The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicles, Day Two)

Monday, September 3, 2012



The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicles, Day Two)
Patrick Rothfuss, 2011

Premise: Sequel to The Name of the Wind. Kvothe picks up his story where he left off, eventually telling of how he left the University for a time to explore the wider world and began to truly forge his legend.

There isn't much to say here, honestly. This is more of the same: more brilliant, beautiful prose, more gorgeous blending of epic plots and earthy characters, more mystery, more adventure, more tension back in the “present”... it's not better than the first, but it is just as good.

More little observations on the nature of story, like this one on page 8:

"Death was like an unpleasant neighbor. You didn't talk about him for fear he might hear you and decide to pay a visit.

Except for stories, of course. Tales of poisoned kings and duels and old wars were fine. They dressed death in foreign clothes and sent him far from your door."

I was constantly amazed, in this book as in its predecessor, how the tangled plot progressed. I could look up from the book and realized that an insane amount had happened, that it should be surprising that all of this fit together. Yet, as I read it all flowed together naturally, and thinking back I understood each step of how the characters got to each new place.

There are a few bits where Kvothe glosses over a portion of his story that he decides is unimportant or boring, and his listeners object. On a practical level, this amused me because the actual unabridged life story of a character like this would take a lot more than three giant volumes.

Oh, did I mention that this book is insanely long? I remember thinking the first one was long; so much happened in it that I was surprised to check at the end and see that it was only 672 in hardcover. The Wise Man's Fear is almost a thousand pages. On his blog, explaining why the book was published in multiple volumes in some languages, Mr. Rothfuss mentions:
Well… to put it in perspective, The Wise Man’s Fear is more than twice as long as the final Harry Potter book. It’s longer than all three books of the entire Hunger Games trilogy (Which is barely 300,000 words all stacked together.) http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2011/11/fanmail-faq-why-are-they-breaking-up-your-book/
Which explains why I wasn't able to devour this one quite as quickly as the first. I am absolutely loving this series, though, and highly recommend any fantasy fan put in the time to read it.

The one and single downside to reading this book is that it means I'm all caught up until The Doors of Stone comes out. And there were three-plus years between the release of book one and book two. Sigh.

5 Stars – An Amazing Book

Get The Wise Man's Fear at Amazon.com

2 comments:

Biblibio said...

I checked the book out of the library as an eBook, and when I decided to buy it, I was also shocked at just how huge the volume is. But The Wise Man's Fear is seriously good stuff. The level of depth and detail... You're absolutely right - the only bad thing about this series is now waiting for the third book to come out...

Lindsay said...

It is not a small book, that's for sure. I was definitely happy I was reading it on my Kindle rather than carrying it around in hard copy!

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