Monday, 25 May 2015

'The Wise Man's Fear' by Patrick Rothfuss (2011)

Synopsis: The Wise Man's Fear is the second book of The Kingkiller Chronicle. It's the second day of the Chronicler's stay at the Waystone Inn and Kvothe soon begins to resume his narrative. In the narrative, the younger Kvothe resumes his studies at the University but his feud with Ambrose Jakis continues to escalate, to the point where it's suggested that he should take a sabbatical from the university. Kvothe is then persuaded to travel to the land of Vintas where a powerful nobleman called Maer Alveron is in need of a talented musician. During his stay at court Kvothe manages to find the Maer a wife and ends up foiling an assassination plot. Kvothe is then asked to deal with bandits who are attacking tax collectors on the King's Road. He spends time with a group of mercenaries in the wild and begins to learn swordfighting and martial arts from a mercenary called Tempi. Kvothe then ends up straying into the Fae realm and meets the beautiful Felurian, a fairy woman whom no mortal man has been able to resist or survive. When Kvothe eventually persuades Felurian to release him from her realm, he reunites with Tempi and accompanies him to his home-land in the Stormwal mountains in the hope of learning more about the Chandrian. Meanwhile in the present day Bast and the Chronicler attempt to return Kvothe to his former self.

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

I hadn't planned to read The Wise Man's Fear so soon after finishing The Name of the Wind but I just couldn't help myself! When I usually read a series I try to spread the books out a little bit so I can prolong the experience but when I tried to read a different book after The Name of the Wind I just couldn't get into it because all I could think about were the characters from that book. I believe this is what they call a book hangover :D

I have to say that I didn't love The Wise Man's Fear as as much as I loved The Name of the Wind. I liked Kvothe's love-interest Denna a little bit more in this book but I'm still not really a fan of her character and I have a very hard time understanding how Kvothe can be so obsessed with her when there are other much more likeable and interesting females in this series like Fela, Devi and Auri. But the main reason for my not liking this book as much as The Name of the Wind is because Kvothe's time with the Dothraki ninjas Adem bored me to tears. The section is necessary to the overall plot but it takes up far too much page-time with most of Kvothe's training scenes being extremely repetitive and draggy. And yet there are other sections in this book that sound absolutely fascinating and are completely glossed over! For example: Kvothe's court-room trial in Imre and his voyage to Vintas. I would have loved to have read about Kvothe fighting pirates and having to deal with a mutiny and a terrible shipwreck!

The good things about this book far outweigh the bad though and overall I still really enjoyed The Wise Man's Fear. Patrick Rothfuss's writing continues to be beautiful and poetic and the majority of Kvothe's adventures were huge fun to read about. I absolutely loved the parts at the University, Kvothe's time with Maer Alveron, and Kvothe's scenes with the mercenaries in the Eld. I wasn't expecting to enjoy Kvothe's time with Felurian because of some of the reviews that I'd read but to my surprise I really liked that section of the book as well. Kvothe's scene with the Cthaeh is awesome and I loved how creepy and mysterious the Fae realm was. I thought it was clever of Rothfuss to have Felurian speak in verse and I very much appreciated that the scenes between Kvothe and Felurian were tastefully-written and not graphic. The characters are developed even further in this book as well. I love so many of the characters in this series but my favourite character in this series (besides Kvothe) is definitely Elodin. He gets so many great moments in The Wise Man's Fear. He's a brilliant character who deserves his very own book.

I can't WAIT to read The Doors of Stone! 

Rating: overall a very strong 4/5


samara said...

I loved your review! I for one have found Rothfuss's characters to feel more real than most other novels in that I often think about them and wonder how they are doing... But ah, 2 years since I read them and I'm still waiting for a Doors of Stone release date... hoping for 2016!!

Also... have you read read some of the speculation on Kvothe's connection to Meluan?? :D

Hannah said...

You're welcome! And THANK YOU SO MUCH for recommending the series to me! *high five!*

Ooh, yes, I have heard that theory and I'm pretty sure it's true :) Other theories I like are: Bredon being Denna's patron, Master Lorren being one of the Amyr, Ambrose being the new king of Vintas, and Bast being Kvothe and Felurian's bastard son.

I've been meaning to ask: have you read 'The Slow Regard of Silent Things?' Apparently it's really different to TNoTW and TWMF and I've heard mixed things about it so I've not been in any real rush to read that one. I thought I might wait until I've finally read The Doors of Stone...

Michaela Szczepanski said...

Is Meluan Kvothe's aunt?? I thought I was really clever for suspecting that and now I see from other comments that it appears it's a common theory. Damn! I didn't mind the section in Adem but I really missed the university. I so want to go to the university!

Hannah said...

Michaela - It *is* the common theory I'm afraid. Sorry.

I love the University parts in these books as well! I particularly loved Kvothe's scenes with Elodin in this one and one of my favourite parts in the last book was when Kvothe "apologised" to Ambrose about the "Jackass, Jackass" song by putting up letters everywhere with the lyrics and the full musical notation. Ah, good times! :D