Patrick Rothfuss

The Kingkiller Chronicles: Day Two

Gollancz (2011)

ISBN: 978-0-575-08142-0

Reviewed by Mitenae

My lack of sleep this week has been caused by a single book, The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and my need to find out what happens now, rather than waiting a couple of weeks and getting enough sleep. This is one doorstopper of a book and not a single word is wasted on it’s telling.

On the second day Kote/Kvothe continues telling his story to the Chronicler. Kvothe returns for his second year at the University and gets a chance to pursue Naming with Elodin but it isn’t as easy as he hoped and his journey chasing the wind takes him to the far reaches of the land.

This is the sort of story that in lesser hands could have lagged, been too detailed and a bore to read. But Patrick Rothfuss has been able to tell a very long, and very detailed story, that kept me engaged from the beginning.

Kvothe is one of those characters that is very believable. He’s a young man trying to make his way in the world and to follow his dreams. And the other characters, Denna, Ambrose, Sim, Will and Elodin are also believable, well shaped and realised on the page.

The world has touches of magic, of faeries and dragons but they’re crafted together in a way so that they don’t fall down into the obvious cliches. It’s a world that is equally balanced by the underside of society and the upperclass.

I have very few concerns with this book, but what I did, and still am pondering over is two sequences in particular where Rothfuss has chosen to summarise the events rather tell us them in detail and given his choice to tell the rest of the story at length, it makes me wonder why he chose to do this. Was it because it was already long and he didn’t want to separate this story into two volumes, or is there another reason behind this choice? I wanted to know what happened and I still do, especially since the second sequence are not the sort of events that should be skipped as they shape Kvothe.

Nevertheless this is a book I will reread until it’s dog-eared and worn. The Wise Man’s Fear may be one very long book, but it is worth the read and it won’t take you nearly so long as you think it might and that is all due to the sheer talent and skill of one Patrick Rothfuss.