Dec 09 2013
A few weeks ago, I spent a long while reading The Wise Man’s Fear, the second book in Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles series with the third and final installment to follow at some point in the future. The book was enormous, and though I’m not sure how many pages it was, if a normal book is 6,000 “units” on my Kindle, this one was 21,000. That’s likely well over a thousand pages and by the end I was so exhausted from the lengthy read, I forgot to even write about it.
But it’s a memorable series and book, and it hasn’t faded from my mind in the days and weeks since. So I figured I’d talk about my thoughts as it’s a series many love, or should love, if they haven’t started it yet.
To briefly recap the also-lengthy Name of the Wind, we’re focused on Kvothe, a former master sorcerer/warrior/legendary hero who now runs a quiet inn, disguised in plain sight after an unmentioned calamity that stripped him of his powers and sense of purpose. A Chronicler stops by his place and his Fae friend Bast convinces him to tell his life’s story to separate truth from legend.
Most of the first book revolves around learning of Kvothe’s upbringing in a traveling theater troupe. Unfortunately, his parents are eventually slaughtered by the mysterious Chandrain, a group of evil beings most only regard as a fairy tale. Kvothe becomes feral, lives in the woods then on the streets, and eventually manages to work his way into the Arcanum, “wizard school” to put it more plainly. We spend most of the first book there, with Kvothe making friends and enemies and forever fixed on a singular, out-of-reach girl, Deanna.
This next book finally takes us outside the confines of the University. While I thought the first installment was good, it did tend to get bogged down when it came to the everyday life of the university, constantly obsessed with how much coin Kvothe had in his pocket. The biggest threat wasn’t the Chandrain, it was if Kvothe could find the cash to pay for tuition that semester. Continue Reading »