KayKay #CBR6 Review #08 Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss


This is my second time reading this book, and I have to say it’s better than I remembered.  It is one of those books that once you pick it up, it absorbs you completely.  It was the first thing I picked up in the morning and the last thing I put down at night.  This story picks up with Kvothe’s at the University.  He ends up taking some time off, due to his notorious misadventures, and he extends his story beyond the University.  Like it’s predecessor, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Here’s a breakdown…


My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement.  Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers.  Continue on at your own risk!

What is this book about?

The misadventures of Kvothe.  Exceptionally bright.  Perennially in trouble.  He is studying at the University, living hand to mouth, when one of his misadventures causes him to take some time off from the university.  He goes into the service of the Maer Alveron (who is very wealthy) and saves him from being poisoned, helps him catch the girl he wants, and rids his road from bandits.  Along the way he is educated sexually by Felurian(this is where he gets his shaed), and he is educated in the art of fighting by the Adem (this is where he gets his sword- Caesura).  Sometimes it seems to be a string of misadventures strung together, but these stories will add up to whatever causes Kvothe to run and hide as an innkeeper.  And possibly the triumph of Kvothe over the Chandrain.

New pieces to the Chandrain puzzle:

“Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before he orchestrated the betrayal of Myr Tariniel.”

“Cyphus bears the blue flame, Stercus is in thrall of iron, Ferule chill and dark of eye, Usnea lives in nothing but decay, Grey Dalcenti never speaks, Pale Alenta brings the blight, Last there is the lord of seven: Hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane”

Kvothe realizes that (like Lord Voldermart) the Chandrain know when their name is spoken, and saying their name repeatedly will lead them right to you.

Who’s in it?

Well, Kvothe is the star.  Proud.  Stubborn.  Loyal.  And smart as all get out.  A dangerous combination.   I’m curious to know how he loses his abilities.

Bredon- a noble in Severen.  One of the only friends that Kvothe makes while he is there.  He teaches Kvothe how to play Tak (which requires tack, which Kvothe doesn’t have, but is slowly learning).  He also explains the giving of rings in their culture.

Felurian- Fae, Lady of Twilight, Lady of the first quiet.  She basically has sex with mortals until they die.  She is Kvothe’s first.  He gets away by telling her he needs something to compare her to, and she lets him go (after making him an awesome cloak made of a shaed to protect him so he comes back).  He also calls the name of the wind when he is with her, and calls her name as well.  Also, while Kvothe is in fae he talks to Cthaeh, which sees all futures and always tells people the worst path.

Tempi- An Adem mercenaries who joins Kvothe in hunting down the bandits.  The rumors about Adem mercenaries are that they never speak because they store their words and burn them as fire when they fight.  And they are always fidgeting.  The truth is that they consider showing emotion on their face as uncivilized, and they express emotion with their hands.  They are great fighters because they follow ‘Lethani’ (which is the path, but not the path!)

Bast- I can not wait to hear how Kvothe meets Bast.  Bast is doing his best to pull Kvothe out of his funk, but it isn’t working.

Denna- I am curious to know where she ends up.  Is she dead?  Is that why Kvothe runs and hides as an innkeeper?  Did she just do her normal disappearing act?

Was it written well?

At one point I skimmed a chapter- not because it was slow, but because I was so anxious to see what happened.  I ended up going back and re-reading it.  Every word was cared for and is worth reading.  It is done so well that the world he creates stays with you, and it is hard to even start another book after this one is finished.   

One of my favorite things about this book is that it’s about rumors and reputations and the truth behind the myth.  Seeing the man behind the legend.

There are such clever lines, like:

“Much of the evening is lost to living memory”

“…avoided the subject the same way a cripple learns to keep the weight off an injured leg.”

“People are forever watching things.  They should be seeing.  I see the things I look at.  I am a see-er.”

Patrick Rothfuss has truly brought back the art of story telling.

What are the best lines of the book?

“Anyone can love a thing because.  That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket.  But to love something despite.  To know the flaws and love them to.  That is rare and pure and perfect.”

“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in the storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

“There are two things you must remember.  First, our names shape us, and we shape our names in turn.”…”Second, even the simplest name is so complex that your mind could never begin to feel the boundaries of it…”

“The desire of knowledge shapes a man”

“It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. ..That way, when he finds the answers, they’ll be precious to him.  The harder the question, the harder we hunt.  The harder we hunt, the more we learn. “

“When you love something, you have to make sure it loves you back, or you’ll bring about no end of trouble chasing it.”

Final Thoughts?

I love the name of Elodin’s classes, this time “he said the name of the class was the name of the class”

I love it when he sees/calls the name of the wind.

What is in the Lackless box?  “In a box, no lid of locks / Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks”

What’s up with the different types of silence?  And why is Kote/Kvothe wrapped in a deep silence?  Is he under a spell/curse?  Is that way he can’t react as he should?

How does Kvothe get to and from Cthaeh without being stopped?

Myths that we haven’t heard the ‘real’ story behind:

  • How Kvothe had gone looking for his heart’s desire.  He had to trick a demon to get it.  But once it rested in his hand, he was forced to fight an angel to keep it.
  • I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings.
  • I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in.
  • I have talked to Gods

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