I've been awaiting--eagerly awaiting--this second book in the series called the Kingkiller Chronicles. Some of you may remember my guest book review of the first book, Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, here.
The day the second one, Wise Man's Fear, was released, I bought it. And believe me, I do not do that easily. And I was not disappointed.
The second book delivers just as good, if not better, then the first one. Kvothe continues to reveal more of his life story. The young version of himself is charming and bold, headstrong and often foolish, but he's maturing too. And learning amazing skills.
While the older version continues to spin out secrets and strange things that don't seem to "quite" connect with who he used to be. The two together work very well to keep this reader continually guessing and wondering, rather than solving the mystery quickly (as seems to happen to me in most fantasy novels)
Just as I mentioned in the first one, Rothfuss reveals a talent in balancing many different viewpoints, all in the same book. He sticks to a traditional/conventional storyline, but this is what makes this story shine. I much prefer a story that unfolds in a typical way, but then throws me for a loop here and there, then one that is so strange and outlandish I could never keep it straight.
The characters are awesome. Some characters faded into the background, somewhat, such as Ambrose and Aureli, while others took prominent center stage. Such as Bast. I am honestly finding Bast to be "sometimes" more interesting than Kvothe. Especially after the last scene in the book. Which I won't share.
The world-building here is excellent as well. My favorite is the Ademic culture, with the dramatic pauses and hand language that sets them apart. The traditions behind iron, silver, gold, bone, and etc rings in another locale is just as fascinating, and fits together nicely.
This is an exceptional, five-star fantasy. If you don't have it already, go out and get it and the first book. It's worth the money and the time to read.