“I just love the world of Patrick Rothfuss.” —Lin-Manuel Miranda • “He’s bloody good, this Rothfuss guy.” —George R. R. Martin • “Rothfuss has real talent.” —Terry Brooks
DAY TWO: THE WISE MAN’S FEAR
“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”
My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.
So begins a tale told from his own point of view—a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, Day Two of The Kingkiller Chronicle, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.
Praise for The Kingkiller Chronicle:
“The best epic fantasy I read last year.... He’s bloody good, this Rothfuss guy.”
—George R. R. Martin, New York Times-bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire
“Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous.”
—Terry Brooks, New York Times-bestselling author of Shannara
"It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing...with true music in the words."
—Ursula K. Le Guin, award-winning author of Earthsea
"The characters are real and the magic is true.”
—Robin Hobb, New York Times-bestselling author of Assassin’s Apprentice
"Masterful.... There is a beauty to Pat's writing that defies description."
—Brandon Sanderson, New York Times-bestselling author of Mistborn
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Apple and Elderberry
BAST SLOUCHED AGAINST THE long stretch of mahogany bar, bored.
Looking around the empty room, he sighed and rummaged around until he found a clean linen cloth. Then, with a resigned look, he began to polish a section of the bar.
After a moment Bast leaned forward and squinted at some half-seen speck. He scratched at it and frowned at the oily smudge his finger made. He leaned closer, fogged the bar with his breath, and buffed it briskly. Then he paused, exhaled hard against the wood, and wrote an obscene word in the fog.
Tossing aside the cloth, Bast made his way through the empty tables and chairs to the wide windows of the inn. He stood there for a long moment, looking at the dirt road running through the center of the town.
Bast gave another sigh and began to pace the room. He moved with the casual grace of a dancer and the perfect nonchalance of a cat. But when he ran his hands through his dark hair the gesture was restless. His blue eyes prowled the room endlessly, as if searching for a way out. As if searching for something he hadn’t seen a hundred times before.
But there was nothing new. Empty tables and chairs. Empty stools at the bar. Two huge barrels loomed on the counter behind the bar, one for whiskey, one for beer. Between the barrels stood a vast panoply of bottles: all colors and shapes. Above the bottles hung a sword.
Bast’s eyes fell back onto the bottles. He focused on them for a long, speculative moment, then moved back behind the bar and brought out a heavy clay mug.
Drawing a deep breath, he pointed a finger at the first bottle in the bottom row and began to chant as he counted down the line.
Catch and carry.
Ash and Ember.
He finished the chant while pointing at a squat green bottle. He twisted out the cork, took a speculative sip, then made a sour face and shuddered. He quickly set the bottle down and picked up a curving red one instead. He sipped this one as well, rubbed his wet lips together thoughtfully, then nodded and splashed a generous portion into his mug.
He pointed at the next bottle and started counting again:
Moon at night.
This time it was a clear bottle with a pale yellow liquor inside. Bast yanked the cork and added a long pour to the mug without bothering to taste it first. Setting the bottle aside, he picked up the mug and swirled it dramatically before taking a mouthful. He smiled a brilliant smile and flicked the new bottle with his finger, making it chime lightly before he began his singsong chant again:
Stone and stave.
Wind and water—”
A floorboard creaked, and Bast looked up, smiling brightly. “Good morning, Reshi.”
The red-haired innkeeper stood at the bottom of the stairs. He brushed his long-fingered hands over the clean apron and full-length sleeves he wore. “Is our guest awake yet?”
Bast shook his head. “Not a rustle or a peep.”
“He’s had a hard couple of days,” Kote said. “It’s probably catching up with him.” He hesitated, then lifted his head and sniffed. “Have you been drinking?” The question was more curious than accusatory.
“No,” Bast said.
The innkeeper raised an eyebrow.
“I’ve been tasting,” Bast said, emphasizing the word. “Tasting comes before drinking.”
“Ah,” the innkeeper said. “So you were getting ready to drink then?”
