What happens at the end of The Kingkiller Chronicle

The Kingkiller Chronicle is a kind of series that contains a story that contains a puzzle. There are many books which try to do a similar thing; some, famously. I love the way that some of these hidden narratives unfold, and I love the way that people tease them apart. I’ve always been more inspired by Swartz than Wallace.

I hope you’ll find your own answers to Rothfuss’s puzzle, that you won’t just take my word for it — I hope you’ll close out of this tab and go find your own path.

If you want a hint, reread the books and ask yourself: who is Jax?

The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear are magical books with deep world building. Each one is a veritable Chekhov’s arsenal. The second book has already fulfilled many of the promises of the first one. The innkeeper says as much:

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me. (NotW)

Another small example is, I believe, a brief mention of the trial in Imre:

Ambrose had merely learned to bide his time. He did manage to get his revenge, and when it came, I was caught flatfooted and forced to leave the University. (NotW)

But this is not an article about these connections. It is, instead, a catalog of the guns that Rothfuss has laid strewn about. Should he decide to use all of them, these are the ways that I believe they might fit together.

Finally, a quick programming note: this article contains spoilers, and extensive quotes from the first two books. As both research and commentary, the use of these quotes constitute fair use.


The Creation War

Temerant used to be a far more populous and prosperous place. It was filled with beings who were the common ancestor to humans and Fae people. Some of the Fae people, like Felurian, lived in Temerant before the two worlds were rent:

“once, sitting on the walls of murella, I ate fruit from a silver tree. it shone, and in the dark you could mark the mouth and eyes of all those who had tasted it!” “Was Murella in the Fae?” Felurian frowned. “no. I have said. this was before. there was but one sky. one moon. one world, and in it was murella. and the fruit. and myself, eating it, eyes shining in the dark.” (WMF)

Jax really was the instigator here. Of all men, he was the most ambitious; he created the majority of the Fae, and other aspects of it were filled in by others.

“but oh,” she sighed, “the things they made!” This from a woman weaving me a cloak out of shadow. I couldn’t guess what she might marvel at. “What did they make?” She gestured widely around us. “Trees?” I asked, awestruck. She laughed at my tone. “no. the faen realm.” she waved widely. “wrought according to their will. the greatest of them sewed it from whole cloth. a place where they could do as they desired. and at the end of all their work, each shaper wrought a star to fill their new and empty sky.” Felurian smiled at me. “then there were two worlds. two skies. two sets of stars.” She held up the smooth stone. “but still one moon. and it all round and cozy in the mortal sky.” Her smile faded. “but one shaper was greater than the rest. for him the making of a star was not enough. he stretched his will across the world and pulled her from her home.” (WMF)

It’s alluded to that he generally didn’t reach his goals due to bad luck:

He was an unlucky boy. There was no denying that. When he got a new shirt, he would tear a hole in it. If you gave him a sweet, he would drop it in the road. (WMF)

Maybe Jax tied ordinal directions to darkness and light on purpose, but maybe not:

Everything about the place was slightly skewed. In one room you could look out the window at the springtime flowers, while across the hall the windows were filmed with winter’s frost. It could be time for breakfast in the ballroom, while twilight filled a nearby bedroom. (WMF)

Then Jax steals the moon to put it in the Fae realm, and does a kind of bad job of it. This sparks the Creation War.

“Iax spoke to the Cthaeh before he stole the moon, and that sparked the entire creation war. …” (WMF)

The creation war splits the Fae and the mortal realm forever. It is, in essence, the end of the world — it turns a very populous, technologically-advanced society into the world of the Kingkiller Chronicle.

Of the battle itself I have only one thing to say. More people died at Drossen Tor than there are living in the world today. (NotW)

I believe — but I’m not sure — that the Creation War ends with the fall of Myr Tariniel:

It is not important as the empire has fallen, and since that time the land has broken and the sky changed. (WMF)

Lanre leads the destruction of basically everything; Selitos then curses Lanre. It’s not entirely clear to me how calling his name, or the names of any of his followers, harms them:

“This is my doom upon you. May your face be always held in shadow, black as the toppled towers of my beloved Myr Tariniel. “This is my doom upon you. Your own name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace. “This is my doom upon you and all who follow you. May it last until the world ends and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky.” (NOTW)

This is pure speculation, but does naming the Chandrian somehow change their power? This is definitely just a pet theory of mine; it could just cause them pain of some sort. But this could be why Denna’s song, which Kvothe believes gives a dishonest account of Lanre, could be so important.

