Welp! That took quite a while but I’m finally done with my re-read of The Wise Man’s Fear. I did not scribble a review on my first reading because my mind, then, was the muddled brain of a fangirl who was anxious and excited for the next installment of The Kingkiller’s Chronicle. This time though, my mind is calmer and my fangirling has settled. That’s not to say that I’m no longer crazy over the series (because God help me, I still am), it’s just that I am more objective this time.
I had a great time re-reading the book even if I finally noticed parts that dragged out for too long, or when Rothfuss kept beating dead horses and regurgitated scenes to death. I did like Kvothe’s adventures in Ademre and how he learned the Lethani and the Ketan. The Adem mythology was instantly one of the most memorable things ever. Kvothe doing Ketan is ASIAN MARTIAL ARTS with MAGIC. YES.
Kvothe’s University days are always great, even if at times I felt like they do not really add much to the story. There are scenes that were “skippable,” but maybe Rothfuss has future plans for them? I hope so. What faults there were in the University chapters are easily forgiven though since badass kids are always incredibly entertaining to read about, and Kvothe was the ultimate badass kid. Too badass to be believable even. But oh well, realism is too much to ask for in this series, I guess.
Adventures in Vintas! Ah, our little arcanist out in the real world, trying to earn his keep. That was fun too. Very soap-operatic (plot twists with the Maer), cheesy (everything with Denna), and required an almighty suspension of belief (everything with Denna). I liked it when he gets sent to presumably die trying to eliminate the bandits though, because that scene in the forest (that dark, stormy night) was flipping intense. Very good. Bravo. I was holding my breath during the entire scene. If you have not re-read that part, go pick up your copies stat, and you will know what I mean.
The parts that I did not like?
One: The Felurian chapters. I thought it was fascinating at first but after a few hundred pages in, I felt like Rothfuss was beating a dead whore. Felurian was annoying, and Kvothe was annoying when he was in the fae world. And please, just STAHP with the sex. It’s too much. Redeeming parts in these chapters were those with the Chtae (which I fondly pronounce as “che-tae“), because the Chtae was mad and wicked. Yehey.
Two: “Each woman is an instrument, waiting to be learned, loved, and finely played, to have at last her own true music made.” Psh, Kvothe, just stop it, you red-headed bigot. Your little disclaimer after that doesn’t make things better. In fact, the disclaiming felt like a forced embellishment after getting called out by an editor about how strangely chauvinistic that whole statement was.
Three: Denna. Our manic pixie dream girl Kvothe is desperately in love with (even if he doesn’t admit it yet. cough PBB teens cough.) Denna is….something. I don’t understand her. I’m not sure if I dislike her because she’s unlikable, or because I find her inexplicable. Kvothe mentioned a bit in the end how he doesn’t understand Denna, and don’t worry, boy, because I don’t get her either.
And that’s it. I know there is no real profundity in this review, just me throwing my thoughts out there. I honestly did love reading the book though, I really did. Thanks, Pat!
8/10 will read next book