Friday, August 4, 2017

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was both captivating and frustrating, and in the end I'm left somewhat disappointed. I decided to read this on a long flight where a more studious choice would not have made the time pass as quickly. I needed a story that captured my imagination and let me escape for at least 11 hours, and this book was just that. I was pulled into a well written fantasy with a great setting, diverse cast of characters, and deep magic system. It was the page turner I needed.

While it did fill that role, it also had its weaknesses, and as I continued to read the pile of weaknesses began to look more like a mountain. Somehow, in the midst of great characterization and intriguing plot twists, this book became focused on sex. It came out of the blue and hijacked a great story. I can't recommend this book to my 14 year-old read-aholic son now. I hate that.

Second, while I was eager to find out what Kvothe would do next, this page-turner was also a sleeper at times. The reader is left on the edge of their seat, waiting to see what happens next while chapter after chapter rolls by. It was really odd. I still consider it well written, but it also felt like it took forever. Perhaps it is the fact that the story being told is in past tense that snaps back to the present now and then. The inner story processes around year in time, while the telling of the story only moves a day. I guess that the tension adds to the overall suspense of the story, but so little movement happened in this book that I don't feel I got my money's worth. And when I say money, I mean time.

Finally, Kvothe's relationship with Denna makes no sense. Their relationship didn't develop, and after the experiences he had there is no way that it would still be in the same state. Either the commitment level would increase, or at least one of them would be moving on. Maybe it worked when they were both young and innocent, but the innocence is gone for both of them, so something's gotta give.