This book was truly marvelous, even better than the first.
A thing to keep in mind when undertaking the reading of The Name of the Wind or The Wise Man's Fear is that these are not your everyday fantasy novels. Throughout these two books, much emphasis is given to the idea of a well-told story. The characters regularly tell each other stories, and Kvothe in particular prides himself on being an excellent story-teller.
Kvothe's story, as told in The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, is much like many of the stories told by the characters within. It is a beautiful tale that encourages you to enjoy the journey, instead of focusing only on the end goal. Most books are highways, straight and true, with perhaps a bit of character development from side to side along the way. The Wise Man's Fear is a path through the mountains; it meanders. But there's definitely more to see as you travel, and if you're suited for the journey, it's loads more exciting than a boring old highway.
Kvothe's goal is to find the Chandrian, but unfortunately for Kvothe, the Chandrian are a great mystery. So while the end goal remains the same throughout, we witness Kvothe's life as it progresses. And Kvothe has a very interesting life, including adventure upon adventure, and resulting in Kvothe's ultimate notoriety.
The Wise Man's Fear includes masterful characterization and many many stories within the story. As Kvothe seeks the Chandrian, he repeatedly runs into trouble. His sharp and curious mind encourage him to learn, while also encouraging him to shoot his mouth off imprudently at inopportune moments.
If you're looking for your typical novel in which the protagonist makes noticeable strides toward his goal at every turn, then this may not be the story for you. (Also, if that is the case, then I regret that you are stuck in your little close-minded box.) On the other hand, if you are a true lover of stories, and you might enjoy a beautifully told tale of a marvelously fascinating young man who meets a new adventure at every turn, then read this book right away!
The Wise Man's Fear has earned a place on my "favorites" shelf.