To bring justice to those seven, in addition to Lanre, who betrayed their cities, the Amyr come about to basically chase the Rhinta/Chandrian around.

The creation of the Amyr is described in Scarpi’s second story in Tarbean:

Selitos went to Aleph and knelt before him. “I must refuse, for I cannot forget. But I will oppose him with these faithful Ruach beside me. I see their hearts are pure. We will be called the Amyr in memory of the ruined city. We will confound Lanre and any who follow him. Nothing will prevent us from attaining the greater good.” (NotW)

Then Aleph spoke their long names and they were wreathed in a white fire. The fire danced along their wings and they became swift. The fire flickered in their eyes and they saw into the deepest hearts of men. (NotW)

Tehlu kills Encanis

It’s actually slightly unclear how many Chandrian there are:

“The first thing I need to know is how many there actually are,” my father said. “Most stories say seven, but even that’s conflicted. Some say three, others five, and in Felior’s Fall there are a full thirteen of them: one for each pontifet in Atur, and an extra for the capitol.” (NotW)

There were eight cities remaining at the time of Lanre’s betrayal:

But eight cities remained. They were Belen, Antus, Vaeret, Tinusa, Emlen, and the twin cities of Murilla and Murella. Last was Myr Tariniel, greatest of them all and the only one unscarred by the long centuries of war. (NotW)

Shehyn partially corroborates this, if we consider that she’s referring to the first seven cities, other than Tariniel:

Since not by strength could the enemy win, he moved like a worm in fruit. The enemy was not of the Lethani. He poisoned seven others against the empire, and they forgot the Lethani. Six of them betrayed the cities that trusted them. Six cities fell and their names are forgotten. (WMF)

The Tehlin narrative holds that Tehlu stops Encanis from destroying one of these seven cities:

For six days Encanis fled, and six great cities he destroyed. But on the seventh day, Tehlu drew near before Encanis could bring his power to bear and the seventh city was saved. (NotW)

As an aside — and this is just a guess — is that city that was saved the one that is now underneath the University?

We know that Tehlu was actually one of the Amyr:

But Tehlu stood forward saying, “I hold justice foremost in my heart. I will leave this world behind that I might better serve it, serving you.” He knelt before Aleph, his head bowed, his hands open at his sides. Others came forward. (NotW)

He is one of the eight names in this story told by Skarpi (emphasis mine):

But Tehlu stood forward saying, “I hold justice foremost in my heart. I will leave this world behind that I might better serve it, serving you.” He knelt before Aleph, his head bowed, his hands open at his sides. Others came forward. Tall Kirel, who had been burned but left living in the ash of Myr Tariniel. Deah, who had lost two husbands to the fighting, and whose face and mouth and heart were hard and cold as stone. Enlas, who would not carry a sword or eat the flesh of animals, and who no man had ever known to speak hard words. Fair Geisa, who had a hundred suitors in Belen before the walls fell. The first woman to know the unasked-for touch of man. Lecelte, who laughed easily and often, even when there was woe thick about him. I met, hardly more than a boy, who never sang and killed swiftly without tears. Ordal, the youngest of them all, who had never seen a thing die, stood bravely before Aleph, her golden hair bright with ribbon. And beside her came Andan, whose face was a mask with burning eyes, whose name meant anger. (NotW)

We know that Encanis was held to the wheel by Tehlu.

I think that Encanis was a member of Haliax’s crew, that he was killed, and this brought the number down to seven.

The timeline here is slightly unclear to me, as is the relationship between Menda and Tehlu. Was Tehlu the true name of Menda, or did Menda’s nature change to make him Tehlu?

