Customer Reviews for

The Wise Man's Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles Series #2)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

32 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

Well worth the wait. Rothfuss has penned a masterpiece.

Patrick Rothfuss has written another exceptional book. It was worth the wait given how brilliant of a book it truly is. Rothfuss really is a great story teller. For a book of nearly 1000 pages it would be easy to assume he weighed it down with excessive words and passag...
Patrick Rothfuss has written another exceptional book. It was worth the wait given how brilliant of a book it truly is. Rothfuss really is a great story teller. For a book of nearly 1000 pages it would be easy to assume he weighed it down with excessive words and passages. That, however, wasn't the case at all. Every word, sentence and paragraph lent itself to the overall story. Nothing excessive and nothing wasted. He never bogged the story down with useless information making it so easy to get lost in the story. In this book he continues to develop the story and characters as fully as possible. I felt, while reading and now after completion, that he did a remarkable job establishing and maintaining the relationships between Kvothe and his friends, allies and enemies. His relationship with Denna and Elodin are particularly fascinating. Devi too. Ah, heck, his relationship with everyone is explained and explored brilliantly by Rothfuss. Rothfuss also introduces more characters for us to get to know. One of the things that makes this book and series so unique is that Rothfuss seems to know where he wants to take this story and is following his vision right to the end. He is giving us both the good and bad parts of his characters. Kvothe isn't perfect and neither is anyone else and he explores every side of his characters. We see their virtues and flaws. He just does a remarkable job in his writing style and story telling. I guess, for me, all I can say to sum this up is that I loved this book. I will gladly wait as long as needed if that's what it takes for Rothfuss to deliver another amazing book. I can't wait to see where Kvothe goes next.

posted by Country_Boy9 on March 8, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

19 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

Somewhat of a letdown from the first book

I, like many others, had waited a long time for the 2nd installment of the Kingkiller Chronicles. The first book, "The Name of the Wind" was one of the best debut novels of fantasy I had ever read. Perhaps the the bar was raised to high by the the first book, because I ...
I, like many others, had waited a long time for the 2nd installment of the Kingkiller Chronicles. The first book, "The Name of the Wind" was one of the best debut novels of fantasy I had ever read. Perhaps the the bar was raised to high by the the first book, because I definitely feel the sophomore jinx has taken it's toll on "The Wise Man's Fear".

The first book established itself with all the usual elements of epic fantasy. A young orphan boy with great promise, comes of age and starts on the path of becoming a great Wizard. What was unique was the perspective the author chose to employ. The tale being told through a series of flashbacks from the main character who is older and semi-retired from Wizarding and is now operating an inn some far off corner of the world. The second book picks up right where the first let off with Kvothe retelling of his continued adventures in magic and music at the University.

Here is where my first minor complaint begins. There's nothing wrong with an author borrowing ideas from other authors especially successful ones. However, the first 3rd of The Wise Man's fear reads very much like one of the Harry Potter books. There's an analog for every major character from Snape to Draco to Luna Lovegood.

After about 350 pages of Kvothe learning more magic and outwitting his adversaries at the University, Rothfuss abruptly changes the setting and has Kvothe set out on the road. At this point, Rothfuss does another thing that frustrates me. Instead of just saying Kvothe arrives in the far away land, he lets us know that he barely makes it with nothing but his Lute and his wits intact. Why let us know about road adventures, but then skip the details.

Regardless, the change in scenery is welcome, and we get to know more about the other realms of the world Kvothe lives in. What follows is a "Cyrano de Bergerac" type tale where our young hero must use his various skills in the employ of a powerful Duke. His first task is to "court" a young nobel lady who the Duke wishes to marry. Along the way he prevents an assassination attempt upon said Duke (whose motive is never explained) and as a reward gets sent out to fight bandits in the Woods who are stealing the Duke's tax money.

From there, its one adventure after the next. In summary he manages to defeat the bandits with his magic, enters manhood with the help of a legendary fairy creature, has a chance encounters a evil oracle type create which apparently will shape his future fate, and finally learns to fight with hand and sword from the mysterious Adem mercenaries. On his way back to the Duke, he solves another minor mystery and as a reward is banished from the Duke's service after offending his new wife with the revelation of his heritage.

