The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
The new novella from Patrick Rothfuss The Slow Regard of Silent Things about Auri, the mysterious character from his Kingkiller Chronicle series has been awaited very eagerly not only by myself, but by many other people. His first series is an incredible success and many people are waiting for the third and final book of the series The Doors of Stone. The novella is a book to bridge the waiting time and it’s a pleasure to read something new from Patrick Rothfuss.
Those who haven’t read his books yet might think this novella a good start to gauge his writing. I believe they should go to The Name of the Wind instead. If you don’t know about the character of Auri, if you weren’t already intrigued by her, this book might be a bore for you. Why is that? Because it doesn’t really tell a story. Not much actually happens. We follow Auri through her home beneath the city and get a good look at how she lives and more importantly, how she ticks. Because she’s a very special person. That’s very interesting if you already liked her character from the few times Kvothe sees her and wanted to know more, but if you didn’t, the story could seem pointless to you.
It’s a slice-of-life type of story, where we follow Auri through her everyday life, see her challenges and successes, as well as her personality. She’s a person that sees things and places as living beings, thinks about their feelings and does her best to do things right. And that might mean sleeping without her blanket, as it doesn’t want to stay with her at that moment. The small storyline that trails through the story is her search for a gift to Kvothe, whose visit is only days away. The gift she decides on gives us some new ideas on where The Doors of Stone will be going and definitely makes my mouth water with anticipation for the book.
Is it worth buying? Well, it’s somewhat expensive for 170 pages and isn’t a story for everyone. The author himself says you shouldn’t buy it, but I wouldn’t believe him. What does he know anyway? One reason to buy the novella is Auri. She’s an incredible character and gets some depths in this book. Another would be the great prose that works incredibly well with Auri’s personality. Her day-to-day activities are strange but heartwarming and I hope she plays a bigger role in The Doors of Stone.
Concluding: I didn’t regret my purchase. I liked the book for what it was: a showcase of Auri with a few hints as to what could happen with Kvothe in the next book. It’s a book that shines mainly through its protagonist and with a lesser degree through its prose. It’s not a book with much action of any kind and it lacks a bang, something really interesting and captivating. Making soap might be nice, but it’s not enough to hold every reader for a long time. If you’re a fan of Patrick Rothfuss and/or Auri, this is a buy for you. If you haven’t read the Kingkiller Chronicle yet, try The Name of the Wind and preferably The Wise Man’s Fear before picking up The Slow Regard of Silent Things.