The Wise Man's Fear
|Series||The Kingkiller Chronicle|
|Publisher||DAW Books Hardcover|
|March 1, 2011|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Preceded by||The Name of the Wind|
|Followed by||The Doors of Stone (working title)|
The Wise Man's Fear, also called The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two, is a fantasy novel written by American author Patrick Rothfuss and the second volume in The Kingkiller Chronicle. It was published on March 1, 2011 by DAW Books. It is the sequel to 2007's The Name of the Wind.
On the second day of his recounting the story of his life to Chronicler at the Waystone Inn, Kvothe continues the narrative commenced in The Name of the Wind, wherein a younger Kvothe pursues his education at the University. There, he carries on a feud with fellow student Ambrose, culminating in Ambrose getting him arrested on charges of Consortation with Demonic Powers, a capital crime, for having called the Name of the Wind. Despite successfully defending himself in court, Kvothe has guaranteed himself an extremely high term tuition due to the negative attention he has attracted to the darker aspects of the University. Kvothe follows the advice of his friends and teachers at the University and decides to take a term off. To postpone having to pay his debt to the loan shark Devi, he uses several of his more prized possessions as collateral.
Count Threpe arranges for Kvothe to travel by ship to the city of Severen, in Vintas, in order to aid the Maershon Lerand Alveron in courting the only bride suitable for his high station, with the hope that Kvothe might earn a writ of patronage in return. Kvothe writes songs and letters that successfully woo the Maer's bride and, soon after arriving, inadvertently discovers and thwarts a plot to kill the Maer, which earns him the Maer's respect. He also discovers Denna living in Severen and, after several weeks in her company, gets to know the song she is working on, but the lyrics violate the very core of Kvothe's knowledge about the fall of Myr Tariniel. Not able to share his history, Kvothe argues with Denna about the song's meaning and the two part ways after an ugly fight.
As a final task, the Maer charges Kvothe with hunting a group of bandits that have been waylaying taxmen in The Eld. He is accompanied by a crew of four other mercenaries as they track and confront the bandits; Kvothe cleverly employs his knowledge of sympathy to swiftly and efficiently rout the bandits, killing most of them, though their leader escapes. Kvothe then follows the nymph-like Felurian, a being of the Fae, into her own realm, where he stays for an indeterminable time. During this time, he sleeps with Felurian and meets and speaks to the Cthaeh, a malicious, oracular being who reveals disturbing hints of his possible future. The Cthaeh also reveals that the leader of the group of bandits was in fact Cinder, one of the Chandrian who had long ago murdered Kvothe's troupe, and that Denna suffers cruel physical abuse at the hands of her mysterious patron. These revelations greatly distress Kvothe and he flees the realm of the Fae.
Upon reuniting with his mercenary companions, he learns that only three days have passed in the mortal world. On the return trip to Severen, one of the mercenaries, an Adem warrior named Tempi, is ordered to stand trial for teaching Kvothe the Ketan, a secretive form of martial arts; Kvothe accompanies Tempi to the distant country of Ademre, where he completes his training in the Ketan and in the Lethani philosophy to justify Tempi's teaching him. Upon passing a series of final tests, Kvothe is rewarded with an ancient sword he names Caesura, and an Adem legend regarding the names and signs of the "Rhinta"—known to Kvothe as the Chandrian.
Again on the road to Severen, Kvothe kills a troupe of robbers who pose as Edema Ruh after having murdered the original troupers. He then returns to the Maer and presents the waylaid taxes. The Maer and his wife show him a family heirloom, a box with no visible lid or lock, and ask for his help in learning about it, but Kvothe is unable to come to any substantial conclusions. While justifying his execution of the robbers and defending the Edema Ruh, he reveals that he himself is of this people. This earns him utter condemnation from the Maer's wife, who detests all Edema Ruh and forces the Maer to send Kvothe away despite his considerable service. The Maer shows his gratitude by pardoning him for killing the robbers, providing a writ of performance, and ensuring Kvothe's University tuition is forever compensated. Back home, Kvothe achieves financial stability in a deal with the University's bursar, deliberately fumbling his academic examinations in order to raise his own tuition and receive half of the tuition money above a certain amount. He also begins to hear stories of his own exploits, many greatly distorted or fabricated by their tellers.
In the frame story, Kvothe's friend and disciple Bast prompts two soldiers to rob the Waystone Inn in an attempt to revitalize Kvothe, who loses the fight, whereupon Bast subsequently kills the soldiers.
The book was a critical and commercial success, debuting at the top of the New York Times Fantasy list. It also reached the top of the New York Times' Hardcover Fiction list approximately three weeks after its release. Author George R.R. Martin blogged that "The Wise Man's Fear was worth the wait. I gulped it down in a day, staying up almost to dawn reading, and I am already itching for the next one. He's bloody good, this Rothfuss guy." Locus stated that "The Wise Man’s Fear fairly leaps off the page, whatever the setting and circumstances." Publisher's Weekly's review was glowing, claiming that "As seamless and lyrical as a song from the lute-playing adventurer and arcanist Kvothe, this mesmerizing sequel to Rothfuss's 2007's debut, The Name of the Wind, is a towering work of fantasy."
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