Celum Tinture is an educational textbook about alchemy.


The book is not a particular rare book, but a useful resource for an alchemist who has no access to other alchemy books in the Archives.[1] It is leather-bound. The title of the book is printed in gold gilt letters on the cover.[2] The contents of the book include numerous formulae[3] and illustrations[4], a chapter (supposedly chapter thirteen) about solvents,[3] a chapter about distillation and other chapters on calcification, titration and sublimation.[4]

In the Chronicle

After Caudicus flees the Maer's estate, Kvothe uses his tower and steals a copy of Celum Tinture along with two other books from the library. When he returns to Imre, he gives the stolen book to Devi as a present, which she initially regarded as suspicious but accepted after an explanation from Kvothe about his loan.[1]

Nearly a month[5] before the beginning of the frame story in The Name of the Wind, Kote starts using Celum Tinture as a textbook to teach his student Bast about alchemy. He frequently asks Bast to read parts of the book as a preparation for their lessons, but Bast considers the book extremely boring[6] and tries to come up with all kinds of excuses to avoid reading it.

When Bast is out on errands one Felling day, he deliberately forgets to take the book with him, but Kote calls him back and hands it to him before he could leave the Waystone Inn. Bast leaves it tucked in a hawthorn tree on the top of a bluff nearby the lightning tree while he spends his time doing other things. However, the book is gone when he returns to retrieve it.[2] It turns out Rike Williams has taken the book to get Bast to talk to him. He takes it back and leaves it at the lightning tree. Afterwards he returns to retrieve it and reads a chapter. Afraid of leaving it unattended again, he returns to the Waystone Inn and tucks it in a cupboard.[4]

On another Felling day Bast claims he took the book outside to prevent damage to his eyesight from reading in bad light, but explains to Kote that once outside he was distracted by a girl and therefore did not read any of the book.[3] When he is caught eavesdropping during Kote's narration of his story to Chronicler, he pretends being busy reading Celum Tinture, which Kote doesn't believe.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 143, "Bloodless"
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Lightning Tree, "Morning: The Narrow Road"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Name of the Wind, Chapter 1, "A Place for Demons"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Lightning Tree, "Afternoon: Birds and Bees"
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Name of the Wind, Chapter 13, "Interlude ― Flesh with Blood Beneath"
  6. The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 71, "Interlude — The Thrice-locked Chest"