people manipulating people, peoplne lying to people, people being people... let it be known that I am neither condoning nor praising those "atrocious" actions through my writing. I am writing a story. You pay to read a story and that's all you get, whether you like it or not. You may put words in my mouth, between my lines, you can write essays about what I've ment on page 355 using the expression "fucking popcorns", but that's on you, and not on me, as an author. Stories are about searching for truths or interesting events in human lives, societies, imaginary conflicts and war. And nothing more. If some authors use those to shove their beliefs on other people - so be it. But in my opinion as a reader 90+% of the authors don't - therew might be a few things here and there, but they are put in a way that asks the reader to make his own conclusions. As in anything - there are exceptions. But they are in the minority of things. Me as an author - I don't deal with teaching people how to think, if they find something in my books worth of applying in their real lifes, that's good and proper, but it's not on me. And I don't think it's on Rothfus if some 17 years old fuck from Finland decides to bang 20 years old students and such. Or to bang Felurian.

    As you've probably guessed - I truly hate it when people do the "the author was trying to say to us this" thingy. Unless you know the author personaly and asked them about it, chances are you are wrong, end of story.

    EDIT: I've as many of you, also hated the Falurian part. And I was neutral o nthe other sex conquests thorough the second book. I also don't like Dena or her chapters. And that's fine. I have the right to like or dislike the story or parts of it, Patrick Rothfuss has the right to still stand by those parts of the story as being essential to the whole. But that's the whole extent to which we can critique him - the quality of his work from a literary standpoint. But when people are trying to put things in the author's mouth, that's just wrong, because it becomes A case of "The whole town is shouting that my sister is a whore... now try explaining to them that I've never had any sisters..." which is just absurd and such.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  5. Lavanda

    Lavanda A Muggle

    One of the reasons I sound so worried in my other comment is because novels are not rated in Spain. I didn't know they are in the USA. At least, people there can get an idea before buying. In my country, the first and the second book were published with two years difference. Teenagers are buying or given them together because somebody read the first one and liked it. The covers are also very cool. My sister did buy them for her niece, who is 14, about a year or two ago because the girl had heard they were like Harry Potter. I'm not sure if I should tell her now. Probably is too late anyway.

    Also, in one of Pat's live streams he said to those who disliked Kvothe being with six (?) women that he was reaaaaly sorry for them. I think that was last December... He also named his depression another day, but I'm not sure if they are related. He did say in a Q&A that he is more concerned now about kids since he's a father. I had not reached Felurian yet, so I didn't know what the question was about. Pat said children should not be used to joke, that he gets now furious when this happens, and gave the example of a kid sat on the top of a vehicle in Jackass.
     
  6. Lavanda

    Lavanda A Muggle


    Hey, I'm also a writer and I would be treating Routhfuss with disregard not analysing his novels. I noticed all those words together. I also said that probably Rothfuss did not edit the book well, that maybe he did not consider the implications of the words he chose. But, you see, when someone writes there's a moment in which you lose track of everything and need to step away, come back, hand the book to someone else... And, yet, there's a teacher inducing an underaged to do something that is ilegal while calling him barbarian and backward if thinking otherwise. She warns him her poet king suffered miserably until knowing the truth. I'm not inventing it or twisting anything. It's just there for everyone to read (page 888 more or less in my edition, a whole chapter dedicated to this, I wonder why).

    Now, don't be worried about being obsene in your novel, or about murdering kids, or having kids having sex. It's the circumstances that matter and the age of the readers you are choosing for your novel. Those things, like you say, happen in the real world and could happen in a fantasy world too. But imagine yourself as a father if you're not. Imagine your 14 year old girl having sex with a teacher ten years older than her, who thinks sex is just fun and not related with love, a past time he practices with as many as he likes. Imagine her making love with all the boys in her class too. There are consequences deliberately ignored here, at least in what I have read by now. Writing about this, one cannot leave it in the fun, because not everything is fun. There are two sides to everything that Rothfuss is not exploring. And if you want your book to be solid, the matters that arouse in it should be entirely explored in that same book or you risk being missunderstood.

