The Wise Man’s fear is book two of the Kingkiller Chronicle. I previously reviewed the first book in the series.
Some of the problems I found in the first book were somewhat diminished while some new ones were added. This book demonstrates much more character development regarding Kvothe that tempers his pride and he is able to interact with others much more because of this. His reliance on lying and not revealing the truth about his past continues to cause him problems and I am waiting to see how this plays out as far as consequences go.
Mostly I enjoyed the second book which comes in just over 1000 pages as he leaves the university for a term and seeks a patron. His journeys are interesting and you start to see him learning in leadership abilities. It also becomes more obvious that his quest and his past history he is relating has not been resolved and that there will be an important story developing as he continues to give his life’s history to the scribe and chronicler.
One of the things I enjoyed about the first book was that there was an innocence in regards to romance and that there was no sexual activity on Kvothe part. This was not true of the second book in which Kvothe becomes sexually active while also displaying some of his naivety. The descriptions of this are not erotic or going into details other than the poetic. But it does display a moral relativism that is utopian that you sometimes see in Science Fiction and Fantasy novels where the author projects how they would like things to be (for example Robert Heinlein). In this case it is a tribe of people where sexual relations were seen as “intimate”, but no big deal and going from one partner to another was to be expected. That monogamy was really just a social mores and something not needed by a more enlightened culture. Now in a Fantasy novel you expect a setting that is beyond normal reality, but having magic doesn’t cancel the natural law and the way people interact. Our own society keeps trying the sex without consequences meme, but reality keeps doing its best to refute it.
That being said I still look forward to the next book in the series.