Friday, May 3, 2013

Review of The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)For nearly four years, fantasy and science fiction enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting this second volume to Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles. The first volume, The Name of the Wind, won the prestigious Quill Award and was recently voted as the third-best SFF novel of the decade on In this linchpin book of the trilogy, Kvothe continues his perilous search for answers about the Chandrian even as he grapples with more pressing dangers.

(Summary from GoodReads)

When I read The Name of the Wind in 2011, it became an instant favorite.  I picked up The Wise Man’s Fear expecting to be just as blown away, and while I was thrilled to see that Rothfuss’ prose was still gorgeous, the plots of Rothfuss’s books are two different.  While I missed hearing about Kvothe’s childhood, The Wise Man’s Fear is a sequel that shows how Rothfuss has grown as a storyteller and shows different and fascinating sides of his world.

The set up here is the same as in The Name of the Wind: a man telling his story to a barkeep and periodically to one of his workers who listens in.  Rothfuss covered most of Kvothe’s childhood in book one, so we hear a lot more about his days at the university here.  To be honest, that part went largely as expected: similar friends and similar enemies, with a few notable incidents and new characters thrown in.

However, not all of The Wise Man’s Fear takes place at the University.  Kvothe travels to new places and gets new life experiences.  As I read Rothfuss’s sophomore novel, I was constantly amazed by the worldbuilding.  It reads as though every nook and cranny was carefully thought through and put together.  There may be only one book left, but I know there are a lot of details that we have yet to see and pieces that will draw together in the conclusion.

Because this book is so heavy on forwarding the world building and driving character relations, the beauty of the writing didn’t strike me as often or as much as in The Name of the Wind.  It was still lovely and enjoyable, but Rothfuss clearly set out to accomplish a great deal in this book.  I’m especially eager to see how things tie up with Kvothe and Denna.

The Wise Man’s Fear is a very different book from The Name of the Wind and while I’m not sure I liked it as much, it’s still an exceptional read.  Rothfuss is easily one of the best fantasy writers out there today.  He even threw in a twist right at the very end of this one, making the wait for The Doors ofStone all the more arduous.

Other reviews:
The Allure of Books
The Book Rat 
Good Books and Good Wine


  1. I am DYING for the last book. And dying of jealousy that Allison just met him...

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one too! The man is brilliant.

    The man being the guy I hung out with yesterday...

    AHH! haha.



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