The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
Series: Kingkiller Chronicles #2.5
Published by DAW, Gollancz on October 28, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Novella
Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.
Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows...
In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.
This is not an ordinary tale. But it is about Auri, so I think one should not expect a normal sort of story. We’ve had glimpses of her and the Underthing when exploring with Kvothe. But this story is something different. It’s a tale that shows the life of Auri. It’s a simple sort of story, content to be as it is. Happy even as everything is in its right and proper place. Everything is as it should be. One shouldn’t ask for more, that would be rude.
Auri has always been alluring and mysterious. The elusive girl that lives beneath things and views the world in a different way. Things are not simply things to her. Inanimate objects have feelings and moods. She can gauge their disposition and interact with them accordingly. She wants to set things to right, to keep all things in life happy and as they should be.
There may not be a traditional story arc in this, but it is captivating. Every day and everything Auri does is an adventure in her mind. There is conflict in the simple placement of items that needs to be righted. This is a story that could have gone terribly wrong. But it didn’t. Auri became more real, but yet, just as mysterious as ever. I was worried that a story focusing just on her could ruin some of the allure of her. But it didn’t. It actually just makes me more curious.
I suspect this novella may not be for everyone. Rothfuss even has a disclaimer at the beginning of his book to warn readers of this (see below). But for me it was a wonderful escape to the world below. A captivating tale as Auri goes about her daily life with an outlook that makes ordinarily mundane things special and interesting.
Side note, I had to use the UK cover for this, because it’s just so perfect. And below, I quoted the Author’s Foreword because I think it does an excellent job setting expectations for this book. It is rather fun exploring the world as Auri sees it, but anyone looking for something other than that is liable to be disappointed.
You might not want to buy this book.
I know, that’s not the sort of thing an author is supposed to say. The marketing people aren’t going to like this. My editor is going to have a fit. But I’d rather be honest with you right out of the gate.
First, if you haven’t read my other books, you don’t want to start here.
My first two books are The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. If you’re curious to try my writing, start there. They’re the best introduction to my world. This book deals with Auri , one of the characters from that series. Without the context of those books, you’re probably going to feel pretty lost.
Second, even if you have read my other books, I think it’s only fair to warn you that this is a bit of a strange story. I don’t go in for spoilers, but suffice to say that this one is . . . different. It doesn’t do a lot of the things a classic story is supposed to do. And if you’re looking for a continuation of Kvothe’s storyline, you’re not going to find it here.
On the other hand, if you’d like to learn more about Auri, this story has a lot to offer. If you love words and mysteries and secrets. If you’re curious about the Underthing and alchemy. If you want to know more about the hidden turnings of my world. . . .
Well, then this book might be for you.
Rothfuss, Patrick (2014-10-28). The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle) (Kindle Locations 37-49). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.