A few years ago, my kids joined the swim team at our neighborhood pool. This meant many hours of me just sitting on a chair at the pool, having nothing to do but read. So I assigned myself a “pool book” — one that was longer than I might normally read, just so that I would never run out of stuff to read during practice. So far, just while the kids have been practicing, I’ve read all five books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (AKA Game of Thrones), and now I’ve read the first two books in The Kingkiller Chronicles. These are some massive books, all of which I’m glad I read, but wouldn’t have otherwise ever picked up if I hadn’t had endless hours to kill.
The Wise Man’s Fear is book two in the amazing story of the amazing Kvothe, who I don’t think is quite as amazing as I’m supposed to. He’s still regaling The Chronicler and Bast with the stories of his youth — his unparalleled abilities as a scholar, an inventor, a fighter, a peacemaker, and eventually, a lover.
There’s a lot to like here. I’m still interested in the magic in this world. I want to know more about how Kvothe creates these amazing inventions, or how he calls the wind. I want to know more about The Chandrian, and why they have to destroy anyone and everyone that speaks their name. I want to know more about his friends at University — I really feel like they aren’t completely drawn as characters yet and some of them have a lot to offer. I want to know more about Auri, the girl who lives beneath the University…who is she, or who was she? I like that Kvothe is still kind of an idiot, and his friends aren’t afraid to tell him so, and to tell him to get out of his own head. I want to know about Bast — where he came from, how did he join up with Kote, why is he paying men to attack his master? And what about those creepy spiders? MORE, please.
But there’s a lot that I’m all set with. Sure, I enjoy knowing that Kvothe is an amazing musician. But I don’t really need a play-by-play of each and every time he goes to perform.
I’m tired of his bickering with Ambrose. Trick after trick after trick after trick is getting exhausting.
I can’t keep track of which professor is which and I don’t really care. They’re all quirky and they don’t like Kvothe very much, that’s all I need to know.
I can’t take another second of his back and forth relationship with Denna. Either be together or don’t.
And lastly, please, no more fairy sex. That was 100+ pages of my life I’m never getting back. Yes, she made you a cool coat. But the rest was mind-numbingly boring.
I’d be a lot more forgiving of these books if they were about 300 pages shorter. The repetition of certain activities is annoying and is really hindering my interest in the plot.
Yes, of course, I plan to read the third book when it comes out. And I’ll watch the TV show if it ever gets made. But I’m glad I’m going to be taking a little break from Kvothe for a while. The kids still have swim practice though…so I’m about to take on The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.