Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rotfuss
Ok so I didn't make it through this volume as quickly as I did "The Name of the Wind". This isn't a bad book.. but its definitely suffering from "Middle chapter-itus" where the first book is to hook you so its got all the build up.. the second book's job is to get you some place.. to position you for the ending which will close up that setup stuff during the third book.
The other thing this book does that some what disappoints me is that the experiences that Kvothe is now sharing with the reader are perhaps leaking in to the second day's story and should have been included in the first days story.. what else is he omitting or choosing not to say? It's casting doubt on his whole story for me. It's difficult to measure how I feel about this.. I've seen lots of other reviews remark on Kvothe being an "Unreliable narrator" but I'd never really seen any indication of that in Name of the Wind. But its there in good quantity in Wise Man's Fear.
Furthermore the book is meandering, it uses up a lot of pages to not really tell us a whole lot.. the first half of the book is a lot more entertaining than the second half.. which basically contains a whole lot of Sex. Brandon Sanderson felt it was sufficient enough in quantity to include a disclaimer on his review of the book. I probably would do the same. Name of the Wind was a PG rated romp comparable to Dragonbone Chair. But Wise Mans's fear is pushing a PG13 rating.. it dosen't show you the sex, but its there going on behind the words.. sort implied like in TV sitcoms. Screen goes dark, next scene, two characters in bed giggling over something. that sort of thing. While part of this is important, it mostly just winds up feeling gratuitous.
And considering the main venue for fantasy novels.. I'm not sure if having your main character get laid something close to 50 times in one novel is a selling point or a detractor. I assume though since its #1 NYT bestseller.. it just proves.. sex sells.
Its really difficult to talk about the book without giving away loads of spoilers, and since this book just came out, rather than having had several years to be out.. I'm more cautious of spoilers with it.
I'm really anxious to read the last volume, whenever it manages to get released. So he's not lost me entirely. However, I am uncertain whether I would continue reading Rothfuss unless he stayed with at least the same world that these stories are set in. That was perhaps my only real complaint with Tad William's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. Was that when the book ended, the door to Osten Ard closed. And while I've enjoyed some of his other short works, I've been hesitant to jump into either Otherland, and some what anxious to get into Shadowmarch now that its complete.