I think each Chandrian has an Amyr that seeks them out — one to take revenge for the fall of each city. Andan and Ordal show up occasionally in both books:

Denna nodded, then drew a deep breath and let it out again. “Sweet angel Ordal above, I feel great.” (NotW)

“I was careful never to scrape off Tehlu’s name though. Or Andan’s, or any of the other angels,” she added piously. I looked at it more closely and saw it was true. She’d painted the Amyr so the words Andan and Ordal rested directly on top of his shoulders, one on each side. Almost as if she were hoping the names would weigh him down, or trap him. (WMF)

Tehlu who was Menda who you were. Watch over me in Menda’s name, In Perial’s name In Ordal’s name In Andan’s name Watch over me. (WMF)

This is confirmed, in a sideways way, by Felurian:

When I asked her about the more recent Amyr, asking about church knights and the Ciridae with their bloody tattoos, she merely laughed. “there were never any human amyr,” she said, dismissing the idea out of hand. “those you speak of sound like children dressing in their parents’ clothes.” (WMF)

So, to summarize, I think the following events happened, in roughly this order:

  • Jax creates the Faen realm
  • Others start populating it with magical things
  • Jax steals the moon
  • This causes an unnamed (Nameless?) enemy to strike at the empire, starting the Creation War
  • Seven cities are betrayed, though Tehlu somehow prevents one from falling
  • Lanre betrays Myr Tariniel
  • Encanis curses Lanre and his followers, creating the Chandrian
  • Aleph blesses seven individuals, creating the Amyr
  • The two realms are mostly split in two
  • The enemies from The Creation War are sealed behind the Doors of Stone
  • Tehlu sacrifices himself to destroy Encanis

Kvothe’s family tree?

There are passages in the book which strongly imply that Kvothe is a heir to the Lockless family. The story below doesn’t take this into account, but I could also see this coming to light and impacting the way that Kvothe is able to move through the world.

Another thing that is slightly implied is that Kvothe is actually part Faen. This is slightly more tenuous, but his eyes change with his mood, just like those of the Fae; it could very well be that he’s a descendant of Illien, too, who may or may not have been Faen himself, since he’s known of in the Fae.

What happens next

“‘I trouped, traveled, loved, lost, trusted and was betrayed.’ Write that down and burn it for all the good it will do you.” (NotW)

Ambrose becomes King of Vint

There’s a large number of allusions to this, so I won’t get into it too much. But, at some point in the story, Ambrose basically must become the king of Vint.

My guess is that this starts very early in the story. I’m also going to guess two other things:

First, that unrest between Maer Alveron and the Jakis lands starts pretty early.

Second, that Bredon is an agent of the Chandrian’s interests, and he and Ambrose forge an alliance. I don’t have a lot of evidence for either of these, other than it making a good story.

Kvothe gains some powers

When members of the Arcanum know the name of something, they fashion a ring. Aaron starts a quote describing Kvothe’s powers, which Kote helpfully finishes:

On his first hand he wore rings of stone, Iron, amber, wood, and bone.There were rings unseen on his second hand. One was blood in a flowing band. One of air all whisper thin, And the ring of ice had a flaw within. Full faintly shone the ring of flame, And the final ring was without name. (WMF)

Of these, some could be in reference to the rings that he picked up in the Maer’s court — iron, wood, and bone:

I slid the wooden ring onto my finger and made a fist. It was quite a good fit, actually. “It’s not the sort of ring you wear,” Bredon said uncomfortably. “It’s quite the other sort of ring, actually.” (WMF)

“I also wanted to return these.” I handed him the two rings he had given me. One bright gold, one white bone. “I don’t want to make trouble between you and your master’s new wife.” Stapes nodded, holding up the gold ring. “It would make trouble if you kept it,” he said. “I am in the Maer’s service. As such, I need to be mindful of the games of the court.” Then he reached out and took my hand, pressing the bone ring back into it. “But this lies outside my duty to the Maer. It is a debt between two men. The games of the court have no sway over such things.” Stapes met my eye. “And I insist you keep it.” (WMF)

But some of these clearly imply that he gained the names he sought — like the name of the wind. Most probable are stone, iron, wood, wind, ice, and flame. Maybe his grip on the latter two aren’t as good as he would have liked?

But what to make of blood?

And, as for the final ring: I think this is the power of true names itself, a power he uses to lock his own name away. But more on that later.

