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

18 out of 41 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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  • 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Chasing the wind!

    Very well written, a joy to read. However, after 2000 pages the author forgot to advance the plot. For this mistake I can only give this book two stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Not much happened

    Main character is amazingly good at everything he does which gets boring. Add in the whole book was just expaining how he got to be the best at everything and did not move the plot forward at all. A lot will have to happen in the third book to finish the tale.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    disappointing

    The first book in this series "The Name of the Wind" showed promise. The second was disappointing a lot of pages to not really go anywhere. It seemed more like a series of short stories put together rather than the second book of a trilogy. I won't bother reading the third.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2013

    Boring...

    The second half of this book is practically just a book of short stories. The characters sit around a fire telling each other stories for such a long time.

    Don't bother. The first one was great, this one kind of ruins it. Towards the second half of this book, I was just reading it to finish the book, not because it was remotely enjorable.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2012

    A very disappointing book. It was as if I was reading the 1st b

    A very disappointing book. It was as if I was reading the 1st book in the series, "the Name of the Wind" all over again . After waiting so long I bought the hard bound copy of this book and was terribly disappointed. Does not anyone see the similarity to the situations in the first. The first book of the series was an absolute marvel, this second of a suspected Trilogy was a poor job and I read the whole thing because I thought the storyline would break out of it's malaise.

    0 out of 2 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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Too long

    There is so much to like, but some points are harped on over and over. After a while its just too much.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    To long winded....

    This book has about 400 pages it just doesnt need. Why all the good raviews is hard to figure!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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