The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Just finished reading The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.  Wow, what an amazing storyteller Patrick Rothfuss is.

This book continues the story of Kvothe started in The Name of the Wind.  I came across The Name of the Wind totally by accident and thought it was a great story.  I confess that I was almost worried about reading book No.2 in case it didn’t live up to the first installment but there was no need to worry as this installment is excellent and wonderfully told.

I’m not going to elaborate on the story itself.  We once again follow Kvothe and his adventures at the University and further afield.  He develops his magic and mastery of naming, he meets fey, overcomes bandits and starts upon a path of learning that is totally new.

I love the world that PR has created.  It is rich in detail.  I have no problem imagining the places or the people and whilst it’s detailed it’s not overly so.  I felt that everything in the story was necessary and added the next layer to Kvothe’s ever building personality.

In terms of the characters it’s strange to admit but neither Kvothe or Denna are my favourites – which probably seems really odd as I’ve just finished reading the second of a very large book based mainly on Kvothe but also circulating quite a lot around Denna also. But, I will stress, I don’t dislike them, I like Kvothe very much and I love reading about his escapades but there are so many characters in this book that are easy to have feelings for.  I always love the ‘crazy professor’ types so Master Elodin is one of my favourites.  I think Kvothe has a wonderful circle of close friends with Sim, Wilem and Fela, Devi is wickedly lovely and I thought the addition of the Adem people with their different culture and the introduction of Tempi with his unusual ways was excellent.  Add to that the slighty ethereal character Auri and we have a totally great bunch of characters.  So, although Kvothe, and to a lesser extent Denna, is central there is an impressive cast of supporting characters.

I really don’t know how the author has come up with all of the information he packs in.  It’s mind boggling.  Everything has been thought through.  Each place you travel to with Kvothe you learn about the traditions, the people, a bit of their history and because it’s been so cleverly put together it’s easy to picture and doesn’t leave you with niggles as you progress through the story.  I loved the way new places were brought into the tale.  Ademre is a really fascinating place and the introduction of Vintas and the Maer with all his courtly intrigues added yet another layer.  Plus, I love the University aspect, it sort of gives the story a realness to it.  You’re in a strange place, with magic, demons and fey and yet here we have a University, which reads like any University.  Squabbles between students.  Masters who hold grudges for slights.  Tuition fees.  Admissions.  Archives.  Old buildings set on a sprawling campus and a magnificent, dark and twisting Archive.  (Did I mention rooftops and underground passages???)

In terms of criticisms.  Well I don’t really have any proper criticisms.  I guess I wasn’t overly fond of the Felurian aspect to the story but I can see why it would be necessary.  I don’t suppose Kvothe seems to have moved forward a great deal since book one (probably gaining a couple of years in total.  The thing with Kvothe is that sometimes he can be irritatingly rash or to be honest plain bloody stupid and irritating but then I would remember his age and his circumstances, his lack of experience or family and forget his faults and thinks about all that he has achieved through strength of will).  And, I suppose it’s a bit of a stretch of the imagination to believe that this was entire book is based on day two of Kvothe’s retelling of his past to Chronicler (day one being the story told in The Name of the Wind).  That would be a very long day methinks!

The above aside though I think this is a truly amazing piece of writing.  Beautifully told, interesting and humorous.

I think that if you enjoy fantasy you will love this new series.  It doesn’t have any huge, large scale wars between good and evil (at least at the moment it doesn’t), it’s more like the coming of age of a young man and his adventures as he does so and I realise I’ve probably made that sound a bit mundane with that description but it really is anything but!

I can’t wait for number three, particularly as this book ended on such an intriguing note – clearly something is afoot!

Rating A+

The Wise Man's Fear

The Wise Man's Fear

4 Responses to “The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss”

  1. Redhead

    great review! I loved The Wise Man’s Fear, for the same reasons you did. While reading it, I felt easily transported to another world. Rothfuss makes this kind of thing look so easy!!

    Auri and Elodin are definitely my favorite characters!! the things that Elodin knows, it just boggles the mind. Is Kvothe going to grow up to be like him one day?

    • lynnsbooks

      I actually think I love Patrick Rothfuss (kidding of course!), but really, what a fantastic author and such a sense of humour. I’m really curious about the third installment. I’d love to know what is really going on with Auri. I really hope we don’t have to wait as long for the next installment but I suppose ‘all good things to those who wait’, etc, (it’s just patience has never been my best virtue!)

  2. Allison

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and of course I’ve read Wise Man’s Fear! I totally put the backburner on school (even though it was around finals time) and read it as soon as it came out. Obviously I’m great with priorities 😉

    Glad you loved it too!

    • lynnsbooks

      Sorry, must have missed your review – I’ll take another look. I thought it was great so I love to see what others think? Lynn

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