“Tiny Gods, yes,” Bast said. “To great excess. What the hell else is there to do?” Bast brought his mug up from underneath the bar and looked into it. “I was hoping for elderberry, but I got some sort of melon.” He swirled the mug speculatively. “Plus something spicy.” He took another sip and narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. “Cinnamon?” he asked, looking at the ranks of bottles. “Do we even have any more elderberry?”
“It’s in there somewhere,” the innkeeper said, not bothering to look at the bottles. “Stop a moment and listen, Bast. We need to talk about what you did last night.”
Bast went very still. “What did I do, Reshi?”
“You stopped that creature from the Mael,” Kote said.
“Oh.” Bast relaxed, making a dismissive gesture. “I just slowed it down, Reshi. That’s all.”
Kote shook his head. “You realized it wasn’t just some madman. You tried to warn us. If you hadn’t been so quick on your feet …”
Bast frowned. “I wasn’t so quick, Reshi. It got Shep.” He looked down at the well-scrubbed floorboards near the bar. “I liked Shep.”
“Everyone else will think the smith’s prentice saved us,” Kote said. “And that’s probably for the best. But I know the truth. If not for you, it would have slaughtered everyone here.”
“Oh Reshi, that’s just not true,” Bast said. “You would have killed it like a chicken. I just got it first.”
The innkeeper shrugged the comment away. “Last night has me thinking,” he said. “Wondering what we could do to make things a bit safer around here. Have you ever heard ‘The White Riders’ Hunt’?”
Bast smiled. “It was our song before it was yours, Reshi.” He drew a breath and sang in a sweet tenor:
“Rode they horses white as snow.
Silver blade and white horn bow.
Wore they fresh and supple boughs,
Red and green upon their brows.”
The innkeeper nodded. “Exactly the verse I was thinking of. Do you think you could take care of it while I get things ready here?”
Bast nodded enthusiastically and practically bolted, pausing by the kitchen door. “You won’t start without me?” he asked anxiously.
“We’ll start as soon as our guest is fed and ready,” Kote said. Then, seeing the expression on his student’s face, he relented a little. “For all that, I imagine you have an hour or two.”
Bast glanced through the doorway, then back.
Amusement flickered over the innkeeper’s face. “And I’ll call before we start.” He made a shooing motion with one hand. “Go on now.”
The man who called himself Kote went through his usual routine at the Waystone Inn. He moved like clockwork, like a wagon rolling down the road in well-worn ruts.
First came the bread. He mixed flour and sugar and salt with his hands, not bothering to measure. He added a piece of starter from the clay jar in the pantry, kneaded the dough, then rounded the loaves and set them to rise. He shoveled ash from the stove in the kitchen and kindled a fire.
Next he moved into the common room and laid a fire in the black stone fireplace, brushing the ash from the massive hearth along the northern wall. He pumped water, washed his hands, and brought up a piece of mutton from the basement. He cut fresh kindling, carried in firewood, punched down the rising bread and moved it close to the now-warm stove.
And then, abruptly, there was nothing left to do. Everything was ready. Everything was clean and orderly. The red-haired man stood behind the bar, his eyes slowly returning from their faraway place, focusing on the here and now, on the inn itself.
They came to rest on the sword that hung on the wall above the bottles. It wasn’t a particularly beautiful sword, not ornate or eye-catching. It was menacing, in a way. The same way a tall cliff is menacing. It was grey and unblemished and cold to the touch. It was sharp as shattered glass. Carved into the black wood of the mounting board was a single word: Folly.
The innkeeper heard heavy footsteps on the wooden landing outside. The door’s latch rattled noisily, followed by a loud hellooo and a thumping on the door.
“Just a moment!” Kote called. Hurrying to the front door he turned the heavy key in the door’s bright brass lock.
Graham stood with his thick hand poised to knock on the door. His weathered face split into a grin when he saw the innkeeper. “Bast open things up for you again this morning?” he asked.