Kvothe hides in the Underthing

“No. None of that tonight. This is your third present. If things are bad, you can come and stay with me in the Underthing. It is nice there, and you will be safe.” (WMF)

He would need a place someday, and it was here all ready for him. Someday he would come, and she would tend to him. Someday he would be the on all eggshell hollow empty in the dark. … But for him it was a different thing entire. For him she would bring forth all her desire. She would call up all her cunning and her craft. Then she would make a name for him. (The Slow Regard of Silent Things)

I think Kvothe is going to fly a little too close to the sun somehow, and he’ll need Auri’s care to tend him back to some semblance or normalcy. When he emerges, he’ll have gained deep insight into the workings of the world.

Kvothe starts returning to the Fae

It may not happen in this order, but basically must return to the Fae at some point. Kvothe has promised to return, and he tends to keep his promises:

Felurian spoke slowly, gauging my response. “if you go, will you finish it?” I tried to look surprised, but I wasn’t fooling her. I nodded. “will you come back to me and sing it?” My surprise became genuine. I hadn’t considered her asking for that. I knew there would be no leaving the second time. I hesitated, but only for a barest moment. Half a loaf is better than none. I nodded. (WMF)

For some reason, at some point, Bast, who is actually a prince and super important, becomes his friend:

“Chronicler, I would like you to meet Bastas, son of Remmen, Prince of Twilight and the Telwyth Mael. The brightest, which is to say the only student I’ve had the misfortune to teach. Glamourer, bartender, and, not last, my friend. (NotW)

As an aside, I think this glamour is the type of magic Bast knows:

What she was doing with the shadow was called grammarie. When I asked, she said it was “the art of making things be.” This was distinct from glamourie, which was “the art of making things seem.” (WMF)

Bast is clearly important and has a vested interest:

Bast said, looking at the scribe with no expression at all, his voice flat and even. “How dare you doubt me? You have no idea who I am.” (WMF)

But why? I’m sure the thread that binds him to this story is going to be good:

“Me too.” Bast turned to face Kvothe, his face bright and eager. “I want to know what you found under the University.” Kvothe gave a shadow of a smile. “I supposed you would, Bast.” (NotW)

This is speculation, but I believe that Kvothe goes to Faen realm periodically because he is obsessed with secrets. He returns to gain knowledge and power, and Bast is in the background of all of this.

Kvothe learns the true nature of how the world came to be

At some point, Kvothe must learn essentially all of the history that was just described above. He also learns that some members of the Arcanum — particularly Elodin — know this, too:

“Fine,” Elodin said, turning back to me. His eyes were dark, and his voice had a strange resonance to it. It wasn’t loud, but when he spoke, it seemed to fill the entire hall. It left no space left over for any other sound. “Where does the moon go,” Elodin asked grimly, “when it is no longer in our sky?” (WMF)

“Why this sudden need? The masters at the University might know the answers you’re looking for. But they wouldn’t tell you even if you did ask, which you won’t. You’re too proud for that. Too clever to ask for help. Too mindful of your reputation.” (WMF)

Lorien also stops Kvothe from his research into the Chandrian in the first book, so it’s likely that he has motive to do that as well.

Does Kvothe try to unlock the Door of Stone underneath the Archives?

I’m not sure that this is what actually happens, but it could make sense that he’ll at least try. There’s not a lot of hints as to how this might play out, but he has to get expelled for something:

“… but in other stories he’s a right bastard,” Aaron continued. “He stole secret magics from the University. That’s why they threw him out, you know. And they didn’t call him Kvothe Kingkiller because he was good with a lute. …” (WMF)

Does he learn how to open it, and get sent away because they know it’s too dangerous for him to be close to it? Does he get ready to do so, and the Masters have to jump into action? Does he actually succeed, and the Masters have to clean up his mess? Does he hide in the Underthing and thus learn how to open the door, or does he open the door and thus have to hide in the Underthing?

Kvothe gets expelled

And so, †he plot motivates him to go east.

Kvothe meets Skarpi again

This is probably the most tenuous link I have, but I’m going to guess that Skarpi is hanging out in the Fae, and that Kvothe learns that he’s Jax.

This is pure speculation, but Skarpi is unlucky, knows a story he shouldn’t know, saw right through childhood Kvothe, and sent the Chronicler to Kvothe.

Kvothe doesn’t actually have to meet him. But one possible reason for all of Kvothe’s story to have played out the way it has is that Jax has set the wheels into motion. Bast points out that the Sithe should have murdered Kvothe for even getting near the Cthaeh, but surely distracting them long enough for Kvothe to talk to it is within the power of the one who created the realm.

