Wise Man's Fear
by Rothfuss, Patrick

Picking up where The Name of the Wind left off, hero Kvothe continues on his quest to reclaim the honor of his family in the Fae realm and learn the truth about the death of his parents and Amyr, the Chandrian. 100,000 first printing.

Patrick Rothfuss is the bestselling author of The Kingkiller Chronicle. His first novel, The Name of the Wind, won the Quill Award and was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Its sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear, debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller chart and won the David Gemmell Legend Award. His novels have appeared on NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy Books list and Locus’ Best 21st Century Fantasy Novels list. Pat lives in Wisconsin, where he brews mead, builds box forts with his children, and runs Worldbuilders, a book-centered charity that has raised more than six million dollars for Heifer International. He can be found at patrickrothfuss.com and on Twitter at @patrickrothfuss.

The wise man in the second volume of the Kingkiller Chronicle is Kvothe, and his fear is that being launched on a classic hero's quest may end his life before he can discover the killers of his parents, among other things. He has good reason for that fear. The notorious Adam mercenaries put him on trial, and their competence is matched only by their ruthlessness. Our hero wins free however, thanks to a combination of diplomacy, prowess in arms, and what can only be described as fast footwork. His escape route takes him into the land of the Fae and into the arms of the notorious Felurian. Vividly depicted, she is impossible to resist and impossible to escape or survive once a man succumbs to her. Rothfuss still offers somewhat more book than he has story, but the numerous high points substantially compensate for the sometimes slow pacing. Lovers of high fantasy, enjoy. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

A walloping sword-and-sorcery fest from Rothfuss, the second volume in a projected trilogy (The Name of the Wind, 2007).

Readers of that debut—and if you weren't a reader of the first volume, then none of the second will make any sense to you—will remember that its protagonist, Kvothe (rhymes with "quoth"), was an orphan with magical powers and, as the years rolled by, the ability to pull music out of the air and write "songs that make the minstrels weep." The second volume finds him busily acquiring all kinds of knowledge to help his wizardly career along, for which reason he is in residence in a cool college burg, "barely more than a town, really," that has other towns beat by a league in the arcane-knowledge department, to say nothing of cafés where you can talk elevated talk and drink "Veltish coffee and Vintish wine," as good post-hobbits must. For one thing, the place has a direct line to a vast underground archive where pretty much everything that has ever been thought or imagined is catalogued; for another thing, anyone who is anyone in the world of eldritch studies comes by, which puts Kvothe in close proximity to the impossibly beautiful fairy Felurian, who makes hearts go flippity-flop and knows some pretty good tricks in the way of evading evil. Evil there is, and in abundance, but who cares if you're dating such a cool creature? Rothfuss works all the well-worn conventions of the genre, with a shadow cloak here and a stinging sword there and lots of wizardry throughout, blending a thoroughly prosaic prose style with the heft-of-tome ambitions of a William T. Vollmann. This is a great big book indeed, but not much happens—which, to judge by the success of its predecessor, will faze readers not a whit.

For latter-day D&D fans, a long-awaited moment. For the rest—well, maybe J.K. Rowling will write another book after all.

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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