I finished The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and so I shall now review it.
He has done a marvelous job. Again.
This book comprises day 2 of The Kingkiller Chronicles and this day begins and ends with silence, as day 1 did. In between silences, we learn more about the state of the world Kvothe currently inhabits, and we follow his continuing education at the University as well as through his travels. We discover more about his power and abilities, he travels to the land of the Adem, he leads a band of bandit hunters, and gets a shot at one of the Chandrian.
But I don’t think you want me to summarize the details and events of the book. So on to the quality of what Rothfuss has done.
Kvothe continues to be an interesting, complex character with motivations that make him sympathetic and a very proactive way about living life. These are the reasons we love him! He doesn’t wait on others; he goes and does what needs to be done. He is a creative thinker, he is terribly violent when needed, and his motivations are very often quite noble.
Because of his financial situation and the reactions of the inhabitants of the areas surrounding the University, Kvothe ends up taking a significant leave of absence and traveling. This break is very well motivated by the character and world. The other characters that are introduced are fascinating and have important parts to play in Kvothe’s development as well.
Rothfuss develops his world splendidly. He convincingly creates several foreign cultures, languages and mythologies. While following Kvothe through the trials he faces, the reader is also challenged to consider his/her ideas about the world and society- which is a nice bonus. But more importantly, the story is intriguing and clips along at a solid pace, with revealing details being … well.. revealed expertly.
There are still laugh-out-loud funny parts. The characters really seem like actual people, so the humor is organic and real. Plus, Kvothe’s continuing investigation into the Chandrian is deftly handled; you feel his frustration when he keeps hitting walls in his research.
All in all, this is an excellent sequel to The Name of the Wind.
I do, however, have a bit of an issue. Pretty spectacular things are wrought by this Kvothe. He doesn’t stop to think about it much and wonder why it is he always gets into such significant events. Maybe I’m too much of a second-guesser or I like introspection too much, but Kvothe doesn’t allow considerations like that to slow him down. He is always full speed ahead.
My other issue is that Rothfuss has tantalized readers a lot and has left readers guessing about a lot of mysteries still. Considering how long it might take Pat to finish the third book, this is kind of rude. I honestly think he could have revealed a little more, too. The trunk at the end.. well, yeah.
But the characters, excellent prose, stunning world-building, fantastic story, and the relationships are all entrancing and marvelous.
Worth a second read.
This gets 5 stars.