Let's Read The Kingkiller Chronicle pt. 14: The Story Of Your Life

One of the Kingkiller books ostensible strengths is the way they play around with the conventions of story-telling in desconstructive and meta ways. In practice, this amounts to two main themes that run through the novels: the creation of Kvothe's legend, and revealing the more mundane reality behind the events that gave birth to said legend. Today, we're going to mostly look at the former.

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Let's Read The Kingkiller Chronicle pt. 12: The Good Part

Just a quick scheduling note up front: the twice-weekly updates I was keeping to previously have turned out to be untenable given my current medical issues. As such, until further notice this series will update on a strict schedule of "whenever". Carry on.

I'm going to skip over several chapters where Kvothe gets a free pair of shoes, demonstrates his amazing linguistic abilities (which, of course, lets the book show off its wide variety of utterly fascinating invented languages), embarks on a long wagon ride away from Tarbean, and rediscovers his musical prowess. We meet an important character during the trip, but I'm saving her for later.

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How's everyone liking the new Kingkiller posts? 

I wrote most of what's gone up on the blog so far over the course of a few days, when the neurological problems I've discussed before were at a low ebb and my energy was particularly high. I did this on the assumption that another period like this would come along again before the buffer of content ran out.

That...didn't quite happen for various reasons, so: I've got two more posts lined up for Thursday and next Monday, and then I'm probably going to need a short break--maybe two weeks--to get things rolling again. I may put out something else during that time, if I'm up to it (I had a post going about anime, everyone's favourite topic, that petered out due to lack of energy).

This will likely be a regular occurance going forward, so we may as well get used to it now.


(that was meant to be a joke at the expense of Youtubers, but I actually did get too tired to finish the sentence or correct the spelling mistake)

Let's Read The Kingkiller Chronicle pt. 7: My Parents Are Dead

Note: the following consists of two posts edited together after the fact. I decided I wasn't happy with what was going to be part seven, so I deleted half of it and combined it with post eight to make up the difference. Please enjoy this one-time offer of 50% extra Kvothe for the same great price.

Skipping over a few more chapters of sympathy lessons and an interlude back to the framing story that I'll talk about later, we're almost at Kvothe's tragic orphaning. But first, his wise mentor Ben needs to exit the story. He does so in an odd way.

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Let's Read The Kingkiller Chronicle Pt 3: A Bad Case of Edema

We last left off with Chronicler blacking out after being attacked by a Scrael, leaving Kvothe to fight the beasts alone. The opening of the next chapter sees Kvothe lugging an unconscious Chronicler (whose real name is Devan, in case you're curious--everyone in these books has four or five names) back to the Waystone Inn to patch him up.

Like I mentioned last time, the pieces are basically all set to begin the story proper, wherein Kvothe narrates his backstory to Chronicler and Bast, but it takes a lot of back and forth-ing and descriptions of the shorthand notation that Chronicler uses (no, it's not relevant) before Kvothe eventually agrees to spill the beans, prodded by Chronicler's revelation that the stories about him are starting to take a dark turn in his absence. I'm going to skip over most of that and get to the good stuff.

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Let's read The Kingkiller Chronicle Pt. 2: Enter Chronicler

Note: my current plan is to post two of these a week. I can't guarantee that will always happen though, as my medical issues leave me unable to work on things without warning and I want to keep a stock of pre-written posts as a buffer.

I'm going to skip over most of the rest of The Name of The Wind's first chapter, since it consists of Kvothe and Bast trading dialogue like this ("Reshi" is Bast's name for Kvothe--he has a lot of names, it's kind of his thing):

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Let's Read The Kingkiller Chronicle Pt. 1: A Silence of Multiple Themes

I remember reading somewhere (Stephen King might have said it) that the opening of a book is a promise, and that the extent to which a book succeeds--the extent to which the reader comes away from it satisfied--depends largely on whether it upholds that promise. 

This isn't just a matter of quality or a book being well written. You can promise one type of story and deliver another and get away with it, but you need to be very, very good and, crucially, the story you give the reader must be at least as interesting as the one they signed up for.

So. With that in mind, let's take a look at the opening to The Name of The Wind, the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy. This is a book that weighs in at just over 200,000 words, whose sequel is nearly double that--almost 1000 pages depending on the typeset used. It's the opening of a gigantic trilogy whose concluding volume has been incognito for nearly six years. A reader turning the first page of The Name of The Wind is standing on the brink of a significant time investment (not to mention the inevitable emotional investment that comes with being a fan of anything long-running and serialized).

Here, in its entirety, is the prologue to The Kingkiller Chronicle:

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