maandag 15 december 2014

Patrick Rothfuss: The Wise Man’s Fear


The Wise Man’s Fear is the second part in The Kingkiller Chronicle. It won the David Gemmell Legend Award and it has 994 pages.
You can find my review on the first installment; The Name of the Wind here.
I got this novel from

For those of you who need some kind of reminder about what happened in the first novel; Rothfuss put a little comic on his site:

“My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me...”

Kvothe is still searching for information on the Chandrian and the Amyr but his search is almost at a standstill. I find that very disappointing. Isn't this the Quest at the heart of the novel? I really miss some kind of crisis. It’s hinted at in the surrounding story but that’s it. Right now it’s just a simple recounting of the life of an atypical student. It’s a wonderful story, but it lacks something greater.
I had hoped to leave all those daily-life parts a bit more behind. I’m tired of reading about his money problems, Ambrose and Denna (definitely tired of Denna).
The whole Denna thing is way too long. I didn’t like her in the first novel, I hate her now. She’s annoying and I always felt so glad when she left. She’s boring, unlikable, mean and not mysterious at all. Their story goes nowhere, it has no purpose whatsoever. I hate her.
Devi is a truly fascinating character. I wish she had a much more prominent part.

Rothfuss seems to have no respect for women whatsoever. Almost every female character in this novel wants to have sex with Kvothe. How difficult is it to have a female character with some kind of personality and importance?
And there is way too much sex in this one. It’s over the top. Totally unnecessary. The whole part is juvenile, it’s the sexdream of a lonely teenager. It ads nothing to the story.

Rothfuss could have cut 300 pages easily. Reading about the xth lesson, the xth search in the Library or about yet another encounter with Denna was too much for me. Let alone yet another sexscene or fight with the Adem. It’s too drawn out.

That all being said, I did enjoy this book.
Almost every bit of action happens by accident. And it is fantastic to read how these incidents became the stuff of legends. How people exaggerate incidents that then turn into legends. And I’m sure Kvothe does this too. I love it.
I love the characters (except for Denna) and most of the story is gripping. It’s not as uneventful as the first novel and the pace is definitely better in this one.
I don’t know even with all those faults, I still enjoyed most of the novel. I think it’s his writing style. That is just fantastic. So absorbing and entrancing.
The magic system is very well thought out. It’s not contrived, it’s rooted into the world and it is consistent throughout the novel. The different cultures are more distinct in this novel then the first. They seem much more real. The humor is great. And the characters are very well realized.
And I’m glad we get right into the story without Rothfuss retelling the whole first novel.

Happy reading!

Some quiet time before a short trip with my husband!