“The Wise Man’s Fear” is precision fantasy

There are two series of books that I tell everybody to read.  One is “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin.  The other is “The Kingkiller Chronicles” by Patrick Rothfuss.  Both series will blow your socks clean off your sweaty feet, but I will focus upon the latter, since the newest addition to the series just came out and I spent hours upon hours of not doing my homework so I could share the review with you.

Photo courtesy of blog.patrickrothfuss.com.

“The Wise Man’s Fear” is the second installment in “The Kingkiller Chronicles,” and it was released March 1.  Like all the other fans of the first book, “The Name of the Wind,” I have been counting down the days until the release.  Then Amazon screwed up my order, and I was forced to wait an extra week before I could sink my teeth into Mr. Rothfuss’ sophomore opus.  That week sucked.  I was forced to study out of sheer boredom.

To say it succinctly, “The Wise Man’s Fear” is an excellent example of the fantasy genre’s extraordinary literature.  Yes, you will have to read the first book in order to understand the second book, but I wouldn’t suggest you do so unless I thought it was worth your time.  And it is worth your time.  Imagine “Harry Potter” with less pointless angst and a more intelligent magic system, and you would have but a shred of the universe that Rothfuss has created.

“The Wise Man’s Fear” takes place exactly where the previous book left off, with Kvothe detailing his adventures to the Chronicler.  Kvothe continues his tale while still at the university, but he is soon swept up into exploits across the land.  Across the sea and past Tarbean, Kvothe seeks patronage from the Maer in Vintas, and from there he travels through the Fae and into the foothills of the Stormwal.  To tell any more would be to spoil what is an incredible experience for the reader, so I will spare you the details.

“The Wise Man’s Fear” is long –  1,000 pages long.  Every single word has been crafted with precision and not one sentence is boring to read.  I would’ve read the whole thing in one sitting if I had an automated chair that would feed me and remove my defecation hygienically.  Alas, I do not have such a wonderful chair, so it took me roughly two weeks to read the whole book.

Rothfuss manages to balance all of the facets of Kvothe’s being without making an overlong Tolkien-esque history textbook, which is quite a feat considering just how complex of a character Kvothe is.  There is romance, action, drama, philosophy, mathematics, fairy tales and so much more to Kvothe’s story, and to be able to show all that without getting tangled up in a mess of superfluous descriptors is a credit to Rothfuss’ enormous talent.

If you haven’t read “The Name of the Wind,” I suggest you start there.  You will be hooked.  From there, proceed to “The Wise Man’s Fear.”  If you do not like fantasy, this may be your gateway series.  If you do like fantasy and haven’t already read this series, get on it.

 

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