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The Wise Man's Fear

(Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2)
Written by: Patrick Rothfuss
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Length: 42 hrs and 55 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1,351 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.

©2011 Patrick Rothfuss (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

"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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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Even better than the first one. Strongly recommend. You can tell the reader loves the books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Incredible narrator but Book 1 is better.

This book is certainly a commitment to listen to in terms of its length but the narrator is absolutely incredible. The book is read at the perfect pace with stunning enthusiasm. I am strongly considering my next choices in audiobooks to be based purely on it being read by this narrator!

Now as for the story, it's not quite what the first one was. I still loved it - it's well-written and has that beautiful musicality and emotion I love Kvothe for. The downfall is the jumpiness of the story. It seems like this book is really three or four separate stories that don't naturally flow into each other. Just as things get really exciting in one setting, we are brought to another place with more mysteries that aren't solved. I'm giving the story 4/5 stars in the hopes that third and final book (should it ever be released, that is) answers the several burning questions I have.

One more thing: The end is abrupt. That's all I'll say. Just enjoy this story for the ride that it is.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Nick Podehl is brilliant

I’ve read the book in the past, but the way Podehl brings the characters to life is amazing. Better than I could have ever imagined them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A must for fantasy lovers

These books have been among my favorite fantasy novels for nearly a decade. I regularly recommend them and have found many of my friends grow to love them for their own reasons.

Patrick's writing is deliberate and rich. He develops his characters with compelling realism and he paces the tale well

Nick Podehl does a phenomenal job with the audio. I felt truly immersed and even as I finish the recording I consider starting again this evening. Kudos to everyone involved.

Experience this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A wonder

From when the moment you open the cover you will be fully engrossed in this fantastic fantasy tale.

A story to rival Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Incredible Fantasy writing!

This series is amazing. Kvothe relates a fantasy narrative that actually reminds me somehow of Somerset Maugham. An adventurous coming-of-age journey...but he's a wizard. An instant classic.

Nick Podehl isn't the most memorable reader. It takes a little while to get used to his glaringly 'average' reading, but by the 2nd hour of the book, you start to recognize it as quite effective and it's hard to imagine someone else narrating.

This second installment rates 5 Stars out of 5.

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where in the blue hell is the third book

where is the fcking third book?? I'm cheesed I bought three credits for the series

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Very good

The reader did an excellent job on this book. He really brought all the different characters to life. I am enjoying this story and was so immediately enthralled in the beginning of this book. I felt like it took right up where the Name of Wind left off. However, about halfway through this book I stopped caring about any of it. The story goes off on these lengthy tangents that have next to nothing to do with the main story line. I hope more pertinent events happen in the next book because I am honestly getting kind of bored.

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amazing

well-written, well-read. excellent experience overall. I loved it and cant wait for more. thank you!

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I Deeply Regret this Purchase

Now I have to wait who knows how long for the third book to release.
Very few stories have had me this invested in what their outcome may be.
Please Mr. Rothfuss, release the third book.
These cliffhangers are killing me.

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  • Cayce
  • 2013-04-22

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.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tanya
  • 2011-09-01

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 2011-09-08

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.

157 of 180 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 2011-04-18

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

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  • Bryce
  • 2016-09-14

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

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  • Michael
  • 2011-09-20

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.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Lore
  • 2014-11-23

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.)

28 of 35 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph G Dowell
  • 2019-03-15

A Long Moment...

Good lord, the author needs to learn new phrases. It's a decent book aside from endless use of the exact same phrases.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-04-28

It's hard not to fall in love with Nick Podehl.

Also, the author writes excellent characters. It's rare that I cringe when characters so things, and this happened quite a bit. I respect that. Great story, it's fun seeing the stories within the story.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • potsherds
  • 2016-10-14

This could be cut down to a 20-25 hour book easy

Any additional comments?

[contains SPOILERS]

As engaging as Rothfuss is able to make a conversation in a tavern that lasts some 20 minutes and goodness knows how many pages, his distinct inability to drive the plot forward at a pace exceeding a microbe's has worn my patience.

I've been listening to a diversion of the plot that has lasted many hours, and appears to be the sexual feverdream of Rothfuss himself, as it's importance to the book's plot is minimal and I can't for the life of me see the value of describing endless sex with fairies for 15 minutes or more, over and over again. I pity the narrator. The entire trip into the woods and subsequently into fairieland could have been summarized in a an hour or two at most.

Ugh. And of course, when the 'protagonist' returns to the human world, he comes close to sexually assaulting a young woman 'cos that's apparently what he learned in fairieland. Common decency has fled him, a character trait that was emphasized to an irritating degree (have a cookie Rothfuss/Kvothe!) prior to his sex escapade.

This book is irritating. Slow does not being to describe its pacing. The main character has gone from mildly interesting to contemptible when not miserably boring, from book 1 to book 2.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful