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Publisher's Summary

"My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me."

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view — a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man's Fear, Day Two of The Kingkiller Chronicle, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society.

While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King's Road. All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents.

Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived... until Kvothe.

In The Wise Man's Fear, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

Not just another day: listen to more in the Kingkiller Chronicles.
©2011 Patrick Rothfuss (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Nick Podehl arrives at the end of this long audiobook, the second in the Kingkiller series, as engaged and fresh as he was at the start.... Podehl adeptly presents the broad cast of characters - from moneylenders and courtesans to kings. One of the most fascinating portrayals by Podehl begins with a young mercenary from the Adem who says little. And when he does speak, he has a flat voice, mostly devoid of expression. Podehl builds on this when Kvothe returns with him to study among the Adem, where the mercenary develops a recognizable pattern of speech reflecting many of the culture's characteristics." (AudioFile)

What members say

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  • Robert
  • Yamhill, OR, United States
  • 09-08-11

Well worth your time

This review covers the first books of the series Kingkiller Chronicles. Some fantasy can be exhausting: Dan Simmons, Brandon Sanderson, George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, even sometimes Neil Gaiman. Their stories can take your breath away but sometimes, also, knock the wind out of you with a force. Patrick Rothfuss is not about that. He is more about an easy-going kind of entertainment. These books do not knock you over with amazement, epic wars or adventure. They are more subtle and a great richness comes through in that subtlety. While usually light, do not be fooled; they contain a depth and richness that is just easy to read and easier to appreciate. This is nothing short of outstanding fantasy prose and character development. These stories are long but not too long. Rothfuss does not ramble. The continuity of the protagonist Kvothe’s stories is there but not so complex or convoluted that one can get lost over the span. While there are many characters there is a core of them that are easy to know and become invested in. The stories are more about people and their relationships than about what the wizard-in-training is actually learning and practicing. At least the first two books do not contain that much magic but they do not leave you wanting either. They only leave you in great anticipation of the next book to come in the series. Nick Podehl’s reading is impeccable. I am loathe to say this is a great book for YA’s for fear it might deter older readers from venturing here. That would be a mistake. These are great books for readers of all age or gender.

99 of 115 people found this review helpful

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  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 11-23-14

Kvothe's story continues away from the University

The quote that opens the book summary here on Audible reveals many events that are still yet to unfold as Kvothe's tells his story. Based on that quote, and the events of book one, I started listening to this audiobook with some clear expectations about what would come next. Kvothe's rivalry with Ambrose was at a fever pitch and I was really enjoying his life at the University, so when Kvothe took a break to pursue other endeavors I found myself instantly disappointed.

It took a while for Patrick Rothfuss to win me back but he did so in fine fashion. Vintas society is quite interesting and the Adem mercenaries are doubly so. Although it takes time for Kvothe to get his bearings in each new location it always pays off in the end as they are all presented in exquisite detail.

The structure of this book matches that of the first book with Kvothe narrating his story to Chronicler at the Waystone Inn. There are brief interludes back at the inn where events continue to unfold that don't align with Kvothe's narration at all. This keeps you pondering what must have happened in the time between the two and makes for an interesting dynamic. When this book ends there is still a lot of Kvothe's story left to tell so don't expect this book to wrap anything up for you. This is all about the journey and not the destination.

If you weren't a fan of book one then steer clear of this as it is pretty much more of the same only in a lot more diverse locations. Rothfuss and Podehl are both very solid again and they have me looking forward to the third book. (Based on the reviews I plan to skip book 2.5 which is a short story narrated by Rothfuss himself.)

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joe
  • Tipton, IN, United States
  • 04-18-11

Excellent, Imaginative, Beautiful, Page Turning!!!

Those in fear of a "sophomore slump" should look elsewhere. This is the stunningly excellent follow-up and second part of a proposed trilogy to "The Name of the Wind". I devoured this book. I am going to listen to it again with my wife, and that is a rare thing. After finishing this wonderful tale of old evil, love, loss, mischief, grief, song, cleverness, jocularity, beauty, and fantasy. I turned to my wife and said "you have to read these, they are wonderful". Our literary tastes never cross paths, but this is a tale I don't think anyone should miss. To not pass these along to others is neglect.

