Thursday, August 18, 2011
Review - The Wise Man's Fear, Patrick Rothfuss
Indeed, all wise men do fear these things. But they should also fear one more thing: the sheer size of this book. Patrick Rothfuss' The Wise Man's Fear is a 1000-page monstrosity that could have attributed to my chronic back pain and occasional muscle spasms. Lugging this book around, I hardly had room enough for essentials, often choosing to leave university books at home. This book, of course, took preference.
The Wise Man's Fear is the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicle, a sequel to the hugely popular The Name of the Wind. It continues the story of Kvothe, a man of legend in hiding. Kvothe tells his story over three days - the real story and not the legend people have fabricated over the years. This book is day two of his story-telling, and there is no lack of story to be told.
I was very excited about reading this book. However, around 100 pages in, I knew I couldn't experience the story at its full potential, lest I re-read The Name of the Wind. Patrick Rothfuss continues the story with an assumption that his readers know and remember all the finer details from book one. I wasn't too fussed, but I can see how it might be an issue for someone who simply doesn't want to go back and re-read 700 pages. I found that I actually enjoyed going back, once again immersing myself in to the world, the characters, the stories and the plot in general. By the time I had finished book one, I was ready to pick up book two.
The characters are brilliant; the writing is brilliant; the stories are brilliant; the atmosphere... brilliant. The only thing I question is the length of the book and the overall plot. It seemed a little scattered. There was no true direction, and Rothfuss seems to have written about anything that came to mind (within reason). Don't get me wrong, it's all fascinating, but it's a bit jarring at times. However, I nit-pick. The Wise Man's Fear is a wonderful book if you take it for what it is: a good, long story. You'll feel right at home again with the characters and feel genuine emotions toward them. The little stories told throughout the book are funny and exciting.
Put a few months aside if you've yet to read these books, because you'll become absolutely engrossed in the story. The Wise Man's Fear wasn't as near as good as The Name of the Wind, but it was still a very satisfying read.
Characters - 10/10
Plot - 7/10
World - 9/10
Writing - 10/10
Re-Readability - 8/10
Total Score: 8/10 (4 Stars)