Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss

The second book of in the Kingkiller Chronicles is almost as compelling as the first.  We get two stories in one--the current tale of Kote, the inn keeper at the Waystone Inn, his assistant Bast, and the Chronicler who has come through looking for good tales.  In this "real time" story the world is a dangerous place with some sort of impending doom.  Kote and Bast have what appears to be some secret roll in fighting off the forces of evil.

In the other story, Kote is narrating his history as Kvothe to the Chronicler.  In this book we take up his story after his first years at the University (a school for magicians).  During this portion of the story we learn more about his education, the political intrigues at he University and in the world at large, and travel with him through various adventures.  The story told is indeed worthy of an epic.  There is one rather lengthy episode that I might have edited for "mature" content.  As it stands I will hesitate to recommend the series to high schoolers--at least not in an official capacity.  I might recommend it to students outside of school who I know are mature enough to handle some mature content.  Rothfuss' decision to include this is unfortunate.  I don't think it was necessary for the story.  (I worry that I'm becoming a prude--or just old, but I become impatient when a good story is spoiled by unnecessarily explicit sex/romance.)  Sometimes it feels as if authors believe they need to include it to get market share.  It could also be that I'm underestimating the importance of sex/romance to the average reader.  I'd love feedback on this.

That aside, the book kept me reading devotedly--missing sleep and neglecting other duties.  I should know better than to pick up a 1,000 page book at the beginning of a semester.  There is a twist at the end that would have me going out for the next book, but Rothfuss hasn't published it yet.  I'll have to be patient and fill in the time with other books.  If it were available I would be buying it.

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