Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Wise Man's Fear, Patrick Rothfuss

Publishers: Gollancz

Pages: 994

Main Characters:


The Wise Man’s Fear is the second book in Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller series. The book brings us back to the story of Kvothe, the Bloodless, the Arcane and the Bard as he continues his quest to find out more about the Chandrian, the seven demons that murdered his parents. However, after causing more trouble at the university, Kvothe is asked to take a term away from his studies to ‘chase the wind’ and give some time for the trouble his has caused to calm down.

Kvothe’s term out sees him arrive at the court of the sickly but immensely rich Maer of Vintas. After originally going to the Maer’s court to gain a patron, Kvothe uncovers a plot set to poisen the Maer and then manages to save the Maer from the poison’s effects. Because of this, Kvothe rises high in the court of Maer Alveron and is set with the task of removing bandits from the King’s road. After finally weeding the bandits out from their stronghold in the ancient forest where they have been hiding, Kvothe then finds himself becoming the lover of the Felurian, the ancient Fae goddess who has the power to bend a man’s will to hers. Felurian eventually releases Kvothe from her realm, on the condition that he will return to her in the future. When he returns to the mortal world, Kvothe decides to accompany his friend Tempi back to Tempi’s homeland of the Stormwal.

In Stormwal, Kvothe is enrolled in the Adem mercenary school, where he is taught to fight and taught the meaning of the Lethani by his teacher Vashet. Kvothe eventually proves to the Adem that he is not a barbarian and passes the test to gain entrance to the school. However his deadline to return to the university is drawing near and Kvothe decides his time away has been long enough. When he gets back to the university he finds his friends crying tears of joy to see him, as they believed he had been lost at sea!

If I’m been totally honest I found this book a huge disappointment. Reading back over my synopsis of the events in the book makes it sound really exciting, as we see Kvothe move away from the university and discover new places in Patrick Rothfuss’ world. However, when reading the book it seemed to take forever for Kvothe to leave the university. As I said in my review in The Name of the Wind, I thought Rothfuss focused too much time on Kvothe been poor and his time at the university. Sadly for me, this is just carried on into the first 50% of the book, which I found really annoying and really boring! The pace of the book did pick up abit when Kvothe left the university and went to Vintas. Here he became the confidant of the Maer, uncovered plots, became part of the political intrigue of the Maer’s court and eventually went on to fight bandits. I thought this was great because the pace of the book really picked up and was exciting to read.

However I felt this all crashed again with Kvothe’s time amongst the Adem. All he does is endlessly practice the Ketan, talk about the Lethani (which none of the characters in the book seem to understand, never mind me!) and the thing that really annoyed me about Kvothe’s time with the Adem (and which happened a lot throughout the book) was that Rothfuss just threw in the names of the movements of the Ketan without telling us what they were! They were all called undescriptive names like Maiden Brushes Her Hair, Playing the Lute etc. For me it was abit over presumptuous of Rothfuss to just throw in a load of random names without telling us what they were because I couldn’t really picture in my head what Kvothe was doing!

I may be a little unfair on this book and this series. I would say that I did enjoy the story and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, but I just felt that much of this book really didn’t need to be there. I also think that because I have heard so much hype about this book and have been told it’s the next Game of Thrones, that I may have overestimated it and therefore set it up to be a disappointment to myself. But as I say, the book is good but not as good as I thought it would be. Nevertheless I still think the series is well worth a read and I am looking forward to see where the next book takes Kvothe.

I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fantasy fan. For me it has is a mix up between The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter so if you are a fan of either of those series you would enjoy this book.

For author’s official website click here

P.S. There is only a few days left on my FREE competition to win The Road by Cormac McCarthy. If you would still like to enter, all you have to do is click on this link here to my Facebook page, ‘Like’ my page and then leave me a comment saying you would like to enter the competition. Remember it is totally FREE (so why not enter, someone’s got to win it!) and that the competition closes on the 31st May. For more information please click here. Good luck to anyone that enters!

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