There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.

What is this book about?

Broadly speaking, this novel is the first in a trilogy epic high fantasy story recounting the life of a young orphan boy gifted at magic – and really anything he puts his mind to – that grows up to be the most skilled and notorious wizard in the world. It details his life from his childhood and days of survival on the streets to becoming admitted to university to study magic.

But it is also an incredibly immersive and detailed story about a boy with a penchant for trouble and his hyper-realistic and weirdly relatable struggles as broke a uni student fumbling his way through life scrounging for cash to pay off his tuition, fund his musical hobby, and restock his constantly dwindling wardrobe. And of course, there’s magic

Why is it boring?

I, personally, took a long time to get into this book. I read the first fifteen chapters and put the book down and forgot about it for months before picking it up again. For the longest time, I thought ‘when are they going to get on with the real stuff? When is the magic – literally – going to happen?’ For some people, such an exhaustively detailed book will try their patience. Thing was, the magic never really began, not in the first novel at least. Not the real, nitty-gritty that’s constantly alluded to. But you get drawn into the world all the same, sucked in by the believably intricate world-building, in-depth characters, and burning curiosity to see what nonsense Kvothe will get himself in to next.

Who would you recommend it to?

Anyone who is a sucker for a novel bound to be a classic fantasy for the ages. Even just fantasy in general. I hadn’t read a seriously epic fantasy novel in years and this series reminded me how much I loved the genre and why.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

These books (the second ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’ is also out) are instant classic material and have earned all the fuss they’ve been getting. They’re also super long, so savor them because the next novel doesn’t look like it’s coming for a long time yet…(It’s also to be adapted as a TV series, movie, and video game – to be produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda!)

Rating: 4.5/5


I live in Western Australia where I am currently studying law. When I am not working as a waitress, receptionist, or bookseller, I spend my time reading, drawing, or working on my own writing. I own exactly fourteen tropical fish and that number will not change; no matter how many more I add, my tank will inevitably return to equilibrium in a spectacularly bloody fashion. I live off tea and biscuits and neighborhood gossip so I am basically an eighty year old English grandmother. I'd probably have fourteen cats were I not allergic to them.

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