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The Wise Man's Fear Hardcover – Mar 1 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 994 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (March 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756404738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756404734
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 5.1 x 23.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2011: The Wise Man's Fear continues the mesmerizing slow reveal of the story of Kvothe the Bloodless, an orphaned actor who became a fearsome hero before banishing himself to a tiny town in the middle of Newarre. The readers of Patrick Rothfuss's outstanding first book, The Name of the Wind, which has gathered both a cult following and a wide readership in the four years since it came out, will remember that Kvothe promised to tell his tale of wonder and woe to Chronicler, the king's scribe, in three days. The Wise Man's Fear makes up day two, and uncovers enough to satisfy readers and make them desperate for the full tale, from Kvothe's rapidly escalating feud with Ambrose to the shockingly brutal events that mark his transformation into a true warrior, and to his encounters with Felurian and the Adem. Rothfuss remains a remarkably adept and inventive storyteller, and Kvothe's is a riveting tale about a boy who becomes a man who becomes a hero and a killer, spinning his own mythology out of the ether until he traps himself within it. Drop everything and read these books. --Daphne Durham

Author Q&A with Patrick Rothfuss

Q: Your first novel, The Name of the Wind introduces the hero (or some may say anti-hero) Kvothe as a larger-than-life living legend.

A: I don't know if I'd call him larger-than-life. His reputation is larger-than-life, certainly. The man himself is remarkably life-sized. I think that's part of the reason people like him.

Q: How did you create him?

A: I got the idea for Kvothe after I finished reading Cyranno De Bergerac for the first time. I was completely knocked over by that character. He was passionate, arrogant, witty, clever, a fighter, a poet, a philosopher. He was compelling and interesting, and a bit of a bastard, but you loved him and felt sorry for him. I remember thinking, "Why haven't I ever read a fantasy novel with a character this good?"

Shortly after that I read Casanova's memoirs. That's when I realized that autobiography could be really compelling so long as the person's life is exciting, and their personality is interesting.

Those two things might not have been the seed for the book, they were certainly around when the seed was sprouting....

Q: What contemporary superhero would you put Kvothe up against?

A: Batman.

Q: Who would win?

A: Ah hell. If we're talking about Kvothe as he appears in the second book. Batman would probably come out on top. I'd say Kvothe would only have about a 30% chance of pulling off the win there.

But even if Batman did win, he'd walk away with a limp.

Q: Kvothe leads readers through the entire series—from the storytelling, to the action, to the inner monologue. Are there any similarities between Kvothe and yourself?

A: A few. But less than people typically think. People are always saying, "Why do you hate poets so much?" I have to remind them that Kvothe is the one with that particular grudge.

But yeah. There are a few similarities. We both have the bad habit of expressing ourselves freely and clearly when it would be better to keep our mouths shut.

Q: Fans love the books and are fascinated by the characters, but you’ve also garnered a cult-like following. Can you tell us what that’s like?

A: I've got a cult? That's awesome. Do they have robes and stuff? Do we have baccanals? We better have baccanals. If I have cult it better old-school. Dionysian. Orgiastic. If I find out they're just drinking tang and handing out pamphlets on streetcorners I'm going to be pissed.

Q: When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?

A: I’ve known I wanted to be a writer for a long time. Since forever. I started my first fantasy novel when I was 15 or so. It wasn’t very good, of course. In fact, it was horrible. Beyond horrible. It had cat-man samurai in it. I'm not even kidding. But it was a good learning experience. The mistakes I made in that novel taught me a lot about writing. Generally speaking, our failures teach us more than our successes. Part of the reason The Name of the Wind turned out so good is because I made so many rookie mistakes in that first, horrible novel.

Q: Did any of your experiences in college influence some of the scenes at the University?

A: No. Not really. You're making that whole Pat/Kvothe mistake again. He's the one with the red hair. I'm the one with the beard.

A lot of people assume that because I spent 11 years in college, I based the University off my experiences as a student. It's a reasonable thought, but it couldn't be further from the truth. It wouldn't have taken me nearly so long to write this book I was just stealing things out of the real world.

