by Patrick Rothfuss
““There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”
My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trehon. 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.
So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view — a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King’s Road.
All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived…until Kvothe.
In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.”
What I thought:
Where do I even start? This book was a fantastic continuation to The Name of the Wind! Did I think part-way through that it was too long? Yes. Did I think that Rothfuss should, perhaps, have split this into two books? Yes – and I still do. Did I get to the last ten pages wanting more and not ready to finish? Gawd, yes! You’d think after 994 pages I’d be happy to be done and move on – and half-way through I thought that I was, too – but once I was in the last few chapters I knew that I wasn’t ready to be done with this. If that’s not the sign of a brilliant book, I don’t know what is.
I was intimidated by its size. Even though I wished (desperately) for more at the end I do think that it might have been better off as two books – and then they would still have been too long for some people. I’ve read several reviews saying that it doesn’t read as smoothly, and that it suffers from Middle Book Syndrome, but it is 994 pages long. I’m not convinced that any book that size can be read quickly, or feel like a fast read. You will be in for a long journey, but a very worthwhile one.
Just like in the first book, I loved Elodin, and I loved all the roundabout ways in which he tried to teach his rather unwilling class – that’s right, Elodin teaches in this one! Are you ever in for a treat! 😀
I loved all those new places Kvothe went to. I love a book with strong world-building, and this world has everything.
I love, love the time Kvothe spent in the Fae. It really showed off the magic in the book and the knack Rothfuss has for making me believe anything. The entire book has magic, but the Fae oozes it and it was fascinating to read about it.
Kvothe also spent a fair amount of time in Ademre. His time there as well as with Tempi has made me miss karate a lot. I enjoyed reading about his time there, but somebody *please* explain to me where the Adem think babies come from? I need answers!
This is a book that has stayed with me since I finished it two weeks ago, and which preoccupied my mind while I was still reading it. I’m still thinking about the world and its characters. It has taught me a lot and made me want to create the most magical of places. What more could you possibly want from a book?
Because Kvothe spent so much time at the university in the first book, I missed it in this one and it felt like a homecoming when he returned.
I enjoyed this a lot, and can’t wait for the final book to come out. I am a bit worried about how long it will be, because there seem to be a lot of unresolved things waiting to be addressed, but if this book has taught me anything is that he can write as much as he wants, and I’ll read it.
Have you read The Wise Man’s Fear, or are you thinking about starting this series? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Amazon listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.
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