book review

Book Review: The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2) - by Patrick Rothfuss

1:28 PM

Summary from goodreads: IThe Wise Man's Fear, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King's Road. All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived...until Kvothe. In The Wise Man's Fear, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

This book started off strong. It started off at five stars. Then towards the middle it was 4.5 stars, then 4, and so on and so forth. After reading The Name of the Wind, the first installment of this series, expectations were high, but in all honesty The Wise Man's Fear disappointed. Filled to the brim with filler chapters, the bulk of this fantasy novelwas essentially unnecessary to the grand scheme of the plot. Although the book had its negative aspects, it also had some redeeming qualities such as its prose and its unique stories as well as its consistency.

Before I begin, I would like to point out that The Wise Man's Fear is not a 3.5 stars in comparison to The Name of the Wind, rather its a 3.5 stars simply for its own content.

First, one of the deciding factors for me when I'm reading a novel is the characters: character introduction, character development, character relationships, etc. Frankly, if the characters aren't well written, the story just isn't as good as it can be, and that nagging feeling that there is potential that isn't delivered stresses me out like no other. This is probably the biggest reason The Wise Man's Fear didn't cut it for me.  The characters are interesting in and of themselves. They're all very different and unique, they all seem to have round personalities, and the female characters have strong personalities. However, aside from that, there was not much character development and the introductions didn't leave a strong first impression. It didn't leave a bad first impression either, it was just weak. On top of that, the characters' relationships with one another seemed underdeveloped and rushed and the fact that just about every female character had some sort of romantic relationship with someone was slightly irritating.

Another aspect that I did not like about this novel was that the entirety of the book barely moved the plot along. As opposed to having filler chapters in a novel, The Wise Man's Fear acted a filler novel with the occasional relevant chapter. However, it should be noted that although the majority of the novel seemed unnecessary, the stories that were told were interesting enough to keep a reader going. It had scenes filled with action and scenes filled with humor. Overall, it had a good balance with a little bit of everything.

Last but not least, The Wise Man's Fear was well written and well organized. The prose kept the reader attached even though there were instances in which certain sentences were repetitive. It was enchanting in a way. There was also the organization of the novel. One would assume that since the novel jumps from Kvothe's past to his present, it would be difficult to read. However this particular was not difficult or annoying to read. In fact, I personally looked for to the time shifts.  The author did a great job of being consistent with what to look for in these shifts which made it entertaining to read.

All in all, the novel was both entertaining and frustrating, and I would probably decline the chance to read it again.

If you like fantasy and characters with consistent personalities and good stories, then you should give The Wise Man's Fear a shot.

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