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Showing 1-10 of 3,756 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 4,593 reviews
on July 2, 2016
I've seen some of the negative reviews of this second volume of the kingkiller chronicle posted here. I don't dismiss them, as I feel that like most books this one is not for everyone. However, it certainly was a book for me, and found it to be at least as powerful, engrossing, and artfully written as The Name of the Wind. I'd first address a few of the things one may not like about it:

Assuming you've read The Name of the Wind you should know that The Kingkiller chronicle is not a story like, for instance, A Song Of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones). The latter gains much of its power from rich world-building, a myriad of characters connected by intricate web-like plot-lines, and more than a few story events that are world changing on a grand scale. Rothfuss's story is more self contained, character-driven, and subtle, but if this is the kind of thing you can't get behind you probably didn't make it through The Name of the Wind anyway. Of The Wise Man's Fear more specifically, I've seen a few commenters who felt it was more a continuation of the first book rather than a true second act, that it didn't move the story along enough for their liking, and that too many questions seem unanswered going into the (as of now) unreleased third book. I felt strongly to the contrary of each of these, for the following reasons.

The Wise Man's Fear picks up right where The Name of The Wind left off, in the University, with Kvothe expanding on many of the prior novel's plot-lines. This is satisfying but not until later in the story do you truly appreciate that Rothfuss isn't just tying up loose ends and replacing them with new ones. Rather, he's laying the groundwork for much of what is to come. Indeed, when the story shifts settings about halfway through it feels somewhat abrupt, but later it becomes clear how this transition is part of a larger natural progression of what Kvothe's character needed to grow. Without spoiling too much, let it suffice to say that Kvothe spends time in a few new settings where he picks up different pieces of the man he is to become, specifically pieces he couldn't have gotten at the University. Many times Kvothe doesn't realize the ways each of these new encounters change and shape him until after the fact. As such, The Wise Man's Fear is very much a story of Kvothe growing from a man of raw and untapped potential into one who actually fulfills that potential, often through unsuspected turns. At one point early in The Wise Man's Fear he reflects that, while much of his reputation had previously needed to be fueled by showmanship and artfully crafted deceptions (think of the story that he doesn't bleed, which was really just the result a medicinal trick and a great performance), some of his newer exploits needed less embellishment. This proves prophetic, and by the end of the book he actually has to alter some of the stories he tells in the opposite way because he feels the whole truth of them is actually too fantastic to be believable, or sometimes too dangerous.

Through this all, we learn more about the Chandrian, the Amyr, the Fae, and other core mysteries in the story. No revelations are particularly explicit; most require some inference on the part of the reader. Rothfuss has a great knack for subtle storytelling, and I felt he did this even better in The Wise Man's Fear than the first book, especially in the second half. Much of what the reader learns of these mysteries doesn't actually provide answers to the story's core questions, but rather brings better into focus the questions themselves. This sets things up nicely for a third volume to bring things neatly together. Likewise, in the "present day" a deeper appreciation is gained for the anguished "third silence" of Kote and his current state of being. At the end of The Wise Man's Fear Rothfuss hasn't directly connected many more plot elements than at the end of The Name of The Wind; but rather all such elements are brought into much closer proximity to one another, leaving the reader with a satisfying feeling of a story slowly, subtlety, and steadily coalescing. This, to me, is the mark of any good second act.
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on March 16, 2016
Loved the first book. Greatly enjoyed the first half of this book. Then, there's a decidedly plot-driven decision made by our hero that felt completely disingenuous. Kvothe reacts in a way to a particular song that doesn't really make sense. The emotional reactions didn't connect for me.

I should have seen that as a warning that the editors weren't giving the author the support he needed, but I pressed on and things seemed to get back on track. Until everything flew off the rails. I'm beginning to wonder if Amazon should weight reviews on here according to how many people vote them useful, because all of the highest-voted reviews mention the exact same problem I had. If Amazon did weight reviews, this book would have the 3-star rating that it deserves, instead of the near-5 it has (Yes, I'm admitting that it probably deserves higher than what I'm giving it, but this is my review and I'm pretty angry over the failures in the book).

And here's the issue: There's a ridiculous, indulgent, adolescent fantasy sequence about 2/3 into the book that completely destroys the suspense of disbelief for me. I kept hoping it was just some drug-induced hallucination, but no such luck. And it goes on and on and on. Chapter after chapter of the nonsense.

I don't even blame the author so much as I blame the editors for not explaining to him how dumb it was. Writers often need outside guidance to know when things aren't working. He was quite able to produce a very solid book before this one, so he's capable of hitting all notes. Not sure why everyone fell asleep at the wheel for this book.