The truth is, I find stories that are thinly-veiled autobiography pretty tiresome. Authors inevitably put something of themselves into a book, but that doesn't mean you should turn your 3rd grade math teacher into a villain in a desperate attempt to get revenge. I've read books like that in the past. They're terrible.

Q: What was the best class you took in all that time?

A: Basic Critical Thinking. This is usually taught as a philosophy class at most universities, but in my opinion it should be required for every college student.

You see, everyone assumes they know how to think rationally, but most people don't. We are emotional, messy-headed creatures. And even very clever, well-informed people can be very stupid when it comes to dealing with things in a rational, critical way.

I've had people try to have arguments with me. They say things like, "What you have to realize is that logically..." and then they spout off the most ridiculous bullshit. They don't know what logic is. They think that if they feel strongly about something, it's logic. They think if they grew up believing it, it's logic.

I had a guy try to convince me that ESP was real because he was thinking about his girlfriend before the phone rang. Not only was he sure he was right, but he was absolutely certain that he was providing a crushing argument. He felt unassailable in his reasoning.

All I could think was, 'Sweet baby Jesus. That's a post hoc fallacy. You're trying to convince me using faulty logic that Aristotle was making fun of over 2000 years ago.' Maybe that shit works in whatever N-sync chatroom you grew up in. But don't bring it round here. Here we have rational discourse. You want to sit at the grown-up table, you learn the rules.

Q: The structure of your story is different than most fantasy novels. Why did you choose to write your book that way?

A: Everyone always seems so surprised by the framed story, but it isn't anything new. The Princess Bride is a framed tale. The Arabian Nights is a framed tale.... Taming of the Shrew is a... well... it's half a framed tale.

As for the first person, it’s the most natural form of storytelling there is. When you tell your friend a story, you say, "I almost got hit by a truck today.” You don't hide behind third person.

Yeah. Sure. Most novels are written a different way. Tradition. The Aristotelian unities. Three act structure. What do I care about that? I'm not doing a paint-by-numbers here. I'm not doing a connect-the-dots. I’m looking to tell a different type of story here. I'll do it my way.

Q: The first edition of The Name of the Wind was released in 2007. What kinds of projects have you been involved with over the past 3 years, besides writing The Wise Man's Fear, the long-awaited and highly anticipated sequel?

A: Let's see…

I started a charity called Worldbuilders. Fantasy authors and publishers donate books that we use to encourage people to donate to Heifer International. In the last three years we've raised over half a million dollars for Heifer International.

I also wrote a not-for-children picture book illustrated by my friend Nate Taylor. It turned out amazing. I think of it as Calvin and Hobbes meets Coraline meets Edward Gorey.

Oh. And I had a baby. Does that count as a project? I think it counts as a project.

Q: What’s next for Kvothe and the Kingkiller Chronicle?

A: Explosions. Gunfights. Moonlit swordfights across rooftops. Johnny Depp. Naked supermodels. Kung-fu. Car chases. A thousand elephants.

Actually, that's all a lie. I don't believe in spoilers.

Still, I think it's safe to say that Kvothe grows up a bit in the second book. There's a big difference between the story of a young boy and the story of a young man. It wouldn't be realistic to have twelve-year-old Kvothe doing much swashbuckling. But sixteen-year-old Kvothe? Yeah. It's safe to say that he'll be buckling a little swash.

Book Description

My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me... So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view—a story unequalled in fantasy literature.