There are passages in this book that are achingly beautiful and so well written that I dispare for all others who attempt to write epic fantasy. There is a good deal of action too and it's never far from the main narrative of this installment. It's just that Rotfuss crossed the line with this book. There is passable fantasy, good, and even excellent fantasy. This, this is pantheon fantasy, this is why I read the genre, dare I say "tolkienesque". It really is that good. What a great time to be a fantasy fan.

The narration continues flawlessly from the first book and Mr. Podehl gives an outstanding performance. I am rapidly becoming a fan of his work, I certainly will look for him in future listens.

88 of 104 people found this review helpful

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I went 15 chapters and called it quits. I am sure it gets better and the writing is good. I just have a thing against writers who waste my time. One Credit equals One Book, so if you have lots of time, but little money or credits then this is the book for you. For one credit you get 44 hours of listening. You would have to spend four times that in most cases to listen to 44 hours of story from any other writer. In my case, I am thinking, I could listen to four times the entertaining good quality books. This is not terrible and my mind did not wonder that much, I just wanted something interesting to happen. My wife and I have a group of friends, we hang out with and we talk a lot. One of our friends is an interesting person and I want to hear what's going on in her life, but it takes her forever to tell a story. By the time she finishes her story I have lost interest. Rothfuss is that friend in most circles.

It is not that I can not listen to long books, I have listen to plenty, like from King Or McCammon and others, but I need something entertaining to be happening. This is one of the highest rated books at audible, so it is wherever your priorities lie.

75 of 94 people found this review helpful

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  • Geoff
  • DENVER, CO, United States
  • 12-13-12

I dig it.

I absolutely loved The Name of the Wind. This books is good, but a bit of a letdown. Don't get me wrong. If you liked Kvothe and The Name of the Wind buy this book now. It continues where the first left off pushing through Kvothe's adolescence and early adulthood. Unfortunately, not a whole lot of significant events concerning the main story take place. What we do get is a series of "side quests" that (if you've ever played an RPG) are essential to get from young stupid Kvothe to Kvothe the badass. They're enjoyable enough and worth a listen but pale in comparison the overall story going on here. Can't wait for the next installment in this fantasy series. Nick Podehl does a great job in the Narration.

21 of 27 people found this review helpful

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excellent read

Hoping book three is out soon. was difficult to stop listening to the compelling story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • MW
  • 05-05-17

Wonderful, but not epic

I really enjoyed The Name of the Wind, and was a little nervous to take on The Wise Man's Fear because of the slightly lower rating and the length. There were a couple of slow spots for me in book 1, but not book 2. The writing is beautiful and the vocal performance is outstanding. I didn't find any portion of this installment to be slow at all. That being said, I also didn't find there to be any particularly high point either. If you liked the first, you'll enjoy the continuing story of Kvothe. If you are hoping for any sort of real progression or explanation for Kvothe's present day situation, you will likely be disappointed. It's just another installment in the story of the life of the world's most brilliant (and not particularly humble) idiot.

I saw a a couple of complaints in the reviews about unnecessary romantic scenes. I say it's the story of a teenage boy, of course there will be a little action. I thought it was tastefully written, descriptive without being overly graphic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book!!

I listened to this book for 8 straight hours today. I had to force myself to stop listening ........and i still want to put my headphone's back on.

I was afraid it wouldn't be able to keep up with the last one, but thus far it has exceeded my expectations.

37 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • Jesse
  • JAMAICA PLAIN, MA, United States
  • 03-04-11

Amazing, chilling and funny

The book was released March 1st. It wasn't up on audible yet so I went to a traditional book store and bought a copy.It is now 12:30 am on March 4th. I finished it 30 minutes ago, now audible has it up and I just bought a copy and am going to start it again tonight.

I read a hundred books a year and I've never done anything like this before.

Read the name of the wind, then read this. It's better in just about every way.

53 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Charles
  • Nicholasville, KY, United States
  • 03-14-11

My friends wondered where I was all weekend...

Amazing book. Amazing series. I basically haven't done anything for the past 3 days so I could listen to it all. Every time I read/listen to a story on this level, I feel empty when I have to wait for the next. I agree with the extra time spent on it. It was worth it.

34 of 46 people found this review helpful