Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Wise Man's Fear

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss is the sequel to The Name of the Wind. I feel like it might be kind of hard to review because it's a sequel… and so you've either read the first in the series, or you haven't. And if you've read The Name of the Wind and you liked it, chances are, you've already read The Wise Man's Fear. So I am going to try to avoid preaching to the choir in this review.

I really took my time with this book. I read it over like four months. It just didn't grab me the way the Name of the Wind did, where I just couldn't put it down. And from my perspective, for that reason, The Wise Man's Fear wasn't as much of a page turner as The Name of the Wind. 

Why? I think it's partially because there are so many side-stories. I didn't get a sense of reading through Kvothe's daily life. It was almost like reading about him going on vacation. Fortunately, I do feel like the author knew what he was doing because it resolves quite nicely.

Pat is remarkably transparent about his writing process. He wrote the whole story through first, and then came the process of revising, editing, and shaping it into books. I really want the whole story because that's how it was conceived. The endings of both books are anticlimactic. Of course, this is fine because there is more to come, the third book in the trilogy tentatively titled The Doors of Stone.

Despite longish pacing compared to The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear is a very entertaining book that definitely has its moments of transcendence. There are times when I really, really felt that Pat was being subversive about the fantasy genre, which is part of what he wants to do. When I caught onto it, I was like, yeah that's funny. And of course, there is a lot of excellently clever language, and I noticed the writing was often poetic as well. 

Personally, my favorite part of the book is when Kvothe is in school. That seems to be the most interesting and important to the main story, while he does become a legend from his other exploits. I can't wait to read book 3 because I really hope it pans out into the story that lives up to the legend he is supposed to be. In other words, I hope Pat doesn't take the idea of subverting the fantasy genre too seriously. Patrick Rothfuss is a remarkable writer, and I know anything he does will be well worth reading. I can't wait to see how he continues telling this story.

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