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Corey Lidster TOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 22 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
[[SPOILERS by the barrel-load! Yes, this is a long review, but it's a really long book.]]
'The Name of the Wind' annoyed me on many levels, at many times, but I never considered giving up on it, once I got past the terrible intro. To me, that's a testament to Rothfuss' gifts as a storyteller... in some respects. The opening paragraph of that first book made me wince, then laugh, and a clock started ticking; any writer who would open a story with such a meaningless puff of poetics about 3-part silences has blundered through the tripwire of my tolerance. The storyteller has to move very fast to survive the countdown, and the accompanying big, heavy thud of a 1000 page book being slammed shut and shelved for all eternity. Obviously it caught my interest long before I reached the ineffable 'F**k This' threshold. For all his faults, Patrick Rothfuss can hook a reader as surely as the drugstore-spinrack masters like King and Koontz. He always manages to reach escape velocity, even when the gravitational pull of his ill-conceived ideas would send most writers plummeting back to the surface in a fiery heap. His abilities as a prose stylist have been exaggerated, but for a writer of fantasy, Rothfuss is definitely top-tier. Most of the writing shies away from pretentious, extraneous poetics and philosophical bulls**t, but the narrative device he employs -- a story within a story, told mostly in the first-person -- makes it hard to get carried away, since every sentence has to retain a realistic, near-conversational feel. The biggest problem in using a first-person perspective for a sweeping fantasy epic is that the reader is seeing an entire 'alien' world through one person's eyes.

One of the weakest aspects of TNOTW was it's attempt at world-building.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By G Mix on Aug. 28 2011
Format: Hardcover
Similar to the other reviewers, I had great expectations after reading The Name of the Wind. The first 500 pages of Wise Man's Fear are fabulous. Rothfuss manages to take us back to Kvothe's world effortlessly. Unfortunately, the next four hundred pages could have been condensed into a few chapters. He spends too much time on certain parts and the great book slowly becomes frustrating. The writing seems to be more contrived during these sections as well. Kvothe's sexual experiences could have been condensed into a chapter or two, but instead Rothfuss spends chapters and chapters discussing these escapades. If anything, it detracts the reader and makes us feel more distant from the character. In fact in one part, I thought I was reading a harliquin romance.

Rothfuss has been blessed with a wonderful imagination and a creative spirit. The book will take you away again to the fantasy world we were anxiously awaiting but don't expect it to be as good as the first. Rothfuss needed a wise and fearless editor and he would have had a sensational book.
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By Mark Adams on Dec 17 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Great story. Looking forward to day 3. Kvothe is a fantastic character and the world is rich and colourful. The first book was very well written too. The second book is excellent but seemed to meander.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By jkirkby on March 23 2011
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who enjoyed "The Name of the Wind", I can cut straight to the point: "The Wise Man's Fear" is of the same high quality and continues the story of Kvothe to the level that you'd probably hoped for. Go get it!

For anyone who hasn't read the first book by Mr. Rothfuss, I recommend that you read it first. There are too many plot points that will be completely foreign to you in "The Wise Man's Fear" without prior knowledge of the basic storyline. Mr. Rothfuss does a good job attempting to make this story stand on its own but the characters (especially the secondary ones) would probably seem too hollow, or at least unmemorable. This story is about the characters!

In general what you'll find in a Rothfuss story is exceptionally polished and clean-flowing prose with a distinct amount of wit and skill that sets him apart from many of today's fantasy and sci-fi novelists. This keeps you turning the page as much as the desire to learn more about Kvothe - the words themselves just draw you in.

As for the structure of "The Wise Man's Fear", it is quite long (almost 1000 pages) and despite its length the story doesn't take any giant leaps forward. This can be seen as good or bad depending on how you expected this story to unfold. I suspect this story will go beyond the original "trilogy", which was at least rumoured. We certainly learn a lot more about how Kvothe thinks and what he is capable of.

To add some criticism: I believe some scenes (or extended scenes) went on longer than they needed to. I would have been just as happy with those parts pared down, possibly allowing other parts to be expounded (the journey to Vintas, for example).

All in all another wonderful read that you just can't put down. I can't wait for #3!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By euxneks on July 15 2011
Format: Hardcover
Really enjoyed the first in the series, I was excited to get back into this world and Mr. Rothfuss allowed us a larger glimpse of it. There were some slightly jarring elements of the story-telling which I felt could have been exciting if expanded upon, but I think that's just his style. I enjoyed this book, and finished it quickly. I can't wait to hear more about Kvothe's adventures!
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