Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss Review at SFFWorld

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss is one of the most anticipated fantasy novels in recent years not written by George R.R. Martin or Robert Jordan.

Some would even argue the level of anticipation for the book is more than the next book by those two writers. Although I would have preferred he review to be posted last week upon (or even before) the true publication date of the book, reading the book proved a longer experience than I expected - I didn't want the book to end.

So, I’ve finally put together my review of The Wise Man’s Fear and posted it up ast SFFWorld. Below the cover shot (which I’m sure nobody who reads my blog has ever seen) is a snapshot of the review:

Suffice it to say, any summary of a Rothfuss novel does absolutely no justice to the actual novel itself. Rothfuss really had no room for improvement from the last book, in terms of his powerfully addictive narrative abilities, but he may have just upped his ante a bit in Wise Mans Fear. The themes and focus of his story from the previous volume has been carried over to the second volume – that of Kvothe’s search for the Chandrian and the sheer power of story. If anything, the power of story is both elevated and demystified in The Wise Man’s Fear – elevated in that more stories within stories are told and demystified in that stories truly are alive and can change over time.

Once Kvothe returns to the non-Fae world and to the Maer to report his success, his fiery attitude nearly destroy him as it had almost done in the past. Though Kvothe returns to the University after his time with the Maer in a much better financial situation than before, the trip didn’t quite accomplish everything he’d hoped it would. By novel's end, Kvothe’s recounting to Chronicler has him back at University. At his inn, the threat of encroaching war and a reawakening of something powerful loom over the narrative as a whole. Rothfuss left this reader wanting for more, hungry to consume the remainder of the story.

So, where does all of that leave this reader’s opinion of the novel? It is difficult to view this novel outside of the delays and expectations heaped upon it. That said, does it live up to the hype and anticipation? In many ways, yes it does. It delivered just what I’d hoped it would – the continuing saga of Kvothe the Bloodless in a way that made it difficult for me close the book at night. In many ways, it was better than I hoped it would be, the places Rothfuss took Kvothe were exciting, quite enjoyable and at times, surprising.

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