Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Review - Patrick Rothfuss' The Wise Man's Fear

The Wise Man's Fear: Kingkiller Chronicles Day 2 by Patrick Rothfuss
Published by: DAW
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 1008 Pages
Rating: ★★★
To Buy
It is day two. The story resumes at The University where Kvothe, in another gallant attempt to win Denna, puts his life at risk once more, yet again in the hands of Ambrose. He escapes with his life, but Ambrose is not done with him. Kvothe is brought up on charges stemming from the incident where he broke Ambrose's arm the term before. While he does get cleared and Chronicler is sad that Kvothe refuses to go into details, Kvothe claims that this episode in his life is already well documented, it is brought to Kvothe's attention that it might be best if he where to take a semester or two off. Count Threpe, who has never been able to sponsor his musical abilities, due to the blacklisting from Ambrose, secures a position for him in Severen to work for Maer Alveron as a musician. While Kvothe loses everything but his lute on his journey, he soon becomes invaluable to the Maer. Not only providing music and tips for wooing a lady love, he also saves his life. All this while Denna is also in Severn, making it a very happy time in Kvothe's life, despite all the court politics and intrigues he has to navigate.

After Kvothe is successful in obtaining the hand of Meluan Lackless for the Maer, Kvothe's presence is no longer desired and the Maer sends him off with some mercenaries to the Eld to locate thieves who have been stealing his taxes. One of the mercenaries, Tempi is an Adem warrior and after much coersion from Kvothe, starts to teach him their ways. But soon Kvothe is lured into the land of fairies only to emerge a much more sexual and virile man, willing to go with Tempi to Ademre to learn to be an Adem warrior. Kvothe is slowly become the man of legend, the lover, the fighter, the hot head who still doesn't know when it's best to hold his tongue. Things will soon get bad, but hopefully they will also bring answers.

I always have problems with the second book in a trilogy. It's like a placeholder book. The book before the final, so you have to be given enough information to entertain you but not enough information so that you can solve all the mysteries. So frustrating! I was very sad that there was not much at The University what with Kvothe needing to get out of the glare of his infamy for a bit. But I loved the Renaissance world of Severn and the Maer. The court intrigues and back biting. Like Machiavelli and the movie Ever After in one. The beauty combined with the scheming. I could have spent the entire book there, which made me pissed when we went off on the weird mercenary jaunt. What is it about Kvothe that made the Maer go, yes, he'll lead a band of mercenaries. I do know that it was really just to get him out of the way, I'm not stupid, I just think it could have been a better more feasible excuse.

All that is nothing compared to the teenage fantasy fairy sex wet dream land made me want to hurl. Felurian, oh how I wish you weren't in this book. Obviously Kvothe has to become a great lover, a Casanova if you will, but, really!?! This is how you chose to do it!?! I mean, I'm sure that weird Cheshire cat creature will become very important given Bast's reaction, and it's important to show that Kvothe, even besotted with ecstasy can outwit a fairy, it was all too, urrgh. Though, I will admit that Felurian making his cloak out of the darkness was way awesome. So I'll forgive some of the fairy orgy for that. But nothing will make me forgive Kvothe's "Shogun" period that just about drove me round the bend. I was never one of those kids who wanted to do martial arts, and in fact don't really have an interest in martial arts. Wasn't it Kvothe who earlier said that it was annoying when Tempi was working on the Ketan and gave the names of the moves but they had no correlation to what Kvothe knew? Then Kvothe spends a couple hundred pages listing names of moves you have no idea what they are so therefore you don't care or have any connection to them. Double standards Kvothe! Just cause it's you listing names doesn't make it less annoying. While discussing this with one of my friends he said that not knowing what the names meant didn't matter... then why use names at all was my response? It just gets under my skin and chafes. Fist shaking at the sky time people.

Also, I think I'm going to start an "Oh, Kvothe" for all those times when he does something that makes me cringe and go, no you didn't dumbass. The main one being when he returns to Severen and his Ruh heritage rears it's ugly head. You can become the worlds greatest lover and an Adem yet still get pissed off when people denigrate your Ruh heritage. Get a thicker skin. In the end, which I felt came about abruptly, though I could see there where less and less pages, I was left happy that I know this world but desperate to know more. Also I'm glad that Denna is starting to have a point versus someone for Kvothe to moon over.


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