The story ends with Kvothe back at his University with fatter pockets and a new reputation as a ladies man. We end up with a better picture of how the Kvothe legend formed, but still no significant progress on the main mystery of the series which would be who Chandrian and Amyr are and where they can be found.

To sum up, its an entertaining read, but the sense of wonder I had in the first book is squashed by the rambling nature of the 2nd book. Rothfuss has a lot of work to do to finish this up in a 3rd book.

posted by BigWilleyStyle on March 10, 2011

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  • Posted September 19, 2010

    Incredible talent!

    The Name of the Wind was such a good book, not only could I not put it down- I reread it again before I put it down- then I read it aloud to a friend as we drove across the country- 3 reads in less than a month and I am thinking about reading it again. I am looking forward to THe Wise Man's Fear.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    This is one of those books I'm grateful I could check out from t

    This is one of those books I'm grateful I could check out from the library. It's one of the few I would have wanted to get my money back if I'd bought it. If this is what passes for great fantasy fiction in America, I despair for the future of fantasy literature.

    Although it contains some good writing and concepts, it is SO long, with SO much boring, repetitive conversation with different characters that I found myself skimming and fast-forwarding through entire sections. Note to Mr. Rothfuss: Less is More. Think of it as similar to Lehana, or whatever the thinly disguised Zen Buddhism/Dharma was called.

    Also, this book needs a better throughline. Just following someone all over the countryside is neither a compelling nor a captivating throughline.

    And don't keep using the "it looked familiar" or "she looked familiar" line again and again and then never follow through with WHY it/she/they looked familiar. Plus, you keep portraying Kvothe as having this wonderful memory, so why is he continually unable to place things?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Even better than Name of the Wind

    The arcanist continues his journey. In the Maer's house, he discovers that the Maer is being slowly poisoned by one of his courtiers, he woos a woman for the Maer, and is then sent on an expedition to get rid of bandits in the Eld. He uses magic to destroy the bandit's encampment, has an interlude with Felurian, returns to the Maer, and is banished when he says he is Edema Ruh. Returning to the university, he is reunited with Denna, briefly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2012

    Excellent second installment in the series.

    This story continues one mans adventures in a well thought out, detailed and original fantasy world. Anyone who has read through the first book (The Name of the Wind) will be interested to find out what happens to Kvothe next. I would point new readers to that story first, as this book would not work nearly so well as a stand-alone. I found the characters were believable and complex, not just stereotypes or cliches. If I have to find a flaw, I'd complain about the storyline jumping from past to present and back as the protagonist narrates his own life story. At times I found the transition jarring and distracting. However, I'll trust the author to bring that second, seemingly superflous thread to greater importance in the next book when, I believe, the tale will be narrated right up to his current situation in life. At that point, the sidebars we have endured will become the actual story and take on much greater importance. Overall, it is excellent work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    The Story-Weaver Makes an Another Excellent Thread! I¿m absolut

    The Story-Weaver Makes an Another Excellent Thread!

    I’m absolutely intimated at the level of cleverness and whit that Patrick Rothfuss has ingratiated into this second installation of the King-killer Chronicles. Not only is he a talented story weaver, but these two novels are filled with such knowledge, whit, and character development that it would make any fantasy nerd blush. I did quite a few times, actually.


    If you love a simple story with the regular fantasy formula, this isn’t a tale for you. However, if you love a good puzzle, an over-abundance of science, history, philosophy, mythology, magic – well, a dire thirst for cleverness, then this is a must read. Yet, the genius of Rothfuss is not in the level of intelligent ingredients he weaved into this tale - it’s that he makes his work of art look easy.


    I love Kvothe, not for his genius, his quick wit, or his talent with music and magic, but for his fallibility, his naivety, and his ignorant innocence. Most of all, I love his drive, his hope, his bravery in the face of adversity, his failures and weaknesses – and despite his confessions, I love his desire for justice. These might be all the traditional elements of a fantasy hero that have been written out thousands of times before, but what makes that formula great is the fact it works. Rothfuss, along with a few other authors I’ve read lately like Michael J. Sullivan, Anthony Ryan, and R.T. Kaelin, really have learned the secret to good character development.


