Book Review: The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

the wise man's fear

The Wise Man’s FearThe Name of the Wind is the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss. If you have read my earlier review of The Name of the Wind, the first book in the series, then you will know that I was excited for this book; hopeful that it would prove a worthy sequel to the earlier books epic fantasy adventure. I was not disappointed, though I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as its predecessor, it was never the less enthralling and kept me intrigued throughout.

The story continues to follow the life of the legendary adventurer and wizard, Kvothe. This book covers a shorter time period in his life, whereas the The Name of the Wind covered much of Kvothe’s upbringing and how he started his journey to fame, this book covers a much smaller time period, roughly somewhere between one and two years. However, despite covering a much shorter time, this book is no less vital to the development of Kvothe’s legend. In fact, during this book, we start to encounter Kvothe beginning to have to deal with his fame and cultivating his reputation to suit his own needs.

The writing of Kvothe’s character itself is an improvement from Rothfuss in this novel. In The Name of the Wind, I found it hard to enjoy his character. Despite being at the centre of the story, I struggled to relate to him due to the lack of struggle in his story. This had nothing to do with his morals, I never questioned his motivations or whether he was a ‘good guy’, I just didn’t like the element of him being insanely good at everything. This is less of an issue in this book, and we see him struggling with certain things, though he is generally very, very quick to pick things up. I must admit now to a sense of pleasure when he discovered that a certain character was far better at magic, or Sympathy as it is called, than himself.

Alongside Kvothe, we are treated to a wide variety of colourful and wonderfully balanced characters in this book. Some of these are new, while other older ones are fleshed out and given more depth. This applies to none more than Denna, Kvothe’s obvious love interest. While, we still know relatively very little about her background, we are given the tiniest slight glances into it and her own personal situation which proves to be enough to make me want to know more.

Similarly, to his earlier novel, Patrick Rothfuss’ prose and way with words is a real strength of this novel. He manages to beautifully conjure up images in our heads, or mine at least, with his wonderfully descriptive and vivid passages. Though, at times throughout the book, I did feel that the pacing was slightly off. I don’t want to add any spoilers in here, so won’t be mentioning them in any detail, but there was a certain section in the book which I wished was significantly shorter. This was a part were Kvothe once more displayed his annoying habit of being excellent at things that a beginner has no right to be good at. Though, I do recognise how this part is important in the development of his legend in universe, I felt that this particular section did drag a little.

Overall, I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the fantasy genre. Though, naturally, I would suggest that they read The Name of the Wind first, lest you get slightly lost about what is happening.

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  1. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday – The First Ten Books I Reviewed – Book Reviews | Jack's Bedtime Reading

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