My Review for Book One The Name of the Wind .
Minors Spoilers from both Book one The Name of the Wind and Book two.
“I have heard what poets write about women. They rhyme and rhapsodize and lie. I have watched sailors on the shore stare mutely at the slow-rolling swell of the sea. I have watched old soldiers with hearts like leather grow teary-eyed at their king’s colors stretched against the wind.Listen to me: these men know nothing of love.You will not find it in the words of poets or the longing eyes of sailors. If you want to know of love, look to a trouper’s hands as he makes his music.A trouper knows.”
Oh Kvothe, for all your cleverness, you seriously need a huge peace of modesty pie. Actually, just have the whole damn thing, Lord knows you need it.
You know when you read a book that you really wanted to love? A highly anticipated book, or one that all your friends are raving about,…a sequel to a much loved book. Yes, I know we’ve all been there and sucks every time and this is what happened with The Wise Man’s Fear.
You see I loved The Name of the Wind. It wasn’t perfect, but it was an amazing and refreshing read nonetheless. I’m partly to blame since I did my fair share of hyping, but I was also told by everyone that The Wise Man’s Fear is even better that The Name of The Wind. Uh Uh, not where I’m standing from.
Well, let me clarify I loved the first half. The first half is essentially a continuation of where book one leaves us. Kvothe is still at the University, still playing his lute, he still has beef with Ambrose, and yes, much to all of our disappointments he is still pinning for Denna. Face-palm away my friends.
We are regaled with tales of Kvothe’s exploits through his voice, and just like book one we alternate between Kvothe’s present day third person narrative. Things get a little darker here than book 1, and we are privy to more foreshadowing about the current situation in Kvothe’s life. We gather that while Kvothe may still be alive, he’s not doing so great.
You with me so far? Cool. Essentially nothing really changes in the first half, and I loved it. Kvothe and crew got into some fun shenanigans, and they have a little revenge, and some trouble. Trouble that isn’t life threatening for Kvothe, but it still acts as a catalyst to push Kvothe out of the University for awhile.
Kvothe is sent to Maer Alveron’s house on a top secret mission. It’s not that secret, but I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. He gets there, and him being Kvothe he manages to save the day. More than once. And here is where the book took a serious nose dive for me.
I liked Kvothe in the first book. Sure I had some issues with him, but overall he was a cool and smart guy. So I was a surprised to find myself more than a little annoyed with him throughout the second half of this one. The reason for that is he gets cocky, and I’m sorry to say, but he turns into a bit of Gary Stu.
“My shrug was so nonchalant it would make a cat jealous”
I’m not kidding the amount of times that Kvothe “Saved the day single handedly” was a bit ridiculous.
He’s a smart guy, and we already know that, however, cleverness does not always a victory make. Even the things that are supposed to make him flawed felt like they were mostly there to shine some more good light on him.
Then there is the whole section where he ends in up in the Fae where you would think we would finally get to know a bit more about the Chandrian. You remember those guys right? The big bad that loses more and more of their street cred the less and less they become relevant to this story. However, that isn’t what happens.Kvothe loses his virginity to a Felurian in perhaps the biggest WTF moment ever. After some more strange moments, he ends up back in the real world with his official stud stamp.
More traveling occurs and Kvothe spends another hundred pages becoming super great at something else that has no purpose to the plot, (thus far)but of course it makes Kvothe look good, so why cut it?
After once again saving the day, while simultaneous pissing people off, Kvothe is once again home. Where he has a grand time because things are for once in order, but of course Denna is lurking (like a creep) around the corner to piss us off, and mess with his head.
Speaking of Denna. Ugh. She is one of my most detested characters ever. If Rothfuss was aiming for the mysterious angle for her, it failed miserably. She annoys more than intrigues, and Kvothe didn’t win anymore points with me by running after her like a lost puppy. The amount of times I wanted to slap some sense into him, and just plain slap her was off the wall. And for the record, I’m not a violent person.
For all my complaining, I did enjoy most of the book. I enjoyed how strongly friendship is emphasized. As always Kvothe’s friends make the day. Sim and Wilhem are keepers and Kvothe would be lost without them. The woman here (minus Denna) were much better portrayed then the first one. In particular Fela and Devi, they become more active participants as opposed to minor secondary characters.
The world surrounding and including the University has more depths to it. Rothfuss really laid out a huge and vibrant world and it’s very impressive. I’m still very impressed by the magic and how it’s used.
Despite the overall ranty tone of this review I’m still on board with these books, I’m just a little torn.On one hand truly loved the first half and this story, but I was disappointed with its conclusion. Not enough to make me abandon the series, but enough that I’m a little worried for book 3. (Fingers Crossed its just a case of a sophomore slump)
And a huge thanks to Athena for hooking me up with the audio for this monster. You rock girl!