The Wise Man’s Fear

Finally finished this monster of a book earlier today, and I was quite pleased with the book overall.  Fair warning to everyone, this book is the second book in The Kingkiller Chronicles and the sequel to The Name of the Wind, so this review will contain spoilers to NotW, you have been warned.

 

Book Stats

Fantasy

994 pages (hardback)

Second book in it’s series, sequel to The Name of the Wind

Patrick Rothfuss

Characters

This book continues the story as Kvothe records his life story while talking to his apprentice Bast and Chronicler.  Kvothe doesn’t really undergo much of a growth arc throughout this book, but this is understandable when given some thought.  Even though we do change as we grow older, looking back on our life, as Kvothe is doing, it is very difficult to see this change over time in ourselves.  The story also spends a fair amount of time dealing with the relationship between Kvothe and Denna as well as the different people Kvothe interacts with at the University and abroad, some of the scenes with Elodin lead to very interesting exchanges as well.

Setting

Kvothe spends the first third of the book recounting more of his time at the University, which makes sense as it was the major part of his life at the time he is recounting, but it was irritating to me at times.  From the very beginning of the first book we are told of some of his deeds throughout the world, and unfortunately most of these actions don’t take place at the University, so we need to get him away from the University before we can get to hear about all of those adventures.  Eventually we get to several other large towns and eventually to lands well away from the university and even into other realms.

Plot

Much like the first book, there are two different plots going on at once, there is the frame story where Kvothe is reciting his story to Chronicler and Bast as well as the story he is telling them.  The flashback story is entertaining especially towards the later parts of the book where we get to see how Kvothe helps to shape his identity by nudging exaggerations of some of stories as well as just through his actions.  Rothfuss does an excellent job of showing how stories get blown out of proportion to the extent that they do.  While Kvothe is a very smart character who has a lot of knowledge about the workings of the world, he is nowhere near as powerful as many of the stories told about him make him out to be.

At the end of The Name of the Wind and at times in The Wise Man’s Fear, we are brought back to present day and shown some of the problems Kvothe is facing.  As I finished NotW and several times in this story, I was more interested in the frame story than the story that Kvothe is telling about his past.  We are shown all of these fantastic things that Kvothe has done through his life, all that he has learned and studied, and he is shown to be somewhat depressed and reluctant to deal with life’s problems.  What happened to Kvothe to cause him to get this way?  Where is Denna?  As interesting as Kvothe’s past is, I want to know more about what is going on now.  I understand that we’re getting there in the story, but I suppose I’m impatient.

Enjoyment

Although I have my complaints about the story that I said above, I still liked the book.  While I didn’t tear through it as fast as I have some other books, I did really enjoy the story as well as reading about Kvothe’s cleverness in dealing with his problems.  There were times when it slowed down a bit, however, those were mostly in the beginning when he was still at the University.  The frame story left me wanting to read more about Kvothe because I want to know what happened to the cocky kid who wanted all the knowledge in the world and how he came to settle as an innkeeper.  I will be eagerly awaiting the next book and highly suggest the series to anyone who enjoys fantasy books.

Overall Grade

8/10

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  1. When is enough not enough? « Reviews and Ramblings

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