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The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man's Fear (2011)

by Patrick Rothfuss

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,391290937 (4.35)1 / 276

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English (284)  Spanish (6)  All languages (290)
Showing 1-5 of 284 (next | show all)
If I could title this review, I'd go with "How Not To Write A Trilogy." [b:THE NAME OF THE WIND|186074|The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)|Patrick Rothfuss|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1270352123s/186074.jpg|2502879] gave me hope that I had discovered a good trilogy, not just a good book. THE WISE MAN'S FEAR left that hope on life support.

The second installment of a good trilogy answers some/most questions from the first installment and asks new questions. It raises the stakes to nearly hopeless levels. It leaves Han Solo frozen in carbonite. The second installment of a good trilogy does not string the reader along with hardly any rewards, without keeping the promises that were set up in the first book, and wave a little flag on the last page that reads, "You want answers? Read Book Three, mwa-ha-ha."

Lack of payoff aside, this novel fails for two main reasons: first, the author's self-indulgent discarding of the rules of story proportion. For example, don't spend 70 pages on the hero's carnal education from a sex-obsessed faerie and one page on a life-threatening shipwreck. Don't spend the first 350 pages on Daily Life At The University and one page on a six-day trial at which the hero is accused of magic malfeasance. Don't spend 150 pages on learning a foreign culture, including the culture's puerile emphasis on sex--both encounters and discussions--and then spend ... actually, on second thought, just don't do that, ever. Mr. Rothfuss needs a pitiless editor, one that would have told him this book is about twenty-five percent too long.

Alongside the proportion problem is lack of tension. Entire chapters pass without raising the stakes, without making things worse or even changing the state of, well, anything. Far too many scenes don't hold even interpersonal tension, and many that do feel forced, particularly Kvothe's fight with Denna in Severen and his outburst to the Maer's wife about his heritage. The author knew how he wanted scenes to end, so he pushed the dialogue in that direction with no attempt at subtlety.

Will I read Book Three? Probably. I still want to know how Present-Time Kvothe's tale will end. But it will be my last Rothfuss book unless it delivers real tension, not forced tension; unless it puts Kvothe in real, physical and emotional danger; and unless Mr. Rothfuss bridles his creative appetite long enough to learn language economy and narrative focus. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
I enjoyed the second part of this trilogy just as much as the first book. The story is simply brilliantly written and together with the first part it is one of the best books I’ve read till now - both considering the story and the writing style!

In the second book, we follow Kvothe on his travels and adventures through various countries. He is not always successful in everything he wants to accomplish which just makes his character more realistic. In the interludes, taking place in the current time in his inn, we get an insight what person he has evolved into over the years. We also learn a bit more about the mysterious Bast and the Master Namer Elodin as well as about Denna, although at the end of the book there are many things just hinted at so that I eagerly await the third part of the story. ( )
  Dariah | Feb 1, 2019 |
The continuation of the series, we learn more about our protagonist as his adventures continue to take us from one end of the world to another. Another long book, it was still easy to read and the time passed quickly. While I can't honestly say that I am any more fond of the main character than I was at the end of the first book, I still enjoyed hearing how he worked his way out of the predicaments he found himself in. Like a true tale of adventure, you must suspend some disbelief, but you sit listening and enjoying the ride just the same. I'm awaiting the culmination and some explanation. ( )
  Velmeran | Jan 26, 2019 |
I enjoyed reading the first book in this series and was very excited to see how the story continued. I absolutely love the parts of the story when Kvothe is at the university and can’t seem to get enough of that storyline. I thought his adventures to the high society were still interesting but not quite as good. I feel like the author spent way way way too much time on the section with the Felurian and could have done without that completely. I think some sections were drawn out too much so you need to really enjoy the journey to keep interested in this long book. ( )
  mattstadtmueller | Jan 5, 2019 |
Rothfuss's follow-up to the near-perfect The Name of the Wind is slightly less perfect, but I really liked it. It's the story of Kvothe, a legendary hero who all but vanished, recounting his life's story. While The Name of the Wind covered Kvothe's earliest years, The Wise Man's Fear looks at his first steps into becoming a legend. What's interesting about this book in particular is how Kvothe's narration inadvertently (and increasingly) paints him as a grand jerk. He might seem like the ultimate Renaissance Man (and he certainly seems himself as such), but the facade crumbles a bit. The book didn't flow nearly as well as Rothfuss's debut, but oh well. This might be one of the few times that I finished a 1000 page book and wanted more. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 284 (next | show all)
Rothfuss takes to the Hero’s Journey with a passion and depth that routinely turns the trite into the transcendent.
added by Aerrin99 | editOnion AV Club, Zack Handlen (Mar 17, 2011)
Rothfuss works all the well-worn conventions of the genre, with a shadow cloak here and a stinging sword there and lots of wizardry throughout, blending a thoroughly prosaic prose style with the heft-of-tome ambitions of a William T. Vollmann. This is a great big book indeed, but not much happens—which, to judge by the success of its predecessor, will faze readers not a whit.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Feb 1, 2011)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rothfuss, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Podehl, NickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ribeiro, VeraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my patient fans, for reading the blog and telling me what they really want is an excellent book, even if it takes a little longer.

To my clever beta readers, for their invaluable help and toleration of my paranoid secrecy.