Kvothe does something that invokes the Scrael and starts the Vintish Civil War

Kvothe gave his student a long, weary look. “You know better than that, Bast. All of this is my fault. The scrael, the war. All my fault.” (NotW)

“I know how this war started. I know the truth of it. Once you hear that, you won’t be nearly so eager to run off and die fighting in the middle of it.” (WMF)

I don’t know how it happens, just that it must somehow be Kvothe’s fault.

I have two theories: that either the Scrael are unleashed by Kvothe’s actions, or that he invents them as a machine of war. The latter seems more interesting to me, and like something that’s slightly alluded to:

One of my ideas, he rejected as “utterly inappropriate for a responsible artificer.” I argued that a mechanism that would cut the time needed to reload a ballista would help ships defend against piracy. It would help defend towns against attack by Vi Sembi raiders… . But Kilvin would hear none of it. When his face began to grow dark as a storm cloud, I quickly abandoned my carefully planned arguments. (WMF)

Maybe Denna and Kvothe get to be together?

“If you’ve got to know, he gave that diamond to a special friend of his. A special lady friend. But that’s a whole different story than the one I’m telling now.” (NotW)

My guess is that Kvothe and Denna finally get to be together… but Bredon, Denna’s patron, encourages it.

Kvothe sneaks Denna into the Fae

This is just a guess, but Bast has to see Denna at some point. This is basically the only way that I can imagine this happening without Bast seeing Denna more than once, and without Kvothe having to make the trip from the University to Vint more than once.

Kvothe unlocks the door of stone in Vintas

After the battle was finished and the enemy was set beyond the doors of stone, survivors found Lanre’s body, cold and lifeless near the beast he had slain. (NotW)

Caudicus rinsed his hands in a porcelain bowl and shook them dry. “I’ve heard that on the oldest parts of the Lackless lands, in the oldest part of their ancestral estate, there is a secret door. A door without a handle or hinges.” He watched me to make sure I was paying attention. “There’s no way of opening it. It is locked, but at the same time, lockless. No one knows what’s on the other side.” (WMF)

I think the Loeclos Box holds the key to this door. This door is, somehow, tied to the Amyr:

“Not many folk will take your search for the Amyr seriously, you realize,” the Cthaeh continued calmly. “The Maer, however, is quite the extraordinary man. He’s already come close to them, though he doesn’t realize it. Stick by the Maer and he will lead you to their door.” The Cthaeh gave a thin, dry chuckle. “Blood, bracken, and bone, I wish you creatures had the wit to appreciate me. Whatever else you might forget, remember what I just said. Eventually you’ll get the joke. I guarantee. You’ll laugh when the time comes.” (WMF)

I think that Kvothe opens the door because he was lied to; that opening the door is exactly what Bredon and Ambrose wanted him to do.

Things get very bad:

Chronicler made a point of looking around the room. “The inn doesn’t look like it’s on fire to me.” Bast looked at him incredulously. “The whole world is burning down,” he said. “Open your eyes.” (WMF)

Whatever the Chandrian are planning comes to pass

Don’t feel bad you didn’t recognize him. They have a lot of experience hiding those telltale signs. (WMF)

Even Bredon made an appearance. He was said to conduct pagan rituals in the secluded woods outside his northern estates. They were described with such extravagant and meticulous detail that I wondered if they weren’t copied directly from the pages of some old Aturan romance. (WMF)

The falling out that Kvothe and Denna have over her song contains an interesting line:

It wasn’t the right thing to say either. I can’t help but feel that if I’d said the right thing at that moment, everything would have turned out differently. (WMF)

Does Denna know what her patron is really up to?

“She said she was looking for her patron,” Wilem pointed out. “She was traveling with you to look for him. But later she said she knew he was safe because he—” Wil hesitated significantly, “—met with her as she was heading back to the burning farm. It does not fit. Why would she hunt for him if she knew he was safe?” (NotW)

She laughs off Kvothe’s mention of the Chandrian, so maybe she doesn’t have the entire truth.

Denna dies

I don’t know how this happens, but I think Kvothe ultimately ends up blaming Ambrose. I’m going to guess this is a “you have served your purpose and you know too much so now you have to die” kind of deal.