    As a writer, I feel in doubt with my readers. I don't pretend to preach them but feel the need of giving them something meaningful, something deeper than mere entertainment. Books can be sharper than swords. So I try to arise questions, to make people think about the world or to inspire them. I take very seriously every line I write because once it's published there's no going back. You sure know what I'm talking about.

    I'm afraid that I may put the foot in while I write, that others may analyse my work and twist it, but I'm also aware that I may fail trying to express something. And if others don't get what I'm trying to say, probably, it's me who did it wrong. And I have to live with that and pay more attention next time.

    Most writers take risks being aware of the possible reactions, anyway. You may also notice something in what I write and say it aloud or ask others if they noticed the same. This is how culture is built. I had just read those sentences, when I wrote them, and found them disgusting and unnecessary. Associations and methaphores are also literary resources, but I get what you say. The other day, for instance, in a tv series someone said that in Michelangelo's creation of Adam, God is inside a brain because Michelangelo believed it to be a creation of mankind. This person interpreted the piece without any historical references, ignoring the artist philosophy entirely. That is why I asked for your opinion, because I could not believe that someone so sensitive as Rothfuss could have written that. What can I say? I don't think I crossed the line by pointing it out. Probably it was just a fantasy for him. I want to believe that. I'm not calling him anything or reading between the lines.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  7. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I don't want to be Rothfuss'es advocate here, it's not my place and the guy won't thank me for it anyway, I was just trying to point out that what bothered you in his work is illegal only in certain countries and in certain cultures - which means that many people, being from those other countries/cultures would find the things happening in his pages totally normal. Also - that kind of behaviour might be totally normal in his fictional world, and considering everything, it probably is.

    What I am trying to say is: when and even if we manage to find a part of some author's work that we feel is kind of troublesome or insulting, for whatever moral reasons, we should ask yourself if 'every' person on our planet would find the described thing to be negative. If the answer is no - then we are simply converting the story through our own upgrinding, which is probably consistend with the culture/society we've grown up in, but there are hundreds/more like thousands/ different cultures and societies in this world and many of them would thing the same thing that troubles us to be perfectly normal. Or some of them might even find it worrying for completely different reasons that we are going to feel are strange, because every culture have slightly different perceptions of boundaries and that's totally normal.

    Now, if Patrick Rothfuss was writing YA books and Kvothe was a guy from Europe/USA/Canada/Japan/Russia/Australia and so on societies, that are more strict( I am not saying that only those places are, but I cannot realistically list them all here, nor do I know which all of them are) then yes, we might have grounds to question his work, since his character would've broken or at least carresed some laws and moral codes that are in place in the real world. That's the whole point.

    Also, I cannot speak from the viewpoint of a father, yet, but I can speak from the viewpoint of a person who is less ignorant on the matter of potential parenthood, being deeply interested in the matters of self-improvement, phychology and social dynamics for quite some time. My personal view on the matter, and one which I will try to pass onto my children if the day for such thing comes, is that the job of the parent is to make sure the kid has a roof over his head, a plate on his table, a certain confort and standart of living, and the freedom/responsibility to grow and choose for himself, unsless he chooses something ridiculously stupid, that is. Freedom and responsibility should go hand in hand, there should be a balance, and also trust. Because the parent's job should be to ease the kid into the decision-making=consequences path by the time the kid is 13-14 - you can hardly protect it from peer pressure afterwards, so you better equip it to deal with the dangers of our modern society on his own. This doesn't mean a lack on interest or control from the parent's side, but you cannot teach a chick to fly if you don't give him a little nudge. And for me this translates into me not being too picky about the kind of books my kids would be able to read, nor tv shows, music and such, unless it's something totally emo of course. Because if you raise a man or a woman who is used to a parpered version of life, reality and society, well, the world would teach that child otherwise whether you want it or not. But that's my own view - I am aware that some people share it, and many do not. But again - as the is "sex with 14 years old" question, the answer is - depends. Is it strage/weird/unappropriate for a 14 old girl to read about Kvothe being all over the place with the opposite sex... perhaps. Would it harm her? Probably not. Could it teach her how boys think, therefore saving her the trouble of the first-hand knowledge - yes, if she reads enough books that have this segway-story-theme, maybe the girl would think twice in real world when dealing with young boys.

