Title: The Wise Man’s Fear
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Review: We’ve been waiting four years for the sequel to Patrick Rothfuss’s hit debut, ‘The Name of the Wind’, and we’ve finally been granted what we’ve been waiting for.
‘The Wise Man’s Fear’ has been long anticipated. Rothfuss has spent many long months rewriting and polishing this book, and it shows in the end product. His grasp and control of the English language, his beautifully written prose and elegant sentences all make for a superb read.
The characters that we were first introduced to all those years ago are continually fleshed out in this book. From Kvothe, to the characters listening to Kvothe’s tale and to the characters in Kvothe’s tale, all are beautifully realised and wonderful to read.
Mostly. Sensing a trend?
I mostly enjoyed this book. Part of me has to realise that I hyped the book up too much in the lead up to its release. We’ve been so long without it that re-reading the Name of the Wind has left me with a false impression of Rothfuss as a writer. Rereading the same book has left me thinking that he was a more polished storyteller than I now realise he is.
His writing is superb but it the storytelling is where it all comes asunder, in my opinion.
Characters act irrationally. Characters who have been so wonderfully shaped all of a sudden do something that doesn’t really match up with what we’ve been shown, and all so that the story can progress, or stall, each to the writers’ whim.
The story is slow, and by the end of the book, Kvothe is only 16 or 17, and there’s only one book to go: how long since Kvothe did anything interesting?
Every piece of the Kvothe legend is nothing short of an uninteresting, exaggerated accident. I could have lived with that, if it wasn’t for young-Kvothe mentioning after every one of his actions that “it’s good for my reputation” for people to not know the truth of what happened.
I feel like I’ve been cheated out of a proper story.
That all being said, I still really enjoyed this book. I do love the characters, and the story – while slow and contrived at points – is gripping. The pace with which Rothfuss tells Kvothe’s life, and the mysteries that are being built outside of the telling, are more than enough to keep me interested from chapter to chapter.
I just wish the story was more polished.
Don’t let me put you off though, as I’m still unsure of what I think, exactly. I will be very interested to see what the general public have to say about this book, and maybe I’ll revisit this review one day.
Buy it here:
Kindle Edition: amazon.co.uk