I enjoyed reading this book. It was immersive. Although I read it very slowly over the course of four months breaking several times in between. Ideally, this book should be read without breaks and as fast as possible. I also remember running my fingers over a lot of phrases in this book to save them so that I can devour them at some later point in my life. The problem with reading good stuff is that it fills me with rage, “Why was I not able to write something like that?” I ask myself, and then my conscious slowly whispers back to me, “only if you would have sat and tried”. It’s brilliantly written, I mostly love this book for its literary style. Yes, the story is great, but then how the story is told is what stole my heart. Patrick Rothfuss has a way with words, a way only a few are able to have. If you don’t believe me then just read his Goodreads bio or his reviews of his own books.
Some of my favourite lines from the book:
“ ‘So we were ill-lit ships at night …’ ” I quoted.
“… ‘passing close but all unknown to one another,’ ” Denna finished.
“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.”
“My parents danced together, her head on his chest. Both had their eyes closed. They seemed so perfectly content. If you can find someone like that, someone who you can hold and close your eyes to the world with, then you’re lucky. Even if it only lasts for a minute or a day. The image of them gently swaying to the music is how I picture love in my mind even after all these years.”
“The best lies about me are the ones I told.”
“Are you hurt?”
“Absolutely,” I said. “Especially in my everywhere.”
“All stories are true,” Skarpi said. “But this one really happened, if that’s what you mean.” He took another slow drink, then smiled again, his bright eyes dancing. “More or less. You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story the right way. Too much truth confuses the facts. Too much honesty makes you sound insincere.”
“If I seem to wander, if I seem to stray, remember that true stories seldom take the straightest way”
“Chronicler shook his head and Bast gave a frustrated sigh. “How about plays? Have you seen The Ghost and the Goosegirl or The Ha’penny King?”
Chronicler frowned. “Is that the one where the king sells his crown to an orphan boy?”
Bast nodded. “And the boy becomes a better king than the original. The goosegirl dresses like a countess and everyone is stunned by her grace and charm.” He hesitated, struggling to find the words he wanted. “You see, there’s a fundamental connection between seeming and being. Every Fae child knows this, but you mortals never seem to see. We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.”
Chronicler relaxed a bit, sensing familiar ground. “That’s basic psychology. You dress a beggar in fine clothes, people treat him like a noble, and he lives up to their expectations.”
“That’s only the smallest piece of it,” Bast said. “The truth is deeper than that. It’s…” Bast floundered for a moment. “It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
Frowning, Chronicler opened his mouth, but Bast held up a hand to stop him. “No, listen. I’ve got it now. You meet a girl: shy, unassuming. If you tell her she’s beautiful, she’ll think you’re sweet, but she won’t believe you. She knows that beauty lies in your beholding.” Bast gave a grudging shrug. “And sometimes that’s enough.”
His eyes brightened. “But there’s a better way. You show her she is beautiful. You make mirrors of your eyes, prayers of your hands against her body. It is hard, very hard, but when she truly believes you…” Bast gestured excitedly. “Suddenly the story she tells herself in her own head changes. She transforms. She isn’t seen as beautiful. She is beautiful, seen.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Chronicler snapped. “You’re just spouting nonsense now.”
“I’m spouting too much sense for you to understand,” Bast said testily. “But you’re close enough to see my point.”