    I don't think that there are definitive answers here. I am not 100% right. But I am not 100% wrong either. Books have power, and knowledge and could teach us important things - sometimes pleasant things, and sometimes, things that are unpleasant, but useful to be known. And most of the time, no matter the subject being taken out of a book and discussed, it turns out the coin has two sides.

    And as a side note, just because you have a strong view on the matter and I am curious: imagine we old-school folk, pre-ebooks, we have had this awesome libraries, spanning all the rooms at our houses and dozens of shelves. And on them - many books sleeping, waiting. One of them is The Name of the Wind, to it stands The Wise Man's Fear( the 2nd one). And two shelves above - a whole lot of Harlequin romance books. In the house - a boy of 10 and a girl of 8. Chances are - those two cheeky tricksters would one day browse through all the library, curious, searching. Do you throw away the Rothfuss books pre-emptive? Or the Harlequin ones? Or all of them? How mad would you get if they get picked up by the kids without your knowledge? Do you throw away half your library from fear your children might chance on an information that could be inapropriate, but still -somewhat useful? Or do you trust them to make up their own minds about things, because whether you like it or not, someday they will have to?

    In my opinion it's much more prudent to teach our children how to deal with all the information that the current world offers them, instead of trying to hide them from them, especially since it's a one-click away on their smartphones anywaty. But that just my opinon and I'd like to learn about yours, and the reasons behind it. :)
     
  8. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    I mean, the first book wasn't bad (just overrated and very average) but I'd considered the second one. That said, series left unfinished are a bugbear of mine...
     
  9. Lavanda

    Lavanda A Muggle

    Hi, I agree with most of what you said before but, I am not criticizing that a young boy appears having sex with a lot of girls, including teachers. Like I said before, that happens in the world. What I am critizing is the way it happens in the novel and the lecture given by Vashet, because you only read justifications in favor of it, not the two versions of the coin. When you're young and have sexual desires you want to think everything is fine, but there are consequences that this book ignores. I finally finished it and, apart from the fact that Denna rejects him for his fame of womanizer (like she wasn't a manizer herself), nothing else is explored.

    My kids should read whatever they want, but they are mentally and physically vulnerable to predators. As a mother one feels the need to teach them, but also to protect them. Like you say, it's better to give them tools to confront the world before they are 14, since they need to feel more independent and build their own minds, but the problem here is not that the novel questions some moral issues so they can make up their minds. The problem is the biased, dogmatic, self-satisfying lecture suddenly given to the reader through Vashet and Kvothe and how it ignores the strong consequences of making a wrong decission at an early age, or the fact that Denna is an underage prostitute who hates her life but doesn't want to change it even if she's beaten, so as to later justify that Kvothe can have sex with a lot of girls instead. This is a novel. The author plans every single thing that happens in it. I don't know what Rothfuss has in mind for the next book, but right now I comment on what I have. Obviously, Kvothe's ego will suffer a lot in the next book; but, right now, it is what it is. Once we read the rest of the books, our vision will certainly change for better or worse, and probably that's why it's taking Rothfuss so long to finish it, which I understand.

    I will read the third book, by the way.


    About the Harlequin stuff, the covers speak for themselves. It's like porn, I guess. I've never read a single book of the series.
     
