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The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle): 2 Paperback – 6 Mar 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 705 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (6 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575081430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575081437
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 4.7 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (705 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The best epic fantasy I read last year.... He's bloody good, this Rothfuss guy." George R. R. Martin, author of The Song of Ice and Fire series
""The Wise Man's Fear "is a beautiful book to read. Masterful prose, a sense of cohesion to the storytelling, a wonderful sense of pacing.... There is a beauty to Pat's writing that defies description." Brandon Sanderson
"As seamless as a song...this breathtakingly epic story is heartrending in its intimacy and masterful in its narrative essence." Publishers Weekly, Starred Review" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The superb SUNDAY TIMES-bestselling sequel to THE NAME OF THE WIND.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, Kvothe the Kingkiller. He is a legend but the real man is an enigma. A man named Chronicler is trying to find out the truth behind the legend by convincing Kvothe to tell him his life story, a task so long it will take three days to complete.

On the second day, Kvothe relates more of his time at the Commonwealth University, his ongoing feud with another student named Ambrose and his increasingly proficient studies in various areas. He also tells of his time spent in Vintas, serving a nobleman seeking to woo a lady, and learning the arts of combat in far Ademre. But how much of Kvothe's story is truth and how much is his own fabrication?

The Wise Man's Fear is the sequel to The Name of the Wind and the second in The Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy. Since the trilogy was originally one extremely long novel split into three parts, The Wise Man's Fear has little preamble and not much of the climax. It starts, we follow the story for a time, and then it ends with little resolved. For a novel that is 1,000 pages long in hardcover, that should be a fairly damning comment.

Rothfuss's saving grace is his immense writing skill. He could make the telephone directory sound warm and interesting, and whilst the book is extremely long most of the chapters are short and snappy. The narrative is divided into two distinct sections, basically Kvothe in the University and Kvothe out in the world, and these sections are themselves fairly episodic. Whilst Kvothe's hunt for information about the Chandrian, the mysterious creatures that killed his family, provides a narrative spine of sorts, sometimes dozens of chapters pass without this plot element being as much as mentioned.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You can also find my review of The Wise Man's Fear on my book blog, 'Bastian's Book Reviews': http://bastianbalthasarbooks.blogspot.com/2011/03/the-wise-mans-fear-by-patrick-rothfuss.html.

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle) is one of the most enjoyable fantasy novels I have ever read. It is among my all-time favourite novels. It is also the first book in a trilogy. Now, after a long wait, the second book is out.

The Wise Man's Fear picks up where Name of the Wind left off. We're still in an inn, somewhere in the sticks. We're still watching the inn keeper, Kote, his apprentice, Bast, and Chronicler. Bast is someone from Faerie. Chronicler is there to record the life history of a famous shaper of history, Kvothe. Kote is Kvothe, in hiding... and his story is now in its second day of telling.

Kvothe's story is swashbuckling, energetic stuff. Read the blurb on the back of Name of the Wind, and you know you're in for a tale of adventure. The same is true for Wise Man's Fear: adventure, hijinks, magic, and all told in beautiful prose with a real sense of music and rhythm and an aural aesthetic to it. This is exciting, plot- and character driven adventure, written in a masterly way.

Despite all that, there are reasons why Wise Man's Fear does not get the five stars that Name of the Wind got from me. The first of these may be quite subjective: I like Kvothe best when he's at the University. Name of the Wind took him from childhood to University, and then, in the final act, to follow a lead and find a dragon (well, draccus) and have a big adventure as finale.
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Format: Paperback
Back when I read the first of Patrick Rothfuss's high fantasy novels, The Name of the Wind, I wasn't entirely sure what I thought of it. I knew I must have liked it, because I couldn't wait to read the second novel, but even so, I wasn't quite sure. Not a lot happened in it, and not a lot of that seemed of great significance.

I'm pleased to say that all my reservations have gone in this second book of the Kingkiller Chronicle. I think I was in the process of adapting in the first book, because Patrick Rothfuss is not your average high fantasy writer.

As in The Name of the Wind, for a good part of this book, not a lot actually happens. Kvothe (the hero) tootles around the university, feuding with rivals, impressing attractive women, and generally figuring out how to get by day-by-day with not enough money and the enmity of several powerful people.

But there's stuff building here. Atmosphere, in-depth characters, a rich world, and we know, as Kvothe tells us in the framing story, that this is not a tale with a happy ending.

Far more importantly, though, Rothfuss is a compelling writer. He could spend a thousand pages writing about Kvothe painting his toenails, and I would still want to read it. (Luckily, he doesn't...) Rothfuss doesn't need to throw in a battle every other page, or a bunch gratuitous shock scenes, in order to keep us wanting to read. And because of that, once again, I can't wait to read the next volume. (Hear that, Rothfuss? Get writin'!)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Minor spoilers due to inferences.

While I enjoyed Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear I can't help but be concerned about the delivery of this second installment. Kvothe's time at the University mires the story in the same old ground. That aspect has a very Harry Potter feel which I don't believe justified its quantity in this installment. That ground was thoroughly covered in Book 1. The routine has become tiresome and lacks excitement. And even though Rothfuss eventually flings Kvothe out into the world the structure of the story lacks any emotional high point. Rothfuss' dialogue has flare and he doesn't lack for style but massive stretches of this volume are flat and unwholesome. Even when he eventually completes the various minor arcs laced throughout the book after the massive stretches of monotony I was left feeling only vaguely satisfied.

Rothfuss seems to have sacrificed the main plot in favour of building up Kvothe's character and legend in tandem. The only problem with this endearing venture is that Kvothe's self-styled legend is largely undeserving leaving the feats he does manage to accomplish out of scale with his fame. Leaving his prowess woefully inadequate to the task he is so determined to complete. This is Day 2/3 of the tale after all and I was hoping for something a little more progressive and a little less self-centred. There is a moment in the middle of the drudgery (which I won't describe) where I thought, "Yes! This is where it takes off!", however the moment fades and after mere paragraphs it's back to business as usual. Sympathy, Naming and world building take a backseat here.

The sexuality in this novel is probably the main issue for me.
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