**spoiler alert** A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, promised to be everything the first novel was and more. The blurb tells of Kvothe, our hero,**spoiler alert** A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, promised to be everything the first novel was and more. The blurb tells of Kvothe, our hero, leaving the university and continuing his adventure away from the safety of his friends and mentors.
Except that’s not quite the case. For the first 40 chapters (yes, chapters, not pages) we remain in exactly the same place where the first book left off. Many unimportant things happen until – finally – Kvothe’s ill-defined rival brings the weight of the law down on him.
Kvothe is on trial! Finally some action! How is he going to get out of this?
It is here that Rothfuss betrays us: he SKIPS the trail! Oh, Kvothe did something smart and they found him innocent. Thereafter it is business as usual.
I am a writer. I understand that sometimes there are parts you don’t want to write, but you still have to write them. You have an obligation to do so. Your readers demand it.
One might call me pedantic if this was the only instance of “skipping the good stuff”. There are several other sections that are passed over to “get to the important parts”, as Kvothe himself states. Apparently what he considers “important parts” are pages and pages and pages of Kvothe waiting. We are never told about the pirates and the shipwreck that leads our hero into – yet again – losing all that he has.
Rothfuss is good at writing prose. He is good at writing friendships (the dynamic between Kvothe and his friends, Will and Sim, is brilliant). What he is bad at is plotting. He does not seem to know where the story is going. I understand that there are character-driven stories (those tend to be my favourites), but many times Kvothe seems to make decisions that serve a convoluted plot and defies his character.
I still cling onto the narrow hope that Kvothe is an unreliable narrator: Ben died saving his life (in book one), Denna isn’t that into him, he got expelled (not asked to leave), etc. However, this is looking more and more unlikely.
The novel is a throwaway side-quest that ends up where it starts. As a reader and (at one point) fan of this series, I feel deeply betrayed. I am not one of those who revel in negative comments/reviews – in fact, it pains me to say all of this.
I think I'll skip the rest of the series - there will never be answers....more
A masterpiece of fantasy writing, world-building and character design!
I enjoyed this book immensely and I cannot wait to read the next book in the serA masterpiece of fantasy writing, world-building and character design!
I enjoyed this book immensely and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. This certainly scratches the fantasy-adventure-itch I've had for a long time.
Packed full of adventure, personal struggles and memorable characters, this is a story you won't forget any time soon. The world is vivid and full of mysteries - mysteries you cannot wait to uncover. The magic system is unique (almost like quantum entanglement) and the lore is deep and exciting. What I look for in fantasy is immersion - the sense that you can step into a world and live in it beyond the boundaries of the story. This is such a world.
The characters are realistic and interesting. One develops a relationship with them and care about their well-being.
I have learned a lot about characters and mythology-building by reading this book. I highly recommend it!...more