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)|
Protagonist Kvothe continues the narrative commenced in The Name of the Wind, wherein a younger Kvothe continues his education at a prestigious University. There, he carries a feud with fellow student Ambrose, punctuated by petty crimes such as the theft and retrieval of love interest Denna's ring and culminating in his arrest by the Church. Despite defending himself in court, Kvothe has guaranteed himself a term tuition too high to pay, due to the negative attention he attracted to the darker aspects of the University, and his more or less destitute status. Furthermore, as he cannot pay the tuition, he goes to the moneylender Devi to borrow money.
Kvothe then travels to the city of Severen in order to aid the Maer ('Mayor') Alveron in procuring a wife, and thwarts a plot to kill the Maer. After succeeding in the Maer's courtship, he discovers Denna and, after several weeks of her company, urges her to accept a position with the Maer that Kvothe could obtain with his favored position; parted from Denna after the ensuing fight, Kvothe hunts a group of bandits waylaying taxmen. After killing the bandits, Kvothe follows the Fae 'Felurian' into her own realm, where he stays for an indeterminable time until eventually leaving, with only three days having passed in the mortal world. During the return trip to Severen, the mercenary Tempi is ordered to stand trial for teaching Kvothe the 'Ketan', a secretive form of martial arts; whereupon Kvothe accompanies Tempi to the country of Ademre, where he finishes his training in the Ketan and in the 'Lethani' philosophy, to justify Tempi in teaching him.
Returning to Severen, Kvothe kills a troupe of bandits who have raped two girls. After bringing the girls to their home, he returns to the Maer and presents the waylaid taxes. Here, it is revealed to the Maer that Kvothe is of the Edema Ruh people and thus of low birth. This earns him condemnation from the Maer's wife, which forces the Maer to send him away despite his considerable service. He leaves with his University tuition forever compensated and a writ of performance from the Maer. Back home, Kvothe achieves financial stability in a deal with the University's bursar, fumbling at academic examinations in order to raise his own tuition and receiving half of the tuition money above a certain amount. He returns Denna's ring to her, and begins to hear stories of his own exploits, many distorted or fabricated by the people.
In the frame story, Kvothe's friend and disciple Bast prompts two soldiers to rob Kvothe's inn in an attempt to revitalize Kvothe, who loses the fight; whereupon Bast subsequently kills the soldiers.
On April 28, 2010, Rothfuss confirmed the book's release date as March 1, 2011, nearly three years after its originally-anticipated 2008 release. He said that he anticipated several sets of revisions before completion in September, at which point the publication process would delay the release for several months, as is the norm in any publication but especially since The Wise Man's Fear is "2 to 3 times longer than most books."
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." In contrast, genre review site SFReviews.net described the book as "meandering," "undisciplined" and "monotonous," and the product of excessive hype, stating, "Some of it is interesting. Some of it is downright tedious. At no point does the book get your pulse racing. At no point are you at the edge of your seat, flipping pages in breathless anticipation of what is to come."
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- "I said I'd tell you when I knew...". Patrick Rothfuss' Blog. April 28, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
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- "Fiction Review: The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, DAW, $29.95 (932p) ISBN 978-0-7564-0473-4". Publishersweekly.com. 2011-01-24. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "SF REVIEWS.NET: The Wise Man's Fear / Patrick Rothfuss". SFReviews.net. Retrieved 2015-02-10.