This is the second Patrick Rothfuss book that I have read. It was 1000 pages long and it has been several years since I have read a book that lengthy. To learn more about the foundation of the story, visit my last posting on the first book, The Name of the Wind. As much as point out the length, don't confuse that with frustration, it was a great read and I enjoyed every minute of it. The King-Slayer series (that is what it is known as) is a wonderfully written story about a young clever wizard rising in stardom and acquiring magical skills. He comes from humble beginnings and achieve amazing feats by his wits and tenacious attitude. The book is set in what I would closely relate to the Middle Ages, but it has a lovely twist where our world consists with e a faery world.
In the first book, we find our main character, Kvothe, residing and learning at the Arcanist University for the majority of the book. In my first post, I make a mention that the plot is very similar to the Harry Potter series. Where the main character has adventures with their classmates as their awesome school. The second book's plot is far from that. Rothfuss takes our protagonist on a journey to become more than a wizard with some great book knowledge. Kvothe is forced near the beginning of the book to leave because of financial reasons. At that time he hears word that a rich man in a far away land is looking to sponsor a young and smart jack-of-all-trades. He journeys to the ends of the world and finds this King and endeavors to help him win the love of a woman, defy a planned assassination, and venture out and destroy a band of bandits. At this point in the story we only know Kvothe a book-smart wizard with a couple of tricks up his sleeves. So all these adventures help to build him up and take his experience out of the classroom and use his skills.
The last of his adventures with the king takes him on the road with a band of hired mercenaries to find a group of road bandits. They travel deep into the forest. Along the way Kvothe works with a mercenary from a legendary group known for their fighting. This same group may also have more information about the band of evil sorceress that killed his parents as a child. Kvothe forms a great friendship with this character that later asks him to join him at this home far away to train under him to become a warrior. Kvothe accepts and crushes it! After his training he leaves with more skills and returns to the king to return his purse and return back to school. The second book comes to an end with Kvothe back in school but with a totally difference perspectives. Such events on the road help to shape him into a very awesome hero figure. Events like - meeting and bedding a fae mistress, killing bandits with magic, saving kidnapped girls from a band of impersonating Edma Ruh troupers.
Rothuss' main strength in writing is describing other fictitious cultures. Since Kvothe spent most of the book traveling, Rothfuss had to create these new cultures, languages, gestures, and protocols that differed from the Commonwealth realm that Kvothe had spent most his life. It was super exciting and made me get pumped once Kvothe hit the road onto his next adventure.
My only qualm with the book is the interludes that come up regularly. The book is an epic journey, but it is a story that is being told by Kvothe in a bar (set in the future) where Kovthe is lacking in strength, enthusiasm, and spirit. He is telling the story to a scribe who is copying it down. He has a friend, that you learn at the end of book two, that might not be what he seems to be. These little interludes make for a poor way to break up the story, but every time they popped up, I felt like it detracted from the story. I am sure that the last book will wrap it all up nicely.
I loved this book, and can't wait to read the final book for the series. Sadly, Rothfuss has not yet announced the release date for this book yet. The first book was written in 2007, and the second in 2011, so hopefully we can buy it off the shops within the next couple of years. Fingers crossed!