Kote gave a tolerant smile.
“He’s a good boy,” Graham said. “Just a little ditherheaded. I thought you might have closed up shop today.” He cleared his throat and glanced at his feet for a moment. “I wouldn’t be surprised, considering.”
Kote put the key in his pocket. “Open as always. What can I do for you?”
Graham stepped out of the doorway and nodded toward the street where three barrels stood in a nearby cart. They were new, with pale, polished wood and bright metal bands. “I knew I wasn’t getting any sleep last night, so I knocked the last one together for you. Besides, I heard the Bentons would be coming round with the first of the late apples today.”
“I appreciate that.”
“Nice and tight so they’ll keep through the winter.” Graham walked over and rapped a knuckle proudly against the side of the barrel. “Nothing like a winter apple to stave off hunger.” He looked up with a glimmer in his eye and knocked at the side of the barrel again. “Get it? Stave?”
Kote groaned a bit, rubbing at his face.
Graham chuckled to himself and ran a hand over one of the barrel’s bright metal bands. “I ain’t ever made a barrel with brass before, but these turned out nice as I could hope for. You let me know if they don’t stay tight. I’ll see to ’em.”
“I’m glad it wasn’t too much trouble,” the innkeeper said. “The cellar gets damp. I worry iron would just rust out in a couple years.”
Graham nodded. “That’s right sensible,” he said. “Not many folk take the long view of things.” He rubbed his hands together. “Would you like to give me a hand? I’d hate to drop one and scuff your floors.”
They set to it. Two of the brass-bound barrels went to the basement while the third was maneuvered behind the bar, through the kitchen, and into the pantry.
After that, the men made their way back to the common room, each on his own side of the bar. There was a moment of silence as Graham looked around the empty taproom. There were two fewer stools than there should be at the bar, and an empty space left by an absent table. In the orderly taproom these things were conspicuous as missing teeth.
Graham pulled his eyes from a well-scrubbed piece of floor near the bar. He reached into his pocket and brought out a pair of dull iron shims, his hand hardly shaking at all. “Bring me up a short beer, would you, Kote?” he asked, his voice rough. “I know it’s early, but I’ve got a long day ahead of me. I’m helping the Murrions bring their wheat in.”
The innkeeper drew the beer and handed it over silently. Graham drank half of it off in a long swallow. His eyes were red around the edges. “Bad business last night,” he said without making eye contact, then took another drink.
Kote nodded. Bad business last night. Chances are, that would be all Graham had to say about the death of a man he had known his whole life. These folk knew all about death. They killed their own livestock. They died from fevers, falls, or broken bones gone sour. Death was like an unpleasant neighbor. You didn’t talk about him for fear he might hear you and decide to pay a visit.
Except for stories, of course. Tales of poisoned kings and duels and old wars were fine. They dressed death in foreign clothes and sent him far from your door. A chimney fire or the croup cough were terrifying. But Gibea’s trial or the siege of Enfast, those were different. They were like prayers, like charms muttered late at night when you were walking alone in the dark. Stories were like ha’penny amulets you bought from a peddler, just in case.
“How long is that scribe fellow going to be around?” Graham asked after a moment, voice echoing in his mug. “Maybe I should get a bit of something writ up, just in case.” He frowned a bit. “My daddy always called them laying-down papers. Can’t remember what they’re really called.”
“If it’s just your goods that need looking after, it’s a disposition of property,” the innkeeper said matter-of-factly. “If it relates to other things it’s called a mandamus of declared will.”
Graham lifted an eyebrow at the innkeeper.
“What I heard at any rate,” the innkeeper said, looking down and rubbing the bar with a clean white cloth. “Scribe mentioned something along those lines.”
“Mandamus …” Graham murmured into his mug. “I reckon I’ll just ask him for some laying-down papers and let him official it up however he likes.” He looked up at the innkeeper. “Other folk will probably be wanting something similar, times being what they are.”
