Those who loved The Name of the Wind will not be disappointed: THE WISE MANS FEAR is as meticulously plotted and beautifully written as the first. Which means that you should just read my review of The Name of the Wind for all the reasons why you should read this series, and in this review I will talk instead about some of the things I found, well, a little lacking.
I found myself making a Star Wars comparison as I closed the cover to THE WISE MANS FEAR. Specifically, that this book served all the purpose of Episode 2: The Attack of the Clones: it was exciting and adventurous, but hardly answered any of our questions from the first story. In THE WISE MANS FEAR, Kvothe pretty much remains the same and does exactly the same sorts of things he did in the first book: he verbally spars elegantly with his superiors, gets into nearly impossible situations and gets himself out or through by dint of his cleverness, and on and on. Oh, and in THE WISE MANS FEAR Kvothe adds to his overflowing litany of good qualities some mad skillz in the sack. Kvothe is this perfect hero who experiences no growth throughout books one and two, and its finally begun to grate a little on my nerves.
Kvothe goes on his adventure under the pretext of learning more about the Amyr and the Chandrian, but narratively speaking, that seems like just an excuse for him to get into increasingly unbelievable mini-adventures, none of which seem to aid him on his ultimate quest of avenging his parents death. Which is why I made the Star Wars comparison: Id be curious to find out if, at the end of the series, his side journeys into Vintas and beyond are actually essential parts of his path to the Chandrian.
For the most part, Patrick Rothfuss characterizes beautifully: supporting characters such as Simmon, Wil, and Vashet stole my heart and demanded more page-time than they were allotted. However, I simply cannot get behind Denna as the love interest. Its almost like Rothfuss wrote a lifetimes worth of frustration over females into this impossibly beautiful, charmingly clever, woefully haunted woman. She represents the embodiment of unattainable female perfection, and therefore Kvothe is living out the male populations dream by getting closer to said unattainable female perfection than anyone has before. Their dynamic is unrealistic, self-delusional, and more than a bit annoying. (Dont get love lessons from Kvothe: you dont win over your perfect partner by never giving them any indication that you like them as more than friend, because youre scared that they dont like you back in the same way. This leads to unhealthy cases of unrequited love, in which you cant move on in your life.)
With all thats been said, however, I will still devotedly read the third and last book in the series when it comes out. Fans will appreciate this installment thats chock-full of Kvothes diversionary adventures, but boy, I hope questions will actually be answered in the next book!
This is the 2nd book in the Kingkiller Chronicles (which is also the 2nd day in which Kvothe tells of his story). I loved the first book and would have to say I love this one a little bit more. It goes in more depth on Kvothe's life and how he became a famous name in tales told throughout the lands. He becomes more experienced... in love, fighting, killing, etc. The only downfall is we don't learn much more about the Chandrian or the Amyr. This is somewhat disappointing being that I'm on the edge of my seat wondering what the full story is. I guess it just makes me more excited in seeing book three come out. I will be on the edge of my seat until then. Highly recommended. Rothfuss has such a beautiful way with words!