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  10. Lavanda

    Lavanda A Muggle

    I can't edit my last post, but I wanted to clarify that even if you can write sex scenes in a novel, when they are not related with the main plot it kind of points out your actual lack of plot. Sexual references are used to sell all over the world. I am among those who expected more than that from this book.
     
  11. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    @ExTended: it would really help if you were more concise. I have a feeling not everyone will read your posts if they are so big and rambling, which is a shame, because this one for example contains some interesting points.

    It's ironic that you first use moral and cultural relativism and subsequently you hold forth about how people 'should' raise their kids (with a disclaimer that it is your personal opinion, but still).

    In any case, I don't really think you get the point. Of course these things are seen differently in all cultures worldwide and across the ages. That's a valid comment. However, this original post was about how Rothfuss seemed to glorify this particular type of behavior, in a book that is aimed (arguably) at adolescents. I don't think this is farfetched considering the way he treats the relationship between Kvothe and Denna and the parts about Felurian to think Rothfuss has a non-conformist way (some would argue) of relationships and sex.

    in ASOIAF and many other books sexual relationships between what we consider adults and what we consider children occur. However, it is a different story when an author seems to convey the message that this is how people 'should' behave.

    For this reason people dislike Terry Goodkind's books. This author seems to glorify rape. Now, rape occurs in many fantasy books. The first example that comes to mind is the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. However, in this example rape is not glorified, but rather seen by all and sundry (including the author) as something abhorrent. I think that's why people don't take offence at Donaldson, but they do at Goodkind.

    I think Lavanda makes a very valid point. Also note that she asks if other people noticed what she noticed and what our opinions are. She doesn't lecture or say her opinion should be treated as facts.

    I for one tend to agree with her assessment.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  12. Kalavan

    Kalavan Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    EDIT: misunderstanding ;)
     
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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  13. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Edited: :)
     
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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  14. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    I think its only adults who might be disturbed by the message Rothfuss may have inadvertently sent. Kvothe being an inexperienced kid chasing down a crazy deadly sex fairy is uncomfortable to read about...as an adult. Shame on Felurian! But Kvothe? Teenagers would either do the exact same thing in his shoes or their friends would, at any rate.

    There's always something discomforting about sexual relationships in YA books. This is surely better than a teenage girl dating a centuries old sparkling vampire, right?
     
  15. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    Haven't read either but both sound equally cringy to me :D
     
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  16. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Yes, that's the point here. Adults being disturbed about what their children are reading and what message the author is trying to convey to their brood.

    Anyways, I readily admit the argument I made was a bit contrived (I like to bash Rothfuss, because I think he is overrated as an author). I hardly think Rothfuss's books are a risk to the tender minds of our children. A lot of us grew up with religious books in which stoning, violence and genocide were lauded and we all grew up to be okay (we did, didn't we? Please tell me we did?).

    If anything it's the readily available pornography on the Web that warps the minds of our offspring in regard to perceptions of sex, not the pubescent fantasies and clumsy descriptions of a nerdy fantasy book author.
     
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  17. Valiarde

    Valiarde Killed in the battle against the Mad King

    Nice discussion, will read it full when I have time.

    Something else I discovered today because it was in the news:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrayaan-1

    Another connection to the "moon". Wonder if it was deliberate.
     
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  18. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    Edit: oh I see, Sanskrit for "moon vehicle"
     
  19. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    I am so frustrated and ticked off with the waiting for book three.His attitude is terrible.

    Q: When does book 3 come out.
    A: When it does.
    Q: Can u give us an approximate time?
    A: F---- you. I'm not your beotch!!


    Dear PR ,

    You're a very good writer. Love KKC but I've learned a lesson. I will never buy another series from you until it is complete. I will not ever buy the standalone Silent Regard because of the timing. I'm not YOUR beotch either

    D T.

    If others feel the same way he would notice. But it will not happen of course. Fool me once...
     
  20. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I read on the net that he has had some mental health issues over the years (depression). It could factor into him not finishing the series.
     
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