The wise man’s fear

I have finished the Wise Man’s Fear this afternoon. It is a wonderful continuation of Patrick Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind and as beautifully written. Obviously, because it is taking place in the same universe as the first volume and with mostly the same characters, some of the magic wears out, the beginning of the book at the University does not feel so exciting, even though it is like meeting back old friends, but then Kvothe has to leave and become the special agent of a local ruler, then an apprentice into a mercenary school. He also meets a legendary beautiful Fae, Felurian, does much more than survives the encounter, and starts becoming a legend. His very uncertain relation with Denna is underlying the whole book, with a frustrating pace that I hope will be explained in the next volume. While the writing style is as high as before, the plot has a few weaknesses that make the story contrived at times. For instance, the lengthy hunt for the forest bandits could have been both more elliptical and better motivated, while the training in Ademre does not seem that relevant, except to come up with a legendary sword ironically named Cæsura. But the part with Felurian and the subtle description of Kvothe’s half-abandon/half-resistance is masterly. And even though all sub-plots are not perfectly well-oiled and linked together, they tell great stories.

It will alas take another three or four years before the next (and presumably last) volume appears but the interval is worth the wait as it lets Patrick Rothfuss hone his style and sharpen his story. So far, I still rank The Kingkiller Chronicles as the best fantasy series of the past ten years…

2 Responses to “The wise man’s fear”

  1. Hi Corey! I fear I see George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones as gone viral and out of control from the author! I am curious to see how he manages the incoming A Dance with Dragons, however I clearly rank Rothfuss above!

  2. Better than A Song of Ice and Fire? I have trouble picking between the two.

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