The second book, in a trilogy we’ve been waiting to conclude for going on two decades. Rothfuss takes his time, but when he writes he delivers. There are some clear faults in The Wise Man’s Fear, but the writing is so wonderful, and the characters so brilliantly realized that it is easy to look past them.
The biggest fault is that 2/3rds of the way through The Kingkiller Chronicles there is still no indication of the overall plot. At best, we get the impression the story is about the rise and demise of a hero who became a legend at a very young age. Most of his “heroic” feats happen in a series of seemingly random events. Kvothe (our hero) moves throughout Rothfuss’s world from University, to the house of a major political power, to the woods, and to the school of a group of warrior people. His adventures are always interesting, and the characters/places are well realized. The 950+ pages move at an incredibly quick pace.
Yet, we still leave with a general lack of understanding of where the story is exactly heading. Oh, we know where will be ultimately get, but the overall direction of the story and how Kvothe’s actions affect the larger world are still largely a mystery despite being 2 books into a 3 book series. I think The Wise Man’s Fear is every bit as good as The Name of the Wind at least in terms of how easily it reads, the characters it builds and the world he creates. That said the faults of The Name of the Wind become more glaring in this story largely because it seems we are running out of time. Despite its faults I continue to be a big fan of the series. I know it will likely be a few years before the series concludes but I will be first in line to get the book when it happens. And really that is a good sign for an excellent book.