Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review—The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

Little, and broken, but still good.
Patrick Rothfuss was extremely worried that fans and readers wouldn’t like “The Slow Regard of Silent Things”, a novella about Auri, previously a minor character in The Kingkiller Chronicle.  He was so concerned about this, he provided a warning in the beginning of the book, and then goes into some detail about the writing of the story at the end.  He need not have fretted.  As Auri would have noted (after washing her face, hands and feet) everything is in its right place and it is a perfect thing.

Even readers unfamiliar with Rothfuss and Auri can come into Rothfuss’ world through this novella which spans seven days mostly spent in “the Underthing”—a collection of ill-used and mostly forgotten tunnels and access ways that Auri has made her home.  Auri is a former student of the University, whose mind was somehow broken during her studies, and now lives out of sight and out of mind, except as seen in the books by Kvothe as he goes about his adventures.  It should be noted that Kvothe, and really no one else, makes an appearance at all within “The Slow Regard of Silent Things”, but that’s hardly a detriment to story.  Rothfuss paints with such precision and such beautiful strokes that getting caught up and lost within his world is a wonderful experience.

“The Slow Regard of Silent Things” is as much another glimpse into The Kingkiller Chronicle, as it is a vast exploration of a beautiful, if broken, character.  Auri goes about her day-to-day business following rules only she knows, but that make complete sense when the story rounds out.  This may not seem like a fast-paced adventure, but rest assured that Rothfuss knows how to maintain pacing and interest, and this novella is an excellent and worthwhile addition.

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