The Wise Man’s Fear: Patrick Rothfuss

½

The Kingkiller Chronicles: Book II

I have a confession. I began reading this in January on my Kindle and simply couldn’t get through it. When I felt it was time for a second bash at it, I borrowed a hard copy from the library, so that I could keep track of exactly where I was in the book. This time I sailed through much more easily. In general, The Wise Man’s Fear has the same strengths and appeal as The Name of the Wind, the first book in the series. If you enjoyed that then you should certainly carry on and read this, even though there are weaknesses in the narrative’s pace and structure in this instalment. I still can’t help but admire Rothfuss’s achievement in creating such a rich and lovingly-detailed world, with storytelling and music at its heart.

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The Name of the Wind: Patrick Rothfuss

I don’t read as much fantasy as I did when I was a teenager, but I still enjoy being able to lose myself in other worlds now and again. Often I just return to the favourite books that are already on my shelves, but once in a while I take the plunge and try something new. It’s never without a hint of nervousness: it strikes me that in fantasy there’s so much more scope for things to go wrong. The task of building a plausible, solid and convincing world is that much more challenging than it would be in any other genre. So, with fantasy, I tend to hang back until the weight of acclaim turns a particular book into a must-read. Over the past year, I’ve probably seen The Name of the Wind in Waterstones at least a dozen times, and each time I picked it up, flicked through it, and put it back unconvinced. Over the Christmas holidays I finally caved in, and I’m so glad I did.

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