To my fabulous agent, for keeping the wolves from the door in more ways than one.

To my wise editor, for giving me the time and space to write a book that fills me with pride.

To my loving family, for supporting me and reminding me that leaving the house every once in a while is a good thing.

To my understanding girlfriend, for not leaving me when the stress of endless revision made me frothy and monstrous.

To my sweet baby, for loving his daddy even though I have to go away and write all the time. Even when we're having a really great time. Even when we're talking about ducks.
First words
Dawn was coming. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Deutsche Ausgabe wurde in 2 Teile geteilt
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0756404738, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2011: The Wise Man's Fear continues the mesmerizing slow reveal of the story of Kvothe the Bloodless, an orphaned actor who became a fearsome hero before banishing himself to a tiny town in the middle of Newarre. The readers of Patrick Rothfuss's outstanding first book, The Name of the Wind, which has gathered both a cult following and a wide readership in the four years since it came out, will remember that Kvothe promised to tell his tale of wonder and woe to Chronicler, the king's scribe, in three days. The Wise Man's Fear makes up day two, and uncovers enough to satisfy readers and make them desperate for the full tale, from Kvothe's rapidly escalating feud with Ambrose to the shockingly brutal events that mark his transformation into a true warrior, and to his encounters with Felurian and the Adem. Rothfuss remains a remarkably adept and inventive storyteller, and Kvothe's is a riveting tale about a boy who becomes a man who becomes a hero and a killer, spinning his own mythology out of the ether until he traps himself within it. Drop everything and read these books. --Daphne Durham

Author One-on-One: Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson
In an exclusive interview for Amazon.com, epic fantasy authors Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear) and Brandon Sanderson (Towers of Midnight) sat down to discuss collaborating with publishers, dealing with success, and what goes into creating and editing their work.

Rothfuss: Heya Brandon.

Sanderson: Hey there, Pat. Nice talking with you again.

Rothfuss: Thanks for being willing to do this. I know you're insanely busy these days.

Okay. Let me just jump right in here with a question. How long was Way of Kings? I heard a rumor that the ARC I read was 400,000 words long. It didn't really feel like it…

Sanderson: Let me see. I will open it right now and word count it, so you have an exact number. It’s 386,470 words, though the version you read was an advance manuscript, before I did my final 10% tightening draft, which was 423,557 words.

I didn’t really want it to be that long. At that length we’re running into problems with foreign publishers having to split it and all sorts of issues with making the paperback have enough space. I didn’t set out to write a thousand-page, 400,000-word book. It’s just what the novel demanded.

Rothfuss: Wise Man's Fear ended up being 395,000 words. And that's despite the fact that I've been pruning it back at every opportunity for more than a year. I'd spend weeks trimming superfluous words and phrases, extra lines of dialogue, slightly redundant description until the book was 12,000 words shorter.

Then a month later I'd realize I needed to add a scene to bring better resolution to a plot line. Then I'd add a couple paragraphs to clarify some some character interaction. Then I'd expand an action scene to improve tension. Suddenly the book's 8,000 words longer again.

Sanderson: Yeah, that’s exactly how it goes.

It’s very rare that I’m able to cut entire scenes. If I can cut entire scenes that means there’s something fundamentally not working with the sequence and I usually end up tossing the whole thing and rewriting it. But trimming, or pruning as you described it, works very well with my fiction.

I can usually cut fifteen percent off just by nurturing the text, pruning it, looking for the extraneous words and phrases. But I wonder if in doing that there’s a tendency to compensate. There’s a concept in dieting that if someone starts working out really hard, they start to say, “Well, that means I can now eat more,” and you’ll find people compensating for the extra calorie loss by eating more because they feel they can. I wonder if we do that with our fiction. I mean, I will get done with this big long trim and I’ll say, “Great, now I have the space to do this extra thing that I really think the story needs,” and then the story ends up going back to just as long.

Though at least in my case I can blame my editor too. He’s very good with helping me with line edits, but where we perhaps fuel each other in the wrong way is that he’ll say, “Ooh, it’d be awesome if you add this,” or “This scene needs this,” or “Can you explain this?” And I say, “Yes! I can explain that. I’d love to!” And then of course the book gets longer and then we both have to go to Tom Doherty with our eyes downward saying, “Um, the book is really long again, Tom. Sorry.”

I have a question for you, then. Did you always intend the Kingkiller Chronicle to be three days split across three books? Or did you start writing it as one book and then split it? What’s the real story behind that?

Rothfuss: Assuming I had any sort of plan at the beginning is a big mistake. I just started writing. I didn't have a plan. I didn't know what I was doing.

For years and years I just thought of it as The Book in my head. I've always thought of it as one big story. Then, eventually I realized it would need to be broken up into volumes.

I can't say why I picked three books except that three is a good number. It's sort of the classic number. And while the story is working well in this format, part of me wishes I'd broken it into smaller chunks. This second book has so many plotlines. If I'd written this trilogy as say, 10 books, each one would be much shorter and self contained. More like the Dresden Files.

That's pointless musing though. I'm sure if I'd written smaller volumes right now I'd be thinking, "Oh! if only I'd written these as longer books I could play more with interwoven plot lines…"

Read the full interview

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:40 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero as he attempts to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm where he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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