    In a story about heroes, it’s not always what must be done, or the powers they have, that make them great, but who they must become as a person in order to fulfill their destiny. The process from discovering destiny – to the point of fulfilling it – that is the story. In the King-Killer Chronicles, The Name of the Wind, Kvothe is introduced at the height of his innocence and the beginning of his thirst for knowledge and wonder of the universe around him. He is full of all the awe, wonder, and wild-eyed amazement of childhood as he steps lightly onto the path of his destiny. Then, controversy and adversity descends upon him with the murder of his parents and the introduction of the Chandrian, disrupting that innocence, and introducing him to the path of development of his character. In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe begins to grow up and face the hard realities of his decisions, life and what lay ahead for him. THIS is what I love about his series. Rothfuss doesn’t tell us a story, he allows Kvothe to reveal it to us in a slow development that involves all emotion and intellect. The result: readers become emotionally and intellectually invested, rooting for the hero because of the hero, not the quest.


    It is this formula that I’m discovering and loving in the epic fantasies I’ve read lately. I hope I can apply it to my own stories, and with authors like Rowling, Rothfuss, Sullivan, Kaelin and Sanderson, I think I’ve got some great inspirations to use.


    I highly recommend this series, and I want to again thank Michael J. Sullivan for his recommendation.


    Till next time,
    ~T.L. Gray
    Author of the Arcainian Series

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2012

    This book was wildly disappointing compared to the first one. Th

    This book was wildly disappointing compared to the first one. The first
    book was a fresh take on a lot of common fantasy tropes. The brilliant
    but unwise protagonist was charming and likable in that first
    installment. This book was tiresomely formulaic, and I found myself
    wondering what happened that took the freshness of the first book and
    turned the second installment into one of any 100+ non-memorable fantasy
    books I've read over the years. I finished the novel, but I'm not really
    looking forward to the third installment.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2012

    Great book.

    Wise Man's Fear was a great book. The Name of the Wind was a fantastic read. One of those books that I could not put down. Patrick's second book in the series surpassed his first one. I am eagerly waiting his next book in this series. He is becoming a great author and I would put him ing the category of Eddings, Martin, and dare I say it Tolkien.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2012

    Irresistable - Makes me want more!

    After burning through The Name of the Wind, the first in this series, at the recommendation of a friend, I was eager to delve right into the followup. Mr. Rothfuss continues his great storytelling style and pacing in this sequel. The way Mr. Rothfuss tells the story within a story (and at times within another story) is masterful and really serves to draw in the reader in all facets.

    The third person portions of the book, set in the present day, are a great respite from the fast and detailed pacing of the first person story, however, even they tend to slowly build up at times to keep you wondering what will happen next. Even though you are slowly being told the story of how the "infamous and legendary" Kvothe, the main character, is where he is physically and mentally in the present day, you come out wanting more. This is not a fault of the book, but a credit to the author's pacing.

    All in all, the journey is of the importance, and a great story leads you where the author intends to take you. We may not know why or how Kvothe is where he is, but hearing of young Kvothe's adventures, truthful and honest, from the legend himself is fantastic storytelling within a much larger story yet to come.

    My only sadness after reading this book is that I don't have the third one yet. In the meantime before May 2013, I will reread them and be ready to continue on the adventure with Mr. Rothfuss and his very interesting and grounded fantasy world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    Amazing

    This book is just plain great.
    If you like fantasy read this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Liked the first book? This was a disappointment

    I devoured the first book. Outstanding read. The second book starts slow, bogs down in endless detail about 'reading' hand gestures and extraordinary helpings of very mundane facts and interactions.

