If I keep this up, I’ll be at only 35 or so by the end of the year. We’ll see!
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Marcus, like his father before him, is an officer in the Roman army stationed on the barbaric island of Britain. Many years ago, Marcus’ father and his Legion marched north of Hadrian’s Wall and never returned. Rumors are now coming south of the Wall: the Eagle, the standard and symbol of the Ninth Legion has been seen in one of the temples of the barbaric tribes of the north. With such a symbol, the tribe could rally others and mount an attack on the lightly defended Wall. Marcus knows that this cannot be allowed to happen, so he volunteers to go north of the Wall and retrieve the Eagle. With his freedman friend Esca, a Briton, Marcus searches throughout Caledonia to find the Eagle and to find out the fate of his father.
This is an excellent story. The Roman Britain setting is well drawn and the characters that inhabit it are all realistic. Marcus was an interesting narrator and while the ending of the story was a bit predictable, I found his quest to be compelling. If you’re looking for historical fiction that will bring the ancient world to life, this is a good story to try.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sequels are, quite often, not as good as their predecessors. This is true of The Wise Man’s Fear but the drop-off between it and The Name of the Wind is not much, and it is still an excellent story.
Kvothe remains a fascinating character, a bit larger-than-life but also someone the reader can relate to, who has faults and makes mistakes. In this volume, Kvothe takes a vacation from the University, and we see more of his world. We also see some of the episodes of Kvothe’s life that were hinted at in the first book. The frame narrative continues as well. It intrudes in the more mythical-feeling Kvothe Life Story with more mundane events, while at the same time hinting that a gathering storm is beginning to move on Kvothe’s current life. And the current Kvothe seems to be only a fraction of the awesome that Life Story Kvothe is. How did that come about? And what about the mysterious Chandrian? Kvothe is still looking for answers about those bad guys, and the answers are maddeningly incomplete.
Here’s to the third volume coming out soon with answers to these questions and more of the amazing adventures of Kvothe.