The Wise Man’s Fear // Patrick Rothfuss
“All the truth in the world is held in stories.”
Actual Rating: 4/5 ⭐
Synopsis [From Goodreads]:
“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. 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, Day Two of The Kingkiller Chronicle, 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.
I finished The Wise Man’s Fear in a little over a month and I’m going to consider that a minor accomplishment considering that it took me what felt like half a year to finish The Name of The Wind. For all intents and purposes The Wise Man’s Fear is a brick, my copy was a little over a thousand pages but for some reason it was a much faster read for me. I didn’t have the same problems getting into the story as I did with the first one and I pretty much flew right through it, there were huge chunks where I didn’t even want to put the book down; The Wise Man’s Fear is still very much an adult epic fantasy so it doesn’t have the speed of a racecar but I found that compared to the first book it was much fast paced.
One of the reasons I liked The Wise Man’s Fear so much was because even though it doesn’t pick up exactly right where the first one lets off it still brings you up to speed without info-dumping, it doesn’t spend chapters upon chapters reintroducing you to all the ins-and-outs of the world it just launches right into the story – it kind of felt like a “last time on Kvothe’s World” and then boom right into it. The book still has that same wonderfully enveloping atmosphere and beautiful world but the writing itself is much snappier and quicker, there’s a lot more humour and action which I think 1) never makes for a dull moments and 2) moves the plot along really nicely; one of the things that I had a problem with in the first one was the frequent little stories but there’s hardly any of them in The Wise Man’s Fear which I loved because I felt less disrupted from the main story.
The Wise Man’s Fear really blew me away with how naturally its world expands, Rothfuss really excels at world-building and we get to see so much more of the world in this book – we’re introduced to an entirely new society of people. I mean, within the first couple hundred pages or so Kvothe’s returned to the university, gotten up to some shenanigans and then traveled across an entire sea. The Wise Man’s Fear is essentially just one very grand adventure that provides so, so much character and world growth; Kvothe leaves the university pretty reckless and impulsive but returns … still reckless and impulsive but a lot more matured and experienced, honestly I think he just grows so much. I also very much adored all the new characters that were introduced and the side characters that got more fleshing out, I loved Simmon in particular and I need more of his wit in the third book. I also really enjoyed the addition of Tempi and the Adem, Kvothe’s time learning of the Lethani and Adem culture was so interesting and there are SO MANY badass Adem ladies that I am just HERE. FOR. And BAST, I can’t forget about Bast because I LOVED him in this book (I know I’m using the word ‘love’ a lot but it’s true), during the first book I more or less ignored the times spent in the present because I didn’t find it as interesting as Kvothe’s actual story but for some reason I just got hooked on Bast this book. I think he’s such a multi-layered and mysterious character and that it’s obvious e only get to see a very surface layer of him but he’s actually kind of really … eerie in this book and very, very fae. Can we talk about that ending because Bast was so creepy and my hairs were standing ON END I couldn’t believe it.
However, one of the things that I really didn’t like was Kvothe and Denna’s weird round and round relationship, I love Denna and I think she’s such an interesting character with so much potential – there’s so much revealed about her in this book – but I got SO BORED and frustrated seeing her only used to play this back and forth game with Kvothe. Personally I actually think that Denna and Kvothe work better as friends, I really like them in a non-romantic relationship but they either need to be together or not be together. It was just so tiring watching them run around each other for a thousand pages, eventually it got so old like we could literally be doing MAGIC right now or tracking down the Chandrian or making music or LITERALLY ANYTHING but watching the exact same instance of actions happen again and again. Present – Kvothe only has Bast so it’s obvious that Kvothe and Denna don’t work out in the end but just get to it already Patrick gosh.
Overall The Wise Man’s Fear is a bang of a novel and a bang of a sequel, it’s incredibly thrilling and attention grabbing and despite being the size of a small house it just flies by. You can tell how much I actually liked this because I rarely find sequels to be just as good as the first book. I think Rothfuss’s writing really shines and you can tell just how much attention to detail goes into every little thing. If you were a fan of the first book don’t be afraid to continue the series because it’s really worth it, The Wise Man’s Fear really builds upon the foundations of the first book and takes the story to entirely new levels.
| DAW | Published April 2nd 2013 | 1107 Pages | Goodreads |