Excuse Me While I Fangirl | The Kingkiller Chronicle

fangirl The Kingkiller ChronicleThe Kingkiller Chronicle

Patrick Rothfuss

The Kingkiller ChronicleWORD. THESE BOOKS. So, quick recap of the background: I am relatively new to the bandwagon for Patrick Rothfuss’ AMAZING fantasy series, The Kingkiller Chronicle. I read them both via audio for the first time last year. However, I’ve owned a copy of THE NAME OF THE WIND–book 1–since it first came out. Once I read it last year, I was so mad at myself for not reading it sooner. ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER. Book 2, THE WISE MAN’S FEAR, was also excellent. Basically, I’m dying for book 3, THE DOORS OF STONE, which will hopefully come out before I become old and gray. But the worldbuilding and the characters and the mythology are all outstanding, and since I’m relistening to these books as we speak, I thought it was high time that I shouted my love from the rooftops of Tarbean using some beyond excellent fanart.

So, for some context: We don’t know the actual name of this world inhabited by Kvothe and Denna and the University (even thought it looks like we do based on this map), but this is a colored version of what it looks like. Book 1 takes place largely at the University and the town across the river, Imrae, but Kvothe (OMG I’m getting to him), also spends a great deal of time in Tarbean after a tragedy strikes his family’s caravan. I can’t tell you all how happy I am that we have a map of this world. It’s very helpful as things progress in Book 2.

Ahh, here he is. KVOTHE. Quite possibly my very favorite ginger in the land, excepting maybe Jamie Fraser. I’ve seen this picture of him around the interwebs before and I’m always amazed at how perfect it seems. The wind blowing and the lute and the red hair and confident look. That’s our Kvothe. Enormously intelligent, too clever for his own good, determined, strong-willed, loyal, but also very impulsive, a little reckless, and more than obsessed with Denna (meh. Getting to her in a sec). His family was Edema Ruh, this world’s equivalent of gypsies, and he has a great deal of that freedom of mind and need to wander in him. Kvothe is a cocky SOB I’d say 80% of the time (that’s generous), but that’s why I love him. I LOVE HIM.

A sketch of Kvothe approaching what I’ve seen named as a number of different cities: Tarbean, Vintas, Imrae, The University. I wish I could find the final version of this sketch without a watermark because it’s PERFECT. It’s important to note the presence of Kvothe’s lute. Music is just as important to Kvothe as his studies at The University. When he is without his instrument, he’s depressed and feeling tetherless. He’s as skilled a musician as anything else, and Kvothe excels at LOTS of things. I wish so much that the Eoilian–the tavern in Imrae where Kvothe often plays–was real and I could go there and hear him play. YES, this series makes me crazy wishing that ALL THE THINGS WERE REAL.

(UPDATE! I found one! Isn’t it gorgeous?)

More Kvothe. Just because. He does spend a good deal of THE WISE MAN’S FEAR tromping around the woods, so I like this one.

So, The Kingkiller Chronicle is structured in such a way that the majority of the story is told in flashbacks as Kvothe recounts his extraordinary young life to the Chronicler. Over the course of his life, Kvothe somehow met Bast. He’s Faen, which is exactly what it sounds like and explains his hooves. I’m not sure how Kvothe met him yet, but present-time Kvothe has lost some of his youthful luster, and Bast wants to help him get it back. He’s feisty and mischievous and dangerous underneath all of his charm, but very loyal to Kvothe.

This image shows Kvothe on the left, but the image that I want to talk about is on the right. This is Denna, The Girl in The Kingkiller Chronicle. Her expression in this is perfect. Kvothe is enamored of her the first time he meets her, and she preoccupies his mind like virtually no other thing for the majority of the story. Personally, I feel a little meh about Denna. She’s mysterious and beautiful and confident, but she’s also a little capricious, unreliable, and inconsiderate. To Kvothe, though, she is perfect….nauseatingly so, and that’s mostly why I don’t love her. As a reader, you can see that she sometimes is the worst, but Kvothe is content to be strung along. MEH.

As much as I love Kvothe, he has some pretty hateful enemies, none of whom make me and Kvothe ragier than one Ambrose Jakis. Look at this tool. I mean… . He meets Kvothe at the University and they immediately get off on the worst possible foot. Things spiral dangerously downward thereafter. Ambrose is wealthy, titled, ENtitled, and mean. He’s also devious and prideful, which leads to many of his clashes with Kvothe. Theirs is no mere prank war; these two guys are out for blood most of the time and wind up doing pretty awful things to each other. Big difference? Ambrose totally deserves it and Kvothe is awesome (no bias, I swear). (Ok, fine, Kvothe maybe deserves some if it, but not the worst of it.)

Even though Denna is The Girl in Kvothe’s life, there are other girls in this story that make it extra wonderful. One of the most touching relationships Kvothe has with anyone is his brother-sister relationship with Auri, a former University student who now lives underneath the city. She isn’t quite right in the head anymore, and she’s skittish around strangers, but Kvothe visits her often to bring her food and clothes. He worries about her when it’s cold and brings her salt because it’s got minerals in it that he’s worried she doesn’t get in whatever food she finds for herself. Auri is also completely precious. There’s a scene between the two of them in THE NAME OF THE WIND that just KILLS ME, it’s so sweet.

Fela is one of the female students that Kvothe meets and befriends. She’s bright and thoughtful and maybe, for a little while, carries a torch for Kvothe. But I like them as friends, even though I dislike Denna as a love interest. I always love it when guys and girls can be friends and even if Fela and Kvothe start out their friendship with possibly a bit of a crush on Fela’s end, I like where they are now.

So. Basically the backbone of these books is Kvothe’s search for the mythical group of baddies known as the Chandrian. Most people in this world believe that they’re just folktales, but Kvothe thinks differently, and it’s his greatest mission to find them. His personal motivations are deep. The problem is that the Chandrian are alleged to guard their identities so thoroughly that anyone who discovers even the slightest hint of them anywhere somehow winds up dead. His quest to learn about them drives him completely.

I’m HEARTBROKEN that I couldn’t find good pictures of Wilem and Simmon, Kvothe’s best friends at the University, but they are amazing. Best besties ever. Honestly. They are such excellent friends and they make me laugh a lot and get a little weepy, too.

Friends, I can’t express my love for this series enough. It’s all-encompassing and completely realized. The characters are real and complex. The writing is on point. If you love fantasy but haven’t read these books yet, this is me urging you in the strongest yet friendliest way possible to CHECK YOURSELF.


  1. So, um, basically I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE, ‘kay thanks.


  2. I started the first book and then shit happened, and I never got back to it. Which I need to fix pronto! After reading your post, I’m suddenly realizing how silly I was, having not returned to this series. I will need to pick up the first book again soon. Loving this fan art and great post! 😀

  3. I will read this soon, I swear!

  4. OKAY! OKAY! I had this book in my hands when I was looking around in the bookstore and now I’m sad I didn’t bring it with me. I will hunt down a copy as soon as possible, because I’m in a huge fantasy mood 🙂

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