For a moment it looked like the innkeeper frowned with irritation. But no, he did nothing of the sort. Standing behind the bar he looked the same as he always did, his expression placid and agreeable. He gave an easy nod. “He mentioned he’d be setting up shop around midday,” Kote said. “He was a bit unsettled by everything last night. If anyone shows up earlier than noon I expect they’ll be disappointed.”
Graham shrugged. “Shouldn’t make any difference. There won’t be but ten people in the whole town until lunchtime anyway.” He took another swallow of beer and looked out the window. “Today’s a field day and that’s for sure.”
The innkeeper seemed to relax a bit. “He’ll be here tomorrow too. So there’s no need for everyone to rush in today. Folk stole his horse off by Abbott’s Ford, and he’s trying to find a new one.”
Graham sucked his teeth sympathetically. “Poor bastard. He won’t find a horse for love nor money with harvest in mid-swing. Even Carter couldn’t replace Nelly after that spider thing attacked him off by the Oldstone bridge.” He shook his head. “It doesn’t seem right, something like that happening not two miles from your own door. Back when—”
Graham stopped. “Lord and lady, I sound like my old da.” He tucked in his chin and added some gruff to his voice. “Back when I was a boy we had proper weather. The miller kept his thumb off the scale and folk knew to look after their own business.”
The innkeeper’s face grew a wistful smile. “My father said the beer was better, and the roads had fewer ruts.”
What People are Saying About This
“The Wise Man's Fear was worth waiting for. It’s about as good as this kind of fantasy can possibly get.... This is an extremely immersive story set in a flawlessly constructed world and told extremely well. I don’t want to criticize it and analyse it—I don’t want to step that far away from it. I want to sink down below the surface of it and become completely immersed.”
“In the end, I think that if I distill why I've loved these books so much more than others, it's because of this: They're beautiful. Wise Man's Fear is a BEAUTIFUL book to read. Masterful prose, a sense of cohesion to the storytelling, a wonderful sense of pacing.... None of that is the reason for the awesomeness any more than a single dab of paint is the reason why a Monet is a thing of wonder. But if you step back...you are left with a sense of awe. There is a beauty to Pat's writing that defies description.”
"The best epic fantasy I read last year... I gulped it down in a day, staying up almost to dawn reading, and I am already itching for the next one. He's bloody good, this Rothfuss guy."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
The Wise Man's Fear is amazing. He is clever, passionate and has a great sense of humor. I enjoyed reading the original characters' development and meeting new ones. It is a great book of three parts. I found myself pausing and re-reading passages or phrases. Patrick Rothfuss's writing is a pleasure to read. His comedy is as perfectly done as his emotional heart-breaking tragedy. The great plotting and timing and somehow turning the improbable into possible kept me fascinated throughout. This is sheer fun and entertainment that will keep your anxiety at a peek until number three is out.
This wasn't the review I wanted to write, but rather a response to the whining review that came up when I went to 'review' wherin the Ebook price was the issue. I read a LOT and this series may just be the most enjoyable one EVER. I read fast and I spent 18 hours yesterday and just under 19 hours today with a literal all nighter finishing now at 4:42 AM. how can that not be worth $15 ? 41 CENTS per hour is cheap entertainment these days. Hey if you gotta save WAIT. DON'T whine. There's this amazing thing called a library and another called a second hand bookstore....Or there's a lend function for ebooks. I for one want the author and the publisher to get theirs for bringing it so that they will have the incentive to KEEP up the good work.