I won't be buying the third.
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on February 20, 2014
I had hoped that this book would wrap up Kvothe's autobiography that the first novel ended up being, and get on with tackling the saving of a world that seems to be falling apart around him while he dictates it. That was a vain hope. Kvothe's history is not uninteresting, but there is too much of it. Also, I would be more interested in it if I had been given some reason to care, or be invested, in the man that he is "now". I have no personal knowledge of him except that his apprentice and the chronicler think he is a big deal, but yet I'm expected to care about his life story. I don't. In fact, I'm sick of hearing about how Kvothe is really just awesome at pretty much everything. The events that negatively affect him seemed contrived and almost put in after the fact. As if an editor said, "Hey Patrick. Superm...I mean, Kvothe, can't be unbeatable all the time.

I read this book because the first book showed a lot of potential if it could just get on with the actual story. I was disappointed. It doesn't advance the plot at all or even pretend as though a plot exists. Like the first book, the second is technically well written, and shows Rothfuss' excellent talent with using words to describe a world and happenings. Also like the first book, the actual story falls short. I won't bother with the third.
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on March 13, 2017
I chose to read this book based on the recommendation of a friend. I didn't expect much since I had never heard of the author nor the series; however, I was astonished to find this to be a long, engaging, dynamic story that consisted of most of my favorite themes--magic, adventure, romance, heroism, and humor. As for dislikes, the first chapter or two which is the part that sets up the telling of the story seemed unbearably slow and I almost put the book down entirely, but I didn't. Also, the transition of Kvothe's adventures was a bit abrupt and jarring since he seemed to move from one scenario into a vastly different scenario too swiftly. I felt the need to pause and reflect at those points in the book, as a result. I would recommend this book to people who like the above-mentioned themes, and not to children due to the content. And lastly, I look forward to reading the sequel.
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on July 20, 2013
I vacillated quite a bit on rating this book and finally decided that while the series itself is still a solid 5, I can't give this book any higher than a 3 star rating. I don't necessarily need a lot of action, I just need characters that I care about and decent writing. I've come to love these characters and the world that the author has created. I prefer books with depth who aren't afraid of spending those extra pages on character development or a good side story. Despite all this, I found myself so bored with this book, I actually starting skipping over pages. For example, I just couldn't get myself to care very much about the Adem and the endless chapters detailing the way they communicate and fight. I found it very tedious and indicative of an author who thinks very highly of every word he puts on paper and has no one reining him in. Editors are our friends! Or maybe that was the problem, is his editor a friend? Perhaps the long boring chapters detailing again Kvothe's cleverness was a deliberate commentary on the possibly unreliable narrator/main character but I think I'm being generous to say this.

All the criticisms pointing to lack of action and plot movement are completely valid. Much of the book was the same enjoyable characters and mysteries of the first book. But don't pick this up expecting much in the way of plot development.

I even got quite bored in the Fae world. I personally would have preferred a dozen chapters detailing the 1000 Hands technique over the endless pages of... whatever they did. I can't even remember. The exception being the Cthaeh which was brilliant and exciting and actually managed to advance the plot (!!) for the first time in what felt like forever. It was like an ice cold beer in the middle of a desert of boredom.

Now that I've got that out of my system, I would still wholeheartedly recommend this series to anyone. It's a fun ride with great characters and plenty of little mysteries to keep me coming back for more. I even delved into the online fan forums to find the fascinating theories about side characters like Meluan, Bredon and Lorren. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, look them up!) Seeing things that I missed the first time around convinces me that this series will ultimately live up to its praises and despite my less than flattering review, I truly am looking forward to the next book!
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on April 14, 2017
After the Name of the Wind, which I loved and re-read several times, it's likely I would not buy further books in this series if I were basing it on this installment alone. I'll likely buy the next one in hopes of something more in line with Name. It amused me when I read a review that said more or less "monk to horndog" because it's the sex that was jarringly out of place. It went on FOREVER and was oddly boring. Like some middle-aged soft porn male fantasy. Sex scenes don't bother me in the least, but really? After waiting so long for book two, I was disappointed. Still, this book is somewhat better than what you can get for 99 cents; Mr. Rothfuss is simply a better writer. So go for it and see what you think. I'll personally be hoping book three rocks.
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on April 18, 2017
Even though the story did not end where I thought it was going to end, it is still a very enjoyable experience, with some of the best pros in the game. This story is a very well woven bunch of side stories that take us to the corners of the earth and back to where we had left from. We get some fantastic depth to the world building as we are filled in around the edges of this story with some of the more foreign territory in distant land. We get to see some very starkly different cultures and meet some very interesting people along way. We also get some serious growth of some of the more familiar characters in the story that I wanted to learn more about. Just a brilliant story and can't wait to read more.
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on August 30, 2013
I'd rate this book either 3 or 4 stars. On its own merits, it'd probably rate a solid 4, but on the heels of "The Name of the Wind," it just seems a little bit disappointing. It's still absolutely an excellent book, though, and if anything it's probably just suffering from the "middle of the trilogy blues."
This book actually has more action than the first, and Kvothe progresses much farther along his path to becoming the most legendary figure in his world, but something seems to be lacking. Perhaps it seems a little disjointed at points? Some of the story arcs seem to happen at random, which, while more like real life, seems a little out of place in fiction.

