26 September, 2022

LitStaff Pick:Supporting (or Secondary) Characters Who Deserve Their Own Book

The Kingkiller Chronicles
Patrick Rothfuss

Okay, I admit it.  I don’t like Denna.  Or Dianne, or Dinnah… or Dyanae, Dinael, Dinay, Dianah, Donna, Dyane, Alora, or whatever she’s calling herself at the moment.  Denna (for the sake of consistency) is the main female character in Patrick Rothfuss’s wonderful trilogy, The Kingkiller Chronicles (of which only The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear have been published so far).  I haven’t trusted her since she first appeared, and nothing Patrick has written since has made me change my mind – although I’m willing to admit that I might – might! – be wrong to distrust her.

Some of my friends tell me the reason I don’t trust her is that I’m jealous of her.  I have no idea what they are talking about.  Just because she has ensnared the trusting, enigmatic, amazing Kvothe, (the main character), just because she strings him along and then disappears, leaving him bereft, doesn’t mean that my distrust of her is based solely on jealousy.

It could be she is so well written that my woman’s intuition can tell – even when she appears to be vulnerable – that she’s just scheming to keep Kvothe’s wrapped around her finger.  That when she disappears because she fears she’s not good enough for him or because she may lead him into danger, it’s just a convenient cover to get herself outta town.  Or it could be that she truly is everything she appears to be:  a tough young woman in a man’s world, who wants to let her guard down but has been hurt too often to allow that to happen.

Or it could be I’m jealous.  I don’t consider her worthy of Kvothe.  And that’s why I wish she could get her own story.  We’ve learned snippets about her so far, and what we have learned – whether or not it’s true – has been quite tantalizing.  But the jury is still out, at least in my mind, on what exactly she’s all about.  And I’d sure like to know.  Because even if I don’t like her, even IF I’m jealous of her, even if in the end she gets the guy, I bet she’s got a heckuva story to tell.

-Sharon Browning

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