The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Summary of The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss:

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 discovers 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, 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. Under her tutelage, Kvothe learns much about true magic and the ways of women.

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. (via Goodreads)

My Review of The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss:

Well. It should be no secret that I have been anxiously awaiting The Wise Man’s Fear since I first read The Name of the Wind back in early 2009. Since then, I’ve been on a crusade to make as many people read it as possible. I haven’t kept up an exact count, but I know the number of people that have picked it up because of me is around 20. When people ask me what my favorite book is, that is the book I tell them. When I re-read it last month, I just loved it more. Now, after finally getting to see the next stage of Kvothe’s story, I am glad to say that The Wise Man’s Fear is just as good…maybe better!

(Ridiculous amounts of gushing to follow.)

The writing. Oh, the writing. I have had countless conversations about how amazing the writing is in The Name of the Wind. I quote the especially poetic and lyrical parts – or the dialogues that made me laugh. I absolutely believe that Patrick Rothfuss is one of the best writers out there. (Click here to check out all the Goodreads quotes from the book so far, you’ll see what I mean!) But, other authors can write lyrical passages and make me laugh. I couldn’t put into words what it was that made Rothfuss the (in my opinion) undisputed best. Then, I read a scene in this book that made it come together.

It’s not just the lyrical and poetic passages, not just the humorous ones – but the parts that cover the everyday, basic interactions. You know how, when you’re talking to your friends, you’ll laugh (chuckle, if you will) at little things that aren’t particularly that funny? Then – you read a passage with dialogue like that in a book – and even though you notice – and appreciate – the (borderline) humor, you don’t actually laugh. Well – when you’re reading something Patrick Rothfuss has written, you laugh. You do a double-take. You feel a slight awkwardness. You get a chill…you blush. You do all the little things you’d do in your own life and your own conversations that you don’t normally react to when you’re reading. That is what Rothfuss does like no one else.

One of the best things about Kvothe is that he can really be an irritating SOB. He isn’t one of those characters that starts perfect and has absolutely no personal growth. In this book, we see him finally start to mature and understand that, while he might have more life experience then some, he is still ignorant in a lot of ways. We also (finally) see him realize that sometimes it really is better to keep his mouth shut. Of course, on the other hand, sometimes he still can’t help himself. He still manages to get into heaps of trouble, most of which is his own fault. The way his character thinks and interacts with others makes it really seem like you’re reading about a life and not a character. The realism is why it is so easy to become so deeply involved. Also, sometimes, when he isn’t being obnoxious…he can show kindness that will make your heart clench. The man has layers.

I was really nervous about the middle of The Wise Man’s Fear, because I knew that he had to leave the University at some point (based on the synopsis). Actually, I was scared to death he was going to be kicked out for some godawful reason and that it would be a horrible section to read. I was hardcore dreading it. Well, no spoilers, but it didn’t unfold like I thought it would and, as you can see, I lived through it. I enjoyed the story just as much away from the University. I shouldn’t have doubted it!

Also, we get a lot more of “Kote,” Bast and the Chronicler in the present-day with this book. I liked those parts a lot, which was another pleasant surprise, because I didn’t so much in NOTW. And if the Kvothe that is unfolding through the story has layers, forget about trying to understand him as he is in the present-day. Although we’re closer to seeing what has brought him to an out-of-the-way inn, there are still gaps and mysteries. The third book will have a lot of ground to cover!

One of the best surprises in The Wise Man’s Fear, for me, was Elodin. SO MANY awesome scenes with this guy. Seriously, he is easily one of my favorite characters in the series. I’m definitely avoiding going into specifics in my review, but let me tell you – when you read the book you will love him.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss ended basically the same as the first – it leaves you definitely wanting more, but not on a cliffhanger that makes you want to choke somebody to death. I am already looking forward to the third book – and whether it takes one year or seven, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • April (BooksandWine) March 7, 2011, 4:37 pm

    I'm only 40% in and I LOVE IT!!!! I'll leave a more substantial comment when I finish.

    Reply
  • Jo March 7, 2011, 8:39 pm

    Nice review!! I've been waiting for years for this book — can't wait to get it! 🙂

    Reply
  • redhead March 8, 2011, 1:17 pm

    wonderful review! I felt the same way you did: the "now" parts, with Kote, Bast & Chronicler were much better, the dialog is excellent in the everyday hanging w/ your friends scenes, and I laughed my head off when Kvothe saw the name of Elodin's class.

    Reply
  • Lynn June 11, 2011, 10:04 am

    Good review. I absolutely love this series. Elodin was also one of my favourite characters.
    Lynn
    😀

    Reply

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