You know that awkward moment when you totally build the highly anticipated sequel up in your head and then you read the sequel and it does not quite live up to your expectations? That is exactly how I felt with The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, sequel to The Name Of The Wind, a book so awesome I read it twice — once in print and once via audio. I had hoped to fall madly in love with The Wise Man’s Fear after waiting so long for it, but instead I was like, hmmm that was REALLY good, but I don’t love it. It’s no Prada backpack, merely Sketcher’s (+1 if you get the reference).
As it has been since March of 2011, when I read The Wise Man’s Fear, my plot summary is going to be kind of rusty ha ha. Okay, so you know how Ambrose is a total douche? Well, him and Kvothe still do not get along at all. They have this major rivalry which ends up with Kvothe getting expelled from the university. Kvothe then decides to go to Vintas. There he gets involved with the court and becomes kind of a big deal. THEN he gets involved with the Adem, who are mercenaries. AND THEN lots and lots of things happen and pretty much we start hearing how those legends surround Kvothe happened.
While Kvothe does seem to grow in Rothfuss’s sophomore effort, it wasn’t quite enough to put me in crazed fangirl territory. I liked reading about all of the things that he learns from the various cultures he visits. Yet, he’s still kind of perfect, ya feel me? Like, instead of being sexed to death by this fairy-God, he handles her despite being a virgin. Instead of being killed by the Adem, he ends up joining them. He always seems the get the best of most situations. I mean, it’s cool, but sometimes I just want a situation to get the best of him or for a solution to take a little bit longer to happen.
I did enjoy the additional worldbuilding in The Wise Man’s Fear. Straight up, Vintas is awesome. There is SO MUCH INTRIGUE I CANNOT EVEN. I also liked the bits with the Adem, because they are mercenaries who speak with hand gestures. Plus, the Adem are totally open about sex and what not. Their culture is bombass, in the best possible way. I just loved all the extra touches Rothfuss puts in his worlds.
For the most part, The Wise Man’s Fear moves as smoothly as The Name Of The Wind. Rothfuss is a fabulous wordsmith, at least in my opinion. It’s a very, very long book and it could have ended up being really boring, but instead is packed with action and lots of new information. I don’t find Rothfuss’s prose to be bloated in the least. Nor was I all like, for the love of god, do we have to read about some more trees. Although, there is a lot of traveling in this book, so take that as you will.
However, the pacing was rather uneven. There were some portions where I just tore through the book. But, there were also parts were I was all can we please just get on with it. For example, I thought The Wise Man’s Fear really dragged with Felurian. Maybe I am a little bit prude, but I was like can we please stop sexing and go back to looking for the Chandrian, or back the university? I know, I know, you would think I would be the last one to say that. Yet, I think Rothfuss is at his best when he’s describing the university and the interactions between Kvothe, his friends, and awful Ambrose.
Despite my not being head over heels in love with The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, I will be back for the third book and will probably pay whatever kindle price they charge just to have it download instantly at midnight. I will also probably attempt a re-read via audiobook as Nick Poedhl is my king. I am kind of hoping I fall IN LOVE-LOVE with the audiobook version. That stated, I would recommend this with the caveat that if you loved The Name Of The Wind and are desperate to know what happens next, you should read this, but don’t expect lightening to strike twice.
Disclosure: Purchased copy (twice, once on my kindle AND the hard cover version)
Other reviews of The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss:
The Allure Of Books – “Ridiculous amounts of gushing to follow.”
Steph Su Reads – “as meticulously plotted and beautifully written as the first.”