The Wise Man’s Fear (Patrick Rothfuss)

The Wise Man’s Fear is the second book in The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. [Here my review of the first one: The Name of The Wind.]

It’s the second day that Kvothe tells his story to the Chronicler and Bast, Kvothe’s apprentice. Young Kvothe is still fighting to remain at the university. He starts to have a bit of a routine, between trying to get enough money to pay his tuition and studying attentively (especially Naming) and making music. But sooner rather than later, this more or less peaceful routine gets interrupted by Kvothe’s own hot-headedness and it suits him to leave town for a bit. And so Kvothe travels to Severen where he tries to continue his research about the Amyr and the Chandrian.

Much like the first book, The Wise Man’s Fear is a gripping read that just flies by. Unlike the first book, it did not make me curse the gender politics. I’d call that an all around win.

In The Name of The Wind I was mostly annoyed by the complete lack of women (to take seriously). But apparently Rothfuss heard me (or more likely Jo Walton who had the same complaints) and he listened and he learned which is all kinds of commendable. Almost all the new characters he introduces are women (and interesting women at that) and he pays a little more attention to the women he already created, especially Denna gets more contour and texture. Though she’ll never be a romantic interest I personally find enticing.

Rothfuss keeps up the high readability. His writing style is clear and good and his pacing is mostly spot-on. I didn’t care that much for the interruptions into the Now, though there was one particular scene that showed me how much I was invested in Kvothe. [SPOILER] When Kote gets beat up and Bast just doesn’t want to believe that Kote could get beat up by some standard thugs, I noticed that I myself didn’t believe it – I was that tangled up in the Heroification of Kvothe. [/SPOILER]

Sometimes Rothfuss does let the infodumps get out of hand. I mean, he does a whole lot of world-building and that is all kinds of awesome. Especially the differences between the cultures within his world are very elaborate. As somebody who works with interculturality, I really appreciated Rothfuss sensible handling of how Kvothe gets to know the other cultures. It was also generally one of the most interesting things about the book.

I’m interested to see how Rothfuss ties it all together in the next book. I’m excited to read it. Hopefully soon.

4 thoughts on “The Wise Man’s Fear (Patrick Rothfuss)

  1. great review! I’m trying to decide which I liked better, Name of the Wind, or Wise Man’s Fear. In some ways I liked WMF better – it was more polished, flowed a little better, but you’re right, those infodumps really got in the way sometimes. Can’t wait for book 3!!

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