Nonetheless, this is still an absolutely wonderful book, full of all the same brilliant wordsmithing on Rothfuss's part, all the engaging wit and charm of Kvothe, and plenty of action, humor, and intrigue.

If you've already read "The Name of the Wind," you're absolutely going to read this one as well, and the next when it finally arrives. Just be prepared to enjoy this one a tiny bit less.

One last thing: this book is not nearly so squeaky clean as the first. It has tremendously more violence, and where the first had no sex, this one has a lot. However, the sex is not particularly graphic, unless you think really hard about the euphemistic names of some of the sex acts. Just an FYI. It didn't bother me, but it did affect what people I felt comfortable recommending the series to.
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on October 17, 2014
I really wanted to like this book, I did. After all, THE NAME OF THE WIND, was fantastic, scary, and promising. The Wise Man's Fear is like wading through a river of molasses hoping to find treasure but only coming up with sticky feet. If Seinfeld was the TV Series about nothing, then this book is the fantasy novel about nothing.

Page after page after page of grinding daily life, trying to get tuition money, over and over and over again. When, in the book Kvothe says to the Chronicler, something like I PROBABLY TALKED TOO MUCH ABOUT THAT, I said, "Yep, you did." But it didn't get better. He went on and on and on about Felurian or Felarian (whatever her name was) until I finally started flipping pages. No doubt I may have missed something important, but after wading through hundreds of pages of NOTHING MUCH, I figured it was worth the risk. It was like reading someone's diary without any scandal to make it fun.

The boring minutia was only my first complaint.

Then there was Denna - good heavens, how could any guy supposedly so intelligent, so cool, so hot, blah, blah, go on and on and on about a woman who gives him nothing at all. I got it, she's damaged, she's wounded, she's in distress, but someone should tell Clueless that she's not gonna get better, not IRL, maybe in fantasy land, but...even if she comes to the tragic ending I think the author has in store for her, by the time she gets there, I'll be thinking "good riddance."

There are other things - Kvothe's a smartass who isn't smart enough to keep his mouth shut, the rebel mage instead of the rebel cop, but they aren't important.

The worst sin in this book is that it didn't advance the plot, we didn't learn anything about the Chandrian (although I suspect they're some group that keeps getting mentioned in the book) Eleven hundred and seven pages of excruciating minutia and I don't know anything more about what I cared about than I did before. I'll wait to read the reviews of Book 3 before I buy it.
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on June 26, 2016
*Spoiler Free Review*

I read "Name of the Wind" because it was so highly rated/popular and while I thought it was an okay book (but not great) I kept on going because a close friend vouched for the second book in the series. I read it without being biased by any spoilers or reviews from anyone else (beside my friend). As far as books go, I thought that, generally, it moved more quickly than the "Name of the Wind" and that more happened. In my opinion this made "The Wise Man's Fear" significantly better than his first one. Patrick Rothfuss knows how to write-- has a good vocabulary (I definitely had to look up a few words!) and keeps you engaged in the story.

So why only four stars? I have three problems with the book. 1.) It went from a fairly family-friendly book to a book with a lot of adult content pretty quickly and actually focused on that a lot. If let your pre-teen/teen kids read the first one you might want to check it out first before you hand this one over too them. Problem # 2.) Even though it plods less. . . it still totally plods. You could easily cut out 1/4 of the book and not miss much. 3.) Even though I respect the idea of having Kvothe tell his story to the Chronicler I felt that every-time we switched back to present-day Kvothe it caused a break in the book that was both unnecessary and distracting.

Overall, I did enjoy the book and plan on reading the 3rd book in the series when it comes out. For adults I would (in most cases) tell them that the second book is better than the first and encourage them to read it. For younger audiences, probably not really at all because of the more adult-themed content.
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