Thursday, April 19, 2018 • Evening Edition • "That smell was here before we went in."

"The Wise Man's Fear" by Patrick Rothfuss

Written by Jeremy Shane on Saturday, March 05 2011 and posted in Reviews

Review of "The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day Two: The Wise Man's Fear"

Genre:  Fantasy

Rating: 5 smileys

Cover Blurb:

"My Name is Kvothe.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me."

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view -- a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in THE WISE MAN'S FEAR, Day Two of the Kingkiller Chronicle, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King's Road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trail by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man as ever survived... until Kvothe.

In THE WISE MAN'S FEAR, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.


As the first volume, THE NAME OF THE WIND, was highly praised I think the first thing that should be mentioned is how well the second volume stands next to it. THE WISE MAN'S FEAR is just as good as the first and any fan will be more than happy with the work.

As the cover blurb above mentions, the story (as volume one does as well) is told in first person as Kvothe dictates his story to a chronicler that seeked him out for it. Only a few interludes here and there at breaks in telling the story do we come back to "present day" and the story reverts to third person. The cover blurb itself wasn't really accurate in giving you the path of the story though, so take it with a grain of salt if you read it.

Young Kvothe still spends quite a bit of time at the University until he goes abroad. I felt the story drag a little here and there during the mercenary, fae and Adem portions because it was probably supposed to a bit -- some things can only happen so fast in life. But the story was richer for taking time in those portions.

Magic is still much the same as in the first book. Though he manages a few more amazing feats this time around, mastery to the point of magic becoming commonplace for him has not been reached. All in all you get a pretty "realistic" look at magic as far as fantasy stories go and those that like their magic mysterious and lofty to grasp will be happy with Rothfuss' work.

I don't delve into the plot or spoilers much in my reviews and the cover blurb gives away more than I think it should. Personally I didn't read it until I just transcribed it and I think the story is better read without knowing some of the twists it will take. I would like to add though, that Rothfuss does a great job not only with giving us a very rich and interesting story of Kvothe's past, but also the current mystery surrounding Kvothe of the present only deepens. I'm very curious as to how this story will wrap up with the next volume (assuming the next volume is the last of the series?).

Bottom Line:

If you loved the volume of this series, chances are you already have the second as well. But if you haven't picked it up yet, do so. It is well worth it and probably (along with the first) some of the best writing I've ever read.

Follow us:

Join with Reading Realms on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with the latest news about not only our column, but speculative fiction news in general. Or join the book forum here at the outhouse to take part in discussions and start your own.


You don't have to be an Outhouse member to join the discussion, simply fill out the captcha and comment below...


Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

Comment without an Outhouse Account using Facebook

We get it. You don't feel like signing up for an Outhouse account, even though it's FREE and EASY! That's okay. You can comment with your Facebook account below and we'll take care of adding it to the stream above. But you really should consider getting a full Outhouse account, which will allow you to quote posts, choose an avatar and sig, and comment on our forums too. If that sounds good to you, sign up for an Outhouse account by clicking here.

Note: while you are welcome to speak your mind freely on any topic, we do ask that you keep discussion civil between each other. Nasty personal attacks against other commenters is strongly discouraged. Thanks!
Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

About the Author - Jeremy Shane

Jeremy was born in a small mountain village of a strange foreign land called Weystvurginea.  Banishment for liberal views saw him spend years wondering the east coast until he decided to bike to California.  When he saw how long a trip it was, he drove instead.  Now he's living it up in a low humidity climate, sometimes working on his photography and when not, he writes for us covering books (by way of his blog: Reading Realms), gaming, tv, movies, comics, conventions in the SoCal area, and creates a weekly webcomic: A Journey Through Skyrim.  If you look for him offline, start in the L.A. area; online start at: for his profile and all the social networks he's on... or just follow him on twitter, he seems to be on there a lot: @jeremyshane.


More articles from Jeremy Shane
The Outhouse is not responsible for any butthurt incurred by reading this website. All original content copyright the author. Banner by Ali Jaffery - he's available for commission!