Damn book. Not used to audio books so good that they distract me from work and actually prevent me from falling asleep at night if I listen to them before bed. :)
Very good narration.
A good story but better still - very well written. Rothfuss is an artist with words - great choices, rhythms etc. Lends itself to listening.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
Wise Man's Fear picks up right where its predecessor left off, with the grown-up Kvothe, in hiding for reasons that haven't yet been revealed, recounting further chapters of the story of his younger self.
That story also picks up where it left off. If Rothfuss's first novel, The Name of the Wind, was a coming-of-age tale set in a fantasy world, well, this novel is one, too. Kvothe, the gifted, but hot-tempered young protagonist, continues his education, first as an arcanist at the University, then as an aide to a powerful noble, then training with a warrior people who have their own challenging spiritual/martial philosophy. Being Kvothe, he does nothing halfway, making new friends, new enemies, and people who are a bit of both. There's even a section where he learns the art of lovemaking in a typically larger-than-life way.
The rewards (and frustrations) of this novel probably won't surprise anyone who's finished the first book. As before, Rothfuss does a good job developing his characters, lending their world both a firm seriousness and plenty of touches of humor. As before, he takes his sweet time with the story, devoting many pages to even relatively minor events in Kvothe's life. Fortunately, it's hard not to like the protagonist or relate to his journey, even though he's more than a bit full of himself (then again, this is what usually gets him into trouble).
However, these indulgences on the part of the author mean that the book can't help but feel a bit overstuffed. By the end, Rothfuss has gotten through a number of episodes in Kvothe's backstory, yet how they relate to the present-day story or why they matter... we still don't know. The author is asking for a leap of faith -- can he deliver on the other side? Also, I'm probably not the only reader who's grown impatient with Kvothe and Denna's relationship: unresolved sexual tension can only be sustained for so long before the writer runs out of excuses, and what was charming simply becomes irritating.
All in all, though, even if Rothfuss didn't move his main story forward very much, a big book of character-defining adventures still made for pleasurable reading. I just wonder how he'll be able to bring his carefully-established threads to a suitable close in just one more book, without it feeling rushed.
Love to read/listen!
Clever writing with nuggets of deep wisdom woven in a complex story - but easy to follow. This series keeps you pressing Play at every free minute, and rueing the fact that you started to follow Kvoth at the beginning of the his written journey -- the wait for the next book is brutal. Character development is insane, and I LOVE the narrator. His intonations for the women in the book clearly portray the clever charming the author is sure to have wanted them to express to the reader. Also, great with the male voices. No ridiculous accents, but does employ them when character is from another country and the accent is done consistently and well. I loved both of these SO MUCH!! Use your credits for them both - you won't be sorry.
Best book I have listened to since...The Name of the Wind. This is certainly in the top 5 book series of all time, which I have read/listened to.
As someone who has already read and loved the book, I was pleased with this narrator's performance. He is a very talented man of a thousand voices. Although I sometimes wished they could have gotten a woman to perform the female voices, it still worked in context since the story within a story is literally being told by one man. Most of all, I give my highest praise to whoever had the idea for the narrator to perform the Cthaeh character like Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight. At first I thought it would be cheesy but it worked brilliantly.
Love listening to young adult fantasy when I run and slightly more epic fantasy when I commute into work.
I have always thought the an audiobook done well is better than reading a story on your own. The Wise Man's Fear showed me how it can bring an exceptional book to a completely different level. Nick Podehl brings the book to life almost as if you were watching a play unfold. I'll step into my car and 45 minutes later I'm at work and wishing that I had been stuck in traffic for just a little bit longer so I could keep listening.
Very well read. Some parts of this tale were extremely good on character development, suspense, sense of journey, etc. I would have liked to actually sense the wind and the sea on his ocean voyage, but this was skipped over. On the downside: SEX. "The Name of the Wind" was a book that I could recommend for my older children and I appreciated the main character in his relationship with the opposite sex-- kind, considerate and becomes a good friend! But, suddenly at the end of this book, the issue is that Kvothe seems to be a total chameleon in this area of his life. He just goes ahead and does it with one goddess and then several females--no holds barred. While at the same time, he has certain strong values from his mother and father (who seemed to be faithfully married) and the honorableness of being Idema-Rue. If he is willing to stand up and defend girls were being used and exploited in this way, what gives? Somehow you have this unexplained phenomenon in Imre where nobody has any emotional problems resulting from this lifestyle. Way too much of a stretch in my estimation.
Now this series is going to only mature audiences, that is unless you assume that "mature" means teenagers. Sorry for the bias, but I could have skipped those parts and had an otherwise great read which I could have enjoyed with older children.