Kvothe of the Waystone Inn continues to tell his life history as he sought information and risked his life many times over to learn information about the mythical Chandrian seven; demi deities who brutally murdered his parents leaving him an orphaned child. Kyothe explains he entered the University, but was expelled when he alienated a noble. From school he traveled to Vintas where he got into local politics when he learned of a planned assassination attempt. Adem mercenaries put him on trial and he ended the terror of the King's Road. His escapades led to the lure of Felurian the fae in her realm in which he is the first mortal to escape her seduction while staying sane. Whether he burned down Trebon or chatted with Gods, Kyothe remained resolute that his life's work is to kill the Chadrian. Kvothe has seen much more than any person has ever seen; been to places few believe exists; and conversed with Gods some no longer worshipped and feared. He knows he has become part of the mythos; but, no man can live up to the whispers of the legend they have become, not even Kyothe the wanderer. The second Kingkiller Chronicle (see The Name of the Wind) is a great epic fantasy starring an intriguing lead character. Kyothe has dedicated his life to one goal, but to achieve his obsession he ends up doing a myriad of seemingly sidebar escapades; but these like his time with the Adem and his one night with Felurian enhance his skills as he prepares for the confrontation that he seeks. Although there is repetitive emotional angst (to be expected in a tome just under a thousand pages), fans will relish more of Kyothe's adventures of how an orphan has become the most infamous wizard the world has ever known. Harriet Klausner
Once you start this series you'll need to prepare yourself to miss sleep, ignore the phone, and skip your various duties until the story is done. I tell you three times... get ready!
If you haven't read book one, do yourself a favor and read it. Then immediatly run out and buy this one.
The plot's continued complexity and weaving kept me interested the entire time. There were a couple slow moments, but they laid the foundation for the higher intensity moments. Great book! The only downside is that I wanted to read the next book ASAP but it's not out yet!
This book is amazing!! It flows seamlessly from the first book and once you start reading you cant put it down! Now Patrick needs to come out with the third one and make it like 4,000 pages long!!!
I have to agree with all the other people's high rants about this book so I'll not repeat them. I will add that in addition to characters and a hero that you can't help but love and the already mentioned dash of Harry Potter, you get a little David Copperfield. I read David C. when I was quite young and it left an impression on me. The struggles of a downtrodden child and their climb out of the gutter and onto to becoming a very well-rounded bad-ass captivates me. Patrick reminded me of how wonderful stories can be.
This is a great read, worth the wait. I downloaded and midnight on the first and spent the next 16 hrs., completely engrossed in the story. I had absolutely no problems with availability. B&N did very well with this, the cost is not an issue if you want a book you buy a book if its new either hard copy or digital you are paying for the authors effort not the paper. That being said i would have willingly paid double for this book. My only complaint is now i have to wait for the third installment. Oh well i get to read them both again anyway.
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.
As the second act of Kvothe's saga, Wise Man's Fear does not disappoint. In fact, if you were engaged by Name of the Wind, skipping Rothfuss' next installment of his Kingkiller Chronicles is unthinkable. My only complaint is that the book is so damn good, I tore through it in just a couple days. So, c'mon, Mr. Rothfuss.... please finish Doors of Stone (#3) before we devoted fans die of thirst out here!
This is the first fantasy book I've ever picked up and if they're all like this, I've been missing something fantastic for 18 longs years. The only reason I ever put it down was because I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open at 5 in the morning.
This story is absolutely wonderful. One of the best,if not the best, book I have read in many years. The author is deeply talented, and has a beautiful turn of phrase. Well worth the money and highly recommended.
I have been reading Fantasy novels for 35 years. All the big names and a lot of the smaller. This is the first time I have ever pre-ordered a book, much less bought it for retail price!
The third book is on its way.
I have already shared this book with family and friends who are as enthusiastic about the overwhelming satisfaction of reading a great novel as I am. Thank you Patrick or Pat or Paddy.
At the risk of sounding like: things were better before, I don't like the huge volumes of fantasy that are being written now. However Rothfuss is worth every page, all 900 of them. His Kvothe manages to be human and terrifying all at the same time, and the plotting is excellent. Not every writer can do flashbacks as Rothfuss can. The book starts in the present where he is hanging out as an innkeeper and the dips between that time and his history. I would advise a potential reader to not start with this one but with Name of the wind. You would get lost otherwise.
This is an incredible sequel and it somehow surpasses The 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.
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
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.
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.
This book is just plain great. If you like fantasy read this series.