The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Note From Sarah: After finishing my reread of The Wise Man’s Fear, I’m so very ready for the final installment of this trilogy.  As with my Name of the Wind repost, I’ve decided to reuse my original post as it captures so many of my feelings regarding this novel.  I have to say, the second time around I did not find Kvothe’s sexual prowess to be as annoying as I did the first time.  Additionally, having now perused the material multiple times, I was surprised at the quantity of minute details spread throughout this text that at first glance seem frivolous, but during a reread prove important.  I’m so curious how Rothfuss will manage to tie present day events with Kvothe’s past and look forward to the tale he will weave. On a side note, the picture below of Buddy made me both sad and smile as he was such a good reading buddy that Luke and I miss every day.  I can’t believe he has been gone for over six months now.

Rate: 4/5

Medium: Book

Overview (No Spoilers): The second book in The Kingkiller Chronicle, The Wise Man’s Fear again takes us into the world of Kvothe, as he continues to recite his unbelievable journey for the Chronicler and Bast, all the while being intermittently interrupted by townsfolk or travelers passing through his pub. This book felt as though it took forever to get through, despite me thoroughly enjoying most of it. Luckily, winter has finally released it’s grip on Michigan and I was able to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon relaxing outside after my run with my old dog, Buddy, and my nose in a book.


Kvothe’s adventures take him into new lands in The Wise Man’s Fear, however he still carries his pride and his chip on his shoulder, almost to a fault. As in The Name of the Wind, trouble follows Kvothe wherever he travels, despite his good intentions. My main complaint was with Kvothe’s exploration into his sexual appetite. I’ll elaborate more in the following section, however, in brief, it was completely overdone to the point of obnoxious. The escapades were totally unnecessary, and detracted from the fascinating story of Kvothe’s adventures, moreover they just seemed out of place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means a prude, with Outlander being one of my favorite series of all time, but these intimate scenes seemed thrown in to the text, just to include some sex appeal to the story. Overall, I still enjoyed The Wise Man’s Fear, however it suffered from the quintessential  second novel slump. I’m looking forward to The Doors of Stone to see if any of my many, many questions are answered.

Additional Insight (Contains Spoilers):

  1. What was Bast doing setting up Kvothe to be mugged? I suspect that he wasn’t doing it to be mean but trying to jump start Kvothe out of his stupor.
  2. When will we learn more about Denna’s past? Who is her sponsor? Could it be Brendon whom Kvothe was learning Tak? I feel like Brendon will emerge again, perhaps from the standpoint of an Amyr?
  3. I loved that Kvothe interacted with the mythical Felurian, although that scene got a little old. More so when compared to the first book, Kvothe is interacting with mythical creatures, e.g., Felurian, the Cthaeh, Chandrian (again), I felt like this book took a turn from a semi normal kid playing with magic into a realm of folktales, not that I’m complaining.
  4. Kvothe’s sex life takes up a lot of the second half of the book. As mentioned above, the interactions Kvothe had with other women seemed cheesy and most forced from Rothfuss’ perspective. He learns his sexual prowess from a mythical immortal Fae, known for killing men during intercourse. As soon as he escapes her clutches, the waitress at the Inn who had refused to sleep with anyone practically drags Kvothe to bed. Then there is his time spent in the fascinating realm of Ademre, where he is learning Ketan. Every time he gets aroused his teacher sleeps with him so that he can regain his focus. Also the best fighter in the realm proceeds to throw herself at him. I’m not even delving into his antics back at the University. Honestly, it just felt like once Rothfuss had his scenes written, he sat back and pondered how to get Kvothe laid in this scene and added it in.
  5. Why won’t the current Kvothe in present day use his magic?
  6. Why can’t Kvothe open the chest in his room? Better yet, what is in the chest? What happened to his shaed? Why doesn’t he play music anymore? Maybe music is the key to unlocking Kvothe from his complacent attitude?
  7. How did Kvothe meet Bast? How does Kvothe become a Kingkiller? How does he get kicked out of the University?
  8. The Maer’s wife’s sister fell in love with a Edema Ruh, hence her hate toward the traveling troupe. What if her sister was actually Kvothe’s mother? He thought she looked familiar. What was in the box that is the family heirloom?
  9. Who is Skarpi? Is he also trying to break Kvothe out of his revery by sending the Chronicler?
  10. We know Kvothe read the Chronicler’s book while in school, so he must be much older than Kvothe, however the Chronicler makes a statement about the first Kvothe story he heard upon arriving at the university. How does this timeline make sense?
  11. I find that I don’t particularly like Kvothe in this book. He is selfish, putting his friends constantly at risk and making them skip class even though it might raise their tuition.
  12. What scared off the Chandrians when Kvothe first met them?
  13. What was Cinder doing with the bandits?
  14. What was the joke that the Cthaeh told Kvothe? How will the Cthaeh have been influencing Kvothe? How did he bypass the Fae meant to protect people from the Cthaeh?
  15. Is the University the folding house in the Moon story? If it is true, what is in the iron door? The Moon’s name?
  16. How did Denna know to save the girl in the alleyway?
  17. Was the girl Kvothe saved Denna’s relative?
  18. What is with Denna’s ring? How was she not able to breathe when Kvothe saw her?
  19. Who is Denna’s patron? Is it Haliax?
  20. I feel like the Lackless rhyme will  be the answer to opening the box?

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