Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Kvothe continues relating the story of his life to the biographer Chronicler. Continuing with the events at the University Kvothe explains how his feud with Ambrose escalated to the extent that both of them need to take some time away from the University. During this time he save a nobleman's life and helps him woe his future wife, learns the art of fighting in Ademre and survives the attentions of a Fae temptress.

The different episodes in Kvonthe's life at times read like a collection of short stories with Kvothe being the common thread. This is not necessarily a bad thing as too often characters take a back seat to a plotline. However the fact that the (supposedly) main plot; Kvothe's quest for vengeance on the Chandrian barely progresses is a bit frustrating. Another issue I had was the while all of the events related should be life-changing they seem at times to have very little effect on Kvothe as a character and he doesn’t seem to take the lessons with him. It makes it read a bit like Conan short stories.

However all is not doom and gloom, Rothfuss is undoubtedly a talented writer and his prose is simply stunning throughout. Kvothe’s relationship with Denna (the real main plotline?) takes some interesting steps forward. At times it is touching at others frustrating (in a very good way) and always wonderful. In short Rothfuss nails it; relationships aren’t supposed to be straightforward.

Overall Rothfuss delivers something refreshingly different. At times it can be frustrating but it is well-written throughout. 8/10.

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