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The Wise Man's Fear

(Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2)
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Series: Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2
Length: 42 hrs and 55 mins
5 out of 5 stars (59,160 ratings)

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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

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    49,412
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Performance

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Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cayce
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 04-22-13

Parts were great, parts were long and annoying

I enjoyed the first book quite a lot and had high hopes for this one, but the story really bogged down a couple of times. Felurian, the sexy fairy section, went on forever. I felt like I was reading someone's fantasy. I don't like romance novels and the endless descriptions of their encounters really slopped over into that genre.

The Adem mercenaries chapters were also long and tedious by the end of them. And their world just seemed contrived. I'm no prude, but again I found the "you can have sex with anyone and there is no emotional consequences or pregnancy" aspect of their culture a little too much like every man's fantasy. I don't like to be taken out of a story by the voice of the author and I felt like that was what was happening.

All that said, I will probably listen to the last one when it comes out. There's enough interesting going on that I want to know what happens, but I was a bit disappointed and felt the book could have been better with a judicious edit.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

156 of 179 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

YEARS for the next book?

The book was great. I found it better than the first. I don't care for the way the book ended. It just "stopped".abrubtly. It needed a better transition spot but it is still really good. I can't believe they are talking about 4 yrs for the next book!! If I realized that, I wouldn't have started it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

123 of 146 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Groton, NY, United States
  • 09-20-11

engrossing tale, good reader, loss of moral compas

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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

At the beginning of the Name of the Wind we hear about the immensely impressive legacy Kvothe has left in his wake. You’d think that this book would finally dive into those stories as book 1 really only captured the somewhat interesting events that went on during his time at the university.

Unfortunately, this book is solely spent on pointless day to day activities and worthless side stories (ie: learning to express his feelings with his hands rather than facial expressions over the span of 5 chapters) and chooses to skip over the only items that could potentially be exciting (his shipwreck, the attempts at his life and losing all his belongings at sea).

This book is nothing short of boring. If you’re set on reading it you have a maximum of 3-5 exciting chapters to look forward to.

Thoroughly disappointing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

The book about nothing

This is a book about Kvothe, who spends about 46 hours rambling about how amazing he is. Absolutely nothing of substance happens in this book to advance the story from book 1.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

The plot dragged on. There didn't seem to be as much happening as in the first book. The long story arch with Felurian lasted three times longer than I felt it should have. I'll read the next book, but I won't have the same level of expectation that the first book gave me.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.)

27 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Tallahassee, FL, United States
  • 03-18-13

Great Story, but gets bogged down every so often.

I am enjoying the series, the first book was well paced and very entertaining. Although, I am thoroughly enjoying the second book of the Kingkiller Chronicles and would recommend it to a friend, but Patrick Rothfusses step into light erotica has been a bit boorish and does not seem to move the story forward.

Again, well worth the time it just seems like he gets stuck in several sections of the story, which honestly tempted me to skip forward.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful