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Good, not great - Possible spoilers...,
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This review is from: The Wise Man's Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2) (Hardcover)
I have been waiting for years for this book. I love Patrick Rothfuss - I loved his first book, I love his blog, I love hearing him speak in person, I love his charity work... I'm just a huge fan all around.
That said, I was disappointed by this book. It was a good book - but not nearly the quality of The Name of the Wind.
As others have mentioned, the story just isn't as tight as NOTW. The "worst" part of NOTW was the trip to Trebon to and the killing of the draccus, if only because it seemed to drag on far too long. Each of the segments of this book have a smiliar quality to them. The University segment was long, but that moved along at a good clip. The time in Vintas dragged, as did the hunt for the bandits. The time with Felurian also seemed to drag on and on... and then, the time with the Adem. The part that made each of those segments difficult to chew on was the fact that Kvothe did not progress as a character. At the end of WMF, he knows how to make love and he is a decent swordsmen (not nearly as good as the legendary people who trained him). That's all that could be accomplished in 1,000 pages? Really?
If this was to be a 4-5 book series, I could buy this as a decent book two. I can't fathom how the series will end with one more book. Either Kvothe isn't as cool as the NOTW made him seem, or book three is going to get about 85% of the series' action in it. Too much of the story remains untold.
This is not to say the book isn't a pleasure to read - Rothfuss' skill as a wordsmith ensures that the story remains interesting (or I probably would have put the book down). Perhaps the buildup to WMF was too great - perhaps I cared a little too much about a literary character. However, I can honestly say I was disappointed - it reminded me of my disappointment at reading A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin a few years back - a good book, but a letdown after A Storm of Swords.
Let's hope Pat Rothfuss and Kvothe recapture the magic in Doors of Stone (or whatever the title ends up being).
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Showing 1-10 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 8, 2011 2:02:26 PM PST
"If this was to be a 4-5 book series, I could buy this as a decent book two. I can't fathom how the series will end with one more book. Either Kvothe isn't as cool as the NOTW made him seem, or book three is going to get about 85% of the series' action in it. Too much of the story remains untold."
Posted on Mar 10, 2011 5:49:52 AM PST
James R. Belt says:
I too loved NOTW, and I also think your review is spot on accurate. You can write 1000 pages and it be well paced, see Brandon Sanderson's "The Way of Kings" for an excellent example of good pacing and 1000 pages. TWF was not that book, there are so many drag spots that I feel like I have carpet burn after reading it.
Posted on Mar 10, 2011 11:58:18 AM PST
K. Kim says:
A fantasy novel isn't about how many skills someone can acquire or how much they can level up within the space of 1000 pages. There is depth here and an exploration of nuance that I, for one, am glad Rothfuss didn't just skim over in a race to pack more "action" between the covers. The scenes with Felurian were some of the most beautifully written prose I've seen in the past years in science fiction/fantasy - they weren't just fluff. It takes some time and page length to describe such a unique mortal's interaction with an immortal seductress to whom time means nothing.
And AFFC couldn't help but be a bit of a let-down after ASOS... the POVs were simply not as dear to the POVS saved for Dance. For all that, GRRM's exploration of those different and new POVs were simply amazing.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2011 12:45:00 PM PST
James R. Belt says:
Who said anything about needing action packed between the covers? Clearly if you loved The Name of the Wind, action wasn't what you thrived in a story, there was hardly any in NotW. So what was there to love? The character and the milieu that was in NotW was stunning, the beautiful prose was the icing of what would have already been a wonderfully moist cupcake. There is a character arc. There was a dozen wonderful places and lessons learned by both the reader and the main character.
What was learned in WMF? For 992 pages, very, very little. Where was the character arc? Practically non-existent in the past. Completely missing from the present. It was a milieu framed story, just like the first novel, but with a whole lot of milling through setting while stalling character growth.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2011 7:03:25 PM PST
Saif Raza says:
I agree...sadly this book was a bit of let down for me.
Posted on Mar 10, 2011 9:49:32 PM PST
The only part of this book that I felt had that Trebon-like winding length to it was the hunt for the bandits. Although I agree I have no idea how this story can be finished in a single volume.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2011 11:25:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2011 7:48:02 AM PDT
I certainly don't think the scenes with Felurian were fluff, but I do not share the same assessment of the scene. Rothfuss has a masterful command of prose, but as is mentioned by Jeff below, character growth stalls in this book. The Felurian scene may have been beautifully written, but I don't see where it advanced the story at all - it "seemed" like an interlude from the main story.
You can argue that the end result of the affair with Felurian is yet to be seen - and it may well be. But that goes back to my argument - that most of what we "think" will still happen in this series (Kvothe meeting the Amyr, Kvothe pursuing the Chandrian, Kvothe becoming a King Killer) lies ahead of us. There was absolutely no resolution in this book, nor is Kvothe particularly well suited to take on these challenges in the next book.
Again, as I said in my original review, Wise Man's Fear is a good book. Patrick Rothfuss is a supremely talented writer. But given that we know this is only a 3 part series, and given the clues we have about what lies ahead of us, this book was a bit of a disappointment. I might read Doors of Stone and be blown away by how Wise Man's Fear now makes sense. However, as a standalone book, WMF pales in comparison to Name of the Wind.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2011 1:19:56 PM PST
Ryan James says:
Completely agree. Rothfuss says in his interview that he wishes he could separate the series into 10 mini-novels. Now I see why. He almost completely disregards the main storyline for a bunch of little side-quests that don't do much to advance the storyline or develop Kvothe's character.
Sadly, as you said, it will take a miracle to make a good 3rd book because the character and the plot isn't where it needs to be to set up a good book.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2011 8:38:06 PM PST
M. McC says:
My guess is that not as much will happen in book three as most people are expecting. Kvothe, telling the story at the inn, is probably no more than 20 years old. It was made clear in book 2 that the Chandrian still exist in present time, so he will not need to destroy them in his re-telling. The war probably started because of something to do with Ambrose - which led to someone's death (Denna?) - which caused Kvothe to go into hiding.
Even if none of that is correct, my point is that book three will end with many things unresolved. But, it will be made clear that Kvothe is once again ready to go take on the world. It will end with the reader knowing that Kvothe is ready to kick some ass again and go set everything straight. Instead of a "man waiting to die" it will be a "man ready to kick some ass."
Posted on Mar 13, 2011 2:42:45 PM PDT
I feel the same! We waited SO long for it to come out due to him working so hard to make it AWESOME right? I think his agents made him wait because it is not so great! BTW..'George R.R. Martins Dance with Dragons' to come out in April I believe!