Cinder is described as having sharp perfect features and porcelain skin. He has shoulder length, curly, white hair and matte black eyes with no sclera. He shows some delight in cruelty, however this is somewhat tempered by his dependence on Haliax.
Cinder apparently moves with great grace and carries a sword that does not reflect light.
In The Chronicle
Cinder is one of the main antagonists of the series, though he makes very few appearances. Throughout the chronicle, Kvothe develops a fixation on Cinder specifically due to his exclusive involvement in the deaths of his parents.
Cinder is most notable for being the only Chandrian to speak directly to Kvothe as well as the only one to appear twice in the narration. Cinder makes his second appearance while Kvothe is in the Eld Forest near Vintas. Although unknown at the time, he appears as the leader of a group of bandits whom Kvothe is employed by the Maer Alveron to eliminate. During the battle, he displays unnervingly little concern for the wounds he receives, including what should have been a crippling arrow wound through the thigh. After the battle he disappears leaving no evidence of how he escapes. It is later revealed to Kvothe by The Cthaeh who the bandit leader truly was.
Little can be discerned about Cinder's character, however he is often described with cold and wintery imagery. When Nina, from the incident at Trebon, depicts her memory of the artwork on the artifact found at the Mauthen Farm. One of the characters she portrays may be Cinder as she elucidates him as having black eyes and white hair. The background of this piece of her drawing shows a bare tree, with Cinder standing in water amidst snow drifts. What this symbolizes is of much speculation among fans of the series.
Though he is referred to primarily as "Cinder," it seems likely that this is a nickname. In the massacre scene Haliax rebukes Cinder for toying with Kvothe, calling him "Ferula" This causes Cinder enough pain to make him stagger. After, Haliax asks Cinder the rhetorical question, "Who knows the inner turnings of your name, Cinder?" This seems to imply that Ferula is Cinder's true Name .
This is corroborated when Kvothe travels to Ademre. While there Kvothe learns a rhyme that presumedly describes Cinder as "Ferule chill and dark of eye." Bast asks Kvothe to avoid speaking the names of the Chandria since they may find him if he does , but Kvothe says he has avoided their true names thus far implying ”Ferule” is Cinder’s true name and not “Ferula”
- Many fans speculate that Cinder is also Master Ash, and/or Bredon as Bredon is absent the same time Denna is away meeting with Master Ash. The gossip story given to Kvothe regarding Bredon hints at this as well.
- Some fans believe that Cinder may be of the Fae. This is fairly well supported by his general description and the Cthaeh's mentioned dislike for him during Kvothe's meeting with it. The fae magic of glammourie providing his disguise as human.
- In the Cthaeh's discussion about Cinder, it muses that "you’d think a man with coal-black eyes would make an impression when he stops to buy a drink." This would seem to fit well with the character of Erlus, who makes his appearance in the Half-Mast tavern and is described as having eyes "the color of half hidden coals" (as well as having a beard "the color of soot"). Additionally, in the chapter before Erlus is introduced, Kvothe sees a Tehlin priest who he can't identify, but whose appearance brings him flashbacks to the Chandrian. Superficially, as well, the names "Erlus" and "Ferule" are reasonably similar to one another.