Review: The Wise Man’s Fear

Posted 30 August, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicles #2)
By: Patrick Rothfuss
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view- a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, Day Two of The Kingkiller Chronicles, 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.

At long last I find myself reading this book. It has long been on my radar–since reading The Name of the Wind for the first time back in 2008–which I waited for in mass market paperback before it sitting for a good number of years longer on my TBR pile. With the third book nowhere in sight and me attempting to get through books that have sit on my physical TBR pile for a long time, I figured now was the time to read it.

This is pretty sad but I’m going to say it: I think I’ve fallen out with this series. Granted, it’s the second book, but it became such a chore to get through, I just skimmed the second half of the tome 🙁

I get why it’s as long as it is: it does chronicle Kvothe’s life and adventures in the University, all the stuff he’s faced and learned. But half of the time I just found myself thinking “Just get on with it” as I didn’t care for his back-and-forth with all of his enemies–potential or otherwise–at the University, not to mention I was getting weary with his on/off/will they/won’t they between him and Denna; I get the sense that she’s stringing him along for whatever reason, but they both have issues, clearly. I was interested in him working on the side as a singer to earn his talents for the paying his tution, as well as his ongoing research into the Chandrian. It was also interesting to see him finally face some of his buried issues concerning the loss of his family (he finally grieved, I thought that was a good moment). But otherwise I was losing steam here, it was hard to keep perspective as to what Kvothe was going for (as well as the focus of the series) with all of the everyday stuff. I was thinking maybe it’s part of an ongoing thing with me not reading as many series and trilogies these days but it doesn’t 100% explain my burn-out here.

I appreciate what the author is doing with this series (hence the final star rating from me)–the storytelling quality is there, and I like the magic system here and wished there was a bit more focus on those elements within his day-to-day as opposed to just learning it–but I don’t know, maybe it’s a good thing the third book is nowhere in sight because I think I might be done with this series. Maybe I’ll check out The Slow Regard of Silent Things because it’s a novella and Auri is an interesting character but otherwise, yeah, I just found myself rather lukewarm at the end here.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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