Kvothe kills Ambrose

If we accept that Ambrose becomes the king of Vint, that the war that Kvothe gets involved in is in Vint, and that Kvothe kills a king, this one seems like a dead ringer.

But why? I think the opening of the door, Denna’s death, and Ambrose’s death all have to be connected.

Kvothe locks away his name and becomes Kvothe

“There are two things you must remember. First, our names shape us, and we shape our names in turn.” (WMF)

“Master Elodin,” I asked slowly. “What would you think of someone who kept changing their own name?” “What?” He sat up suddenly, his eyes wild and panicked. “What have you done?” His reaction startled me, and I held up my hands defensively. “Nothing!” I insisted. “It’s not me. It’s a girl I know.” Elodin’s face grew ashen. “Fela?” he said. “Oh no. No. She wouldn’t do something like that. She’s too smart for that.” It sounded as if he were desperately trying to convince himself. “I’m not talking about Fela,” I said. “I’m talking about a young girl I know. Every time I turn around she’s picked another name for herself.” “Oh,” Elodin said, relaxing. He leaned back against the tree, laughing softly. “Calling names,” he said with tangible relief. “God’s bones, boy, I thought …” He broke off, shaking his head. “You thought what?” I asked. “Nothing,” he said dismissively. (WMF)

Kvothe can’t use many of his abilities anymore. As an innkeeper, he uses matches, though creating fires with sympathy was very easy for him before:

cold ashes from the fireplace and set new wood in its place, sparking the fire to life with a fat red sulfur match. (WMF)

It seems he just can’t do sympathy, though he instinctively wants to:

Reaching out one hand, Kvothe dipped a finger into the liquor that spattered the bar. He muttered something under his breath, his forehead furrowed in concentration. He stared intently at the bloody man standing on the other side of the bar. Nothing happened. (NotW)

And maybe locking away his name even locks away part of his ability to play music:

He did not hum or whistle while he worked. He did not sing. (WMF)

And funny enough, his name now means “disaster:”

“I am,” he said cheerfully. “Do you know the saying ‘Chan Vaen edan Kote’?” I tried to puzzle it out. “Seven years…I don’t know Kote.” “‘Expect disaster every seven years,’” (NotW)

I think, in order to truly hide himself, he has locked part of his name away. I think, in order for it to be unlocked, his name needs to want to come out. And I think whether or not his name comes out is merely a matter of timing.

Kote retreats to some corner of the world

… and Bast can come too. This much is obvious. He’s probably still in Vint.

Kvothe dies and kills Haliax

Kvothe doesn’t seem to think he’s going to be waiting to die much longer:

“It doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things, Bast.” He pressed the cloth to his scalp then looked at it. “I probably won’t need those stitches, either.” (WMF)

I think the Amyr are now going to need to do their jobs and pick off the Chandrian. Whether or not this happens at the end or while the tale is being told isn’t clear to me.

It seems that it would take the end of the world to stop Haliax:

I am Haliax and no door can bar my passing. All is lost to me, no Lyra, no sweet escape of sleep, no blissful forgetfulness, even madness is beyond me. Death itself is an open doorway to my power. There is no escape. I have only the hope of oblivion after everything is gone and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky. (NotW)

If every Chandrian has an Amyr, and it’s possible that an Amyr can succeed, why does Kvothe need to die for the Amyr to emerge victorious?

I’m going to guess that Kvothe’s power is returned to him, that the Chandrian and Amyr show up, that Folly is put to good use, and the Chandrian and Kvothe are locked away forever.

Kvothe’s story is shared with the world

Bast says of the Cthaeh:

It’s put there so the audience knows what to expect. So they know everything will go terribly wrong in the end. (WMF)

And we know that there’s a bit of embellishment in Kvothe’s story, but there seems to be some small factors hyping up Bast, too.

Maybe this is Bast’s version of the story?

“Well maybe you should just write a book then,” Kostrel said flatly. “Then you can lend it to me and kill two birds with one stone.” The comment seemed to catch Bast off his stride. “Write a book?” “That’s what people do when they know every damn thing, isn’t it?” Kostrel said sarcastically. “They write it down so they can show off.”

Bast looked thoughtful for a moment, then shook his head as if to clear it. (The Lightning Tree)

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