Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Review - The Wise Man's Fear, The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day 2

I fell in love with this author when, after having read his first novel, The Name of the Wind, I was checking out his profile and saw he was wearing a t-shirt that said "Joss Whedon is My Master Now".

Since I have a t-shirt that says "Willing to be Joss Whedon's Baby Mama", I determined at that moment that Patrick Rothfuss and I are soulmates.

The Wise Man's Fear is the second installment in the Kingkiller Chronicles, a fantasy series detailing the life and times of Kvothe, a legendary warrior-mage who is now trying to live the peaceful, non-descript life of a rural innkeeper. The Wise Man's Fear picks up the story-within-a-story style begun in The Name of the Wind, told as Kvothe relates the true story of his past to a Chronicler. The story doesn't, however, lose any of it's potency or it's immediacy for all that.

Despite its length of 1008 pages (Hey, it's epic fantasy. What did you expect?), I didn't skip a single page. OK, the descriptions of the boobs and general nekkidness of one of the fae characters, Felurian, started to get a little old after a while, but I still didn't skip ahead. There were nights I burned the 2AM oil just so I could finish one. More. Page. Maybe one more. After this one I'll stop. I'll stop at the next break. Next chapter, maybe.

If you are a reader, you know how that works. I haven't found a fantasy novel that's done that for me in a while.

BEST PART: Rothfuss' development of the Adem culture was, for me, the best part of the novel. I hope someday Rothfuss writes a novel just about the Adem mercenaries and their schools. The whole idea of their language and how emotions were expressed was brilliant. I experienced the whole "God, I wish I'd thought of that" surge of writer's envy.

Both The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear are driven by extremely well developed, fleshed-out characters. Rothfuss doesn't seem to be in a rush to get us to the end prematurely (I like that in a man/author :)). He's willing to go the extra mile with his world-building, including all the fascinating details that make reading fantasy worthwhile.

Read the books in order. You won't be able to pick them up out of sequence and enjoy them fully. And take your time. These books are to be savored.

WORST PART: The damn book weighed 3 lbs. I tore the bottom out of a new purse hauling that thing around. Next time I buy and read it on my Kindle, and purchase the hardback for the shelf.

Take good care of yourself, Rothfuss. Eat healthy, exercise, and look both ways when you cross the street, because I expect you to be around to write these books for a long, long time.


  1. Love the shirt! I'm a new Joss Whedon fan myself, but if it continues at this pace, I may soon be taking a pilgrimage to worship at his feet! ;) I think I'll have to add these books to my to-read list - I'm intrigued!

  2. i'm intrigued as well but I don't read a lot of fantasy. And the 3lbs thing is a problem for me, my hands can't take it!
    Great review Holly! See you tomorrow!

  3. That's it been looking for a good fantasy book for ages and you've just sealed the deal. This better not let me down! :P