The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man’s Fear is the second book of the Kingkiller Chronicles, a trilogy that is probably never going to see its final book published. I don’t understand the hype. It took me three months to finish The Wise Man’s Fear, and towards the end, I was only reading for the accomplishment of having finished that 1,347 page book. Overall I had the same feeling as I did with The Name of the Wind—the books didn’t feel like their own stories; they were obviously written to be part of a series. That said, I don’t feel too invested in the trilogy, and I think I will survive if the third book simply never comes out. (However, if the third book does get published by some miracle, I would still read it.)

Let’s talk about The Wise Man’s Fear more. Although I finished The Name of the Wind in a significantly shorter amount of time than I did The Wise Man’s Fear, I enjoyed the events in the second book more. Although the first book introduced us to this interesting new world, I liked that Kvothe was more established in the second book. His interactions with his friends were fun to read, and his adventures had more consequences to them. He now had some things (bar money) to lose, and he needed to take more calculated risks. However, similarly to the first book, some events dragged out. While the events at the university were interesting, I found myself asking when the rest of the story would unfold. I also felt his conquests in the Fae dragged out, but I did enjoy reading about his training with the Adem. It’s always interesting to learn about different worlds and cultures.

Despite the number of pages I’d read, I still don’t like Kvothe. There’s something off about his personality that, while I am impressed by his accomplishments, I simply don’t find myself rooting for him. I did love his interactions with people—Wil, Sim, Devi, and Tempi were all interesting characters (Tempi is probably my favorite supporting character, but Devi is an obvious favorite, too), but I didn’t particularly like Kvothe’s arrogant air and dramatic flair. (This is one of the reasons why I couldn’t get too invested in the trilogy.) So let’s see. If a third book does get published, I’ll read it and see if I still feel the same way about Kvothe. If not, meh, oh well.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Let me start off by saying how much I love having friends who also love reading. I love looking at my friends’ bookshelves whenever I visit their places, and I’ve found that some of my favorite books have been recommendations from friends. Such was the case for The Name of the Wind: I heard about the book from a few of my friends, so I’d been curious about the book for a while. However, I’d never purchased a copy of the book because I had too many unread new books on my shelf, and I couldn’t in good conscience buy another book to add to that pile.

Thankfully, a friend gave me his copy of The Name of the Wind a few weeks ago—good timing, too, because I was in the mood for fantasy. Since I’d only ever heard great things about The Name of the Wind, I was a little scared I wouldn’t love the book. It didn’t help that the book had ~660 pages; its length was a little intimidating. But I need not have worried. I enjoyed the book.

It started off a little slowly for me. I was less than a fifth through the book, and I was already getting anxious that it was just hyped up to me. I was a little confused with the storytelling and wasn’t sure what the story was supposed to be about. (Does this happen to anyone else?) In any case, I read on and finally connected the dots. And then I became a fan.

Essentially, the first few chapters laid the foundation for the rest of the book. Unassuming little details were dropped here and there, ready to pounce and slap the reader in the face with their importance to the story. When those realizations hit, I was hooked. I kept my copy on my bed and read a few chapters before sleeping each night. By the end of the book, 660-ish pages didn’t feel long enough, and I wanted to know more.

Truth be told, the end felt rushed. It’s funny to think that a book of that length could possibly be rushed, but the end was so abrupt that I felt a little cheated when I reached the last page. Clearly the book was meant to be part of a series, and I was a little disappointed by that. To me, books should be able to stand alone whether or not they are part of a series, and I did not feel this was the case for The Name of the Wind.

Regardless, I still want to know what happens next. I already have a copy of The Wise Man’s Fear (my friend was feeling generous with his old copies), and it’s another long one. I have a feeling it will also feel incomplete to me, but I bet I will enjoy it as much as I did the first. I am itching to know how things turn out, and I’m incredibly disappointed that the final book has not yet even been published. I do hope Rothfuss publishes soon—preferably by the time I finish the second book, but that doesn’t seem likely at this time.