    The end was good; but it was a heavy slog to get there.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Disappointing

    I really enjoyed the first book in this series, though I should have known that the ending being a letdown could be trouble for the second book. I honestly couldn't make it past the first few chapters of this one. Maybe if the third one is well reviewed I'll try again.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    Great book, not my complaint

    My complaint is with Barns and Noble and Nook. The book comes out March 1, today as of 40 min. ago. I stayed up so I could read a little of it, there is no info on when it officially becomes available for download. This is frustrating and not right since I could have bought it in a store forty minutes ago. If they are waiting for the west coast timezone to reach midnight... fine but that info should be available somewhere. Thanks and do something about it Barns and Noble/Nook Thx.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2014

    Best ive ever read

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  • Posted December 9, 2014

    So I got through the 1000 page book that is The Wise Man¿s F





    So I got through the 1000 page book that is The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and I was expecting quite a bit from one of the most liked books in the fantasy genre and I was not disappointed.  Reading about Kvothe is like sitting with a cup of hot chocolate while spending time with someone you love.  Rothfuss is a great writer than puts a lot of his personality into his work and the Adem are the highlight of Rothfuss’ world.  The Wise Man’s Fear is not a deep intellectual work by any stretch of the imagination but it works well.I loved this book, especially the beginning, and the Adem training.  I love interpersonal relationships in books and the beginning was such a stand out part in the book because Kvothe is getting close to everyone.  Each of the side characters from The University are more fleshed out than they were in The Name of the Wind, which helped me care about them so much more, and learn how they think.  The Adem training was the next part of this book I liked the most.  The Adem society and culture is the most imaginative and detailed part of Rothfuss’ world building.  They are so different than all the other societies in the book but not too different from our own world cultures to not have a point of reference.  They kind of reminded me of promiscuous Buddhist monks.There was one part of this book that I did not really care about and that is the story with Felurian.  I felt like the sub-plot with Felurian was a little unbelievable and served the purpose only to give Kvothe certain knowledge that I felt he could have learned some other way.  Kvothe becoming sexually active wasn’t my favorite part of this book either as it seemed at times to belong in a completely different book.




    Rothfuss writes this book with a flow, pace, and prose that lets you fly through it with ease.  If there was one word I would use to describe Rothfuss’ writing it would be whimsical.  This is a book where you smile a lot while reading.  There is some substance in this book but not a whole lot.  The main substance of this book is learning about what is inside Kvothe, his anger, and how he needs to deal with that.  What happened to his parents weighs his heart down greatly and effects his relationships and his actions.I would recommend this book to anyone that is just starting to read fantasy.  To people that have read a ton of fantasy, I would ask them if they liked any young adult fantasy books, because honestly The University stuff is very young adultish.  I don’t mind that one bit, in fact I enjoy that camaraderie between friends, but other people might see it as over done or childish.  However, I do not think that way, and hope not to think that way in the future.  I hope to read this again sometime and enjoy it just as much as I did now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2014

    Hawk

    Looks very interesting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2014

    amazing book

    where is the next.

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  • Posted November 9, 2014

    Highly Recommend

    This is a great series. Looking forward to the next book.

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  • Posted October 4, 2014

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Love this author. Perfect Sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    I read the first of this series and this one in a matter of week

    I read the first of this series and this one in a matter of weeks, that'ts how much I loved them. I love allthe characters, and fellow women who read fantasy: rejoice, because the female characters in this book are so fully fleshed out that each one could have her own novel. And in fact, one does! Even better, they all have good and bad points. That leads me to Kvoth's lady love: she's the worst. The romance between her and Kvoth is beautifully done, and achingly sad, but that doesnt stop me from wanting to slap them both about the ears.

    If you've read the first one, you know that sometimes what Kvoth has to go to is so hard that you have to close the book. Maybe thats just me. I relate a lot to Kvoth, and when bad things happen to him (as they always do) it's almost like all those horrible things are happening to me, and my heart sinks. Then, things get a bit better, then a bit better, and eventually I start to become suspicious of everyone and everything--just like Kvoth--waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for people to use him, surprised when people are kind.

    I wish every fiction write had this authors chops. I'm sure I'll read every book he ever writes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2014

    Great

    Not a big fantasy reader still loved it and its world building.

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