The Wise Mans Fear is the second novel in the King Killers series. I would like to premise what will follow with “I liked the book!”
Kvothe was still at the university, but he got into a bit of trouble so he took some time off to travel and figure out how to keep paying tuition and stuff like that. He ended up going to help out a very wealthy, powerful man on the other side of the ocean and going on a few serious adventures as a result of a favour for this powerful guy. He fights bandits, has an affair (or dalliance if you prefer), saves some young girls and then finally returns “home”. I felt like this was the middle period you get a lot in these sorts of series where the character is a lot like the errant knight. So any ways, Kvothe returns to university, yippee yay. Also, technically all of this stuff is being recited by Kvothe in the future and written by The Chronicler, who has a real name, they just don’t use it. There are fun developments there too. I am pretty sure that what ever happened in Kvothe’s past, as we are hearing it, is meant to collide with his present.
For starters, I had one or two people tell me that this series is “like Harry Potter, but for adults”. The further I get into the series the more I would like to state that this is absolutely not the case. This claim actually really bothers me.
- Harry Potter is for adults too! So that’s not even valid. I am in my 20’s and am still hoping to get my letter to Hogwarts.
- The presence of magic and a school that teaches it doesn’t automatically equal Harry Potter
- The Wise Mans Fear (and the 1st book, The Name of the Wind) lack the strength in the moral themes about love, friendship, bravery, and sense that the characters want to end political nonsense, slavery etc. that can be translated to the real world.
- Basically, while this series is amazing, complex, interesting, and engaging, it does not inspire me like Harry Potter does
Next, since I feel like I should get my criticism out of the way upfront, here this goes: The book was way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way too long. Like I seriously skimmed over about 500 or 600 pages out of 1564 total pages (according to my tablet) by only reading enough to keep track of what was happening and came out feeling like I still knew what was going on. Kvothe (the main character) went on 3 adventures during those pages I skimmed over and all I could think was “yeah, yeah, that’s nice, I get why this has to be here but please just get to the point”. I sort of felt like he was an errant knight of types, like he was just running around adventuring and doing things that would shed light on his greater mission but really had nothing to do with that mission. He eventually got back on track during the last 1/4 of the book, I breathed a sigh of relief and started reading in depth again. That said, I do credit Patrick Rothfuss for not skimping on details, because it sucks when you read a book and realize how lacking details it is. C’est le vie, it’s a balancing act I guess.
Ok so, what I liked about The Wise Man’s Fear was that I really like fantasy books and I love that Patrick Rothfuss has such complexity in the series. There are several different cultures, countries and languages, which is fun. What I really like is that there is so much lore (mythology? same thing technically?). A lot of books I guess have lore, but not as in depth. I liked that Patrick Rothfuss put so much detail there. Kvothe believes in this one lore, it’s true because the figures in this story killed his parents (by the way, that happens at the beginning on the first book and given the nature of the story this is no surprise). However, people never speak about these characters in the story are evil and known for killing anyone who talks about them to much, so whoosies for the chatty folks, although, people really realize why they don’t talk about it, it is just a children’s story in their opinions. However, it drives Kvothe nuts that there is so little record about anything connected to it. Any ways, it’s a group of 7 guys, who were sort of like warriors that worked for the religious order, but then they were banned by a secular power but stuck around under cover. Now there is a second nasty figure emerging out of the Fae land who and I think a character at the end was revealed to be far more connected with that nasty little guy that I expected, which is a bummer.
Any ways, good read (despite the length) so I’d go read it.