The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2)

The Wise Man's Fear book coverAnother Masterful Work of Fantasy Literary Fiction – 4.5 Stars

Seductive. This is the word that best describes the writing of Patrick Rothfuss. His prose enveloped me as I read (or in this case, listened) and reminded me of how I loved the simple beauty of words. The book is slow at times and about two thirds into the book, it takes an unnecessary and meandering detour but if you appreciate beautiful writing  coupled with intense myth building, the literary fiction/fantasy book is for you

Plot Outline

The plot picks up where The Name of the Wind left off. Kvothe is in the second day of telling his story and the truth behind his myth. The day covers his time at the university, his trip to find a patron, experiences with creatures from legend and a time amongst a hidden people. Throughout his journeys, he learns more about the Chandrian and his hope builds for future revenge.

My Thoughts

I am abandoning my normal review style for this review as I cannot simply divide the good from the bad. The series is not simply a story but a backstage pass to creation of a myth. The quality of writing, poetry and song within the story, far exceeds that in most novels I have read. It is simply a bonus that it is also a fantasy novel.

The scope of the series is epic and if the third book of the trilogy is as good as the first two, this is destined to become an enduring fantasy classic. This is not a series with a new book out each year. The author has spent years editing and perfecting his story. That said, it is a clear in this installment that he may have been a bit too attached to his story. There is a large section of the novel that could have been either cut out, put into a novella or pared down significantly. It seems that the author was a bit too self indulgent with extraneous material. Just because you can do it, it doesn’t mean you should. This is the main reason that I did not give this one 5 stars.

There seems to be two schools of thought with this book and this series. You will either be entranced with the genius of Patrick Rothfuss or you will be incredibly bored. This book is long (in excess of 1000) pages but the pages are not filled with excessive descriptions but the thoughts and reasoning of the main character are explored in depth.

Overall, this series to date is one of the best written books I have read in any genre. I would recommend that you give it a try. At worst, you are bored and don’t finish it. At best, you have a read a book you will tell you grandkids about when they read it themselves.

Scale 1 – Lowest 5 – Highest

Sex 3.5

Apparently Kvothe has reached puberty. He suddenly discovers sex and spend some time perfecting his skills. There is an overly long section of the book where a character unwittingly becomes a sex slave to a magical being (this is one of the over indulgent parts I mentioned). After this extensive scene there are several other sexual encounters. A couple of girls are saved from bandits and it is revealed they were raped multiple times. Overall, the descriptions were not graphic.

Language 2

There may have been a small increase in adult language but Rothfuss again proves that good literature does not require swearing and other adult language.

Violence 3

There a many different accounts of violence. Given that the book was over 1000 pages, I cannot recount each and every occurrences. There are several battles with arrows and magic inflicted injuries. Several characters are beaten. Again, the descriptions are not graphic

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Tim Written by:

Tim is a lawyer, sports fan, parent, husband and book lover. He runs his own legal practice and is the founder of The Literary Lawyer book blog and a contributing writer for Tim loves to share his love of reading by providing reviews to entertain as well as provide information to help you make an informed reading decision.