Link: The Wise Man's Fear
I should hate this book. I said these words to myself a number of times during my read of it, more often than GRRM uses "You know nothing, Jon Snow". Probably more than even a number during the Fae Super Sexathon. I should hate this book. The main character is a Mary-Sue on HGH, a lot of the plot is author created problems revolving around money, and well...Fae Super Sexathon and all. I should hate this book.
Yet...I don't hate it. I actually had a great time with it from cover to cover. Rothfuss processes an ability to draw you in with his prose, to make you sit at his feet, pull up your knees, and listen to storytime just like when you were in kindergarten. If you were home-schooled, I'm sorry this metaphor goes over your head.
Some of what I like is simply the first-person narrative doing its thing. First-person is either BAD or GOOD and here we have GOOD. Another part is the school story showing its power yet again. Buffy, Harry Potter, etc., so forth, that school setting just calls out to us. Even poor Spider-man is going back to school!
For the rest we are left with Rothfuss' words, his love for stories interweaving with each other, his careful attention to detail, and his ability to drop hints at what's coming up ahead of you and for Kvothe. Rothfuss gets us to pay attention and there's no skipping over the elf songs here. Sorry, Tolkien...
This novel does have its problems. The mercenaries felt like Aiel 2.0. Kvothe conquering a sex goddess was...laughable at times. As mentioned, the money worries might have taken up too much of the novel and are purely arbitrary tensions created by Rothfuss himself. Some would complain about Denna, but not me, I have little problem with Denna, she's one of the better characters. The problem is just Kvothe...who is a real jack BLEEP and he's at his most BLEEPY around Denna.
Not a perfect novel, but a novel that does have some perfect scenes in it, the Freaky Tree of Doom being the most perfect of all.
Really, all of the Kingkiller Cronicles hangs in balance on the last book, much like the First Law Trilogy did on Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie. We'll see if it was worth the years then, so onward to "The Doors of Stone".
Three and a half but give the man a curve.