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The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss {Guest Review!}

I’m very happy to come from a book loving family, so when my mom asked if she could write a review for Patrick Rothfuss’s latest book that I sadly haven’t had the chance to read yet, I couldn’t say no :D. Please welcome my mom to the blog!

I loved the Kingkiller Chronicle.  Or rather, I have loved reading the first two volumes and have a hard time waiting for master storyteller Patrick Rothfuss to whip the veil from the next episode of Kvothe’s story.  So, I naturally ignored the writer’s warning and pounced on the little gem he wrote about a side character in this epic tale: little, lost Auri.  I’m glad I did.

But, I will echo Rothfuss and warn you that you may not like this book.  I have a hard time even characterizing what it is.  A novella?  Possibly.  Things certainly do happen, but only to Auri.  This slim volume barely touches upon any of the grand happenings or major characters of the other books – and at that, these are only hints.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss {Guest Review!}

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss (Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5)
Published by DAW on Oct. 28th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 159 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Setting:  The tunnels and ruins of the University and town from the Kingkiller Chronicles – with a little night foraging in the area.  There is a great deal of casual magic/alchemy tossed about, and the author will assume you are familiar with the magic system of this universe.

Premise: A week in the life of a side character (Auri) introduced in the other books.  This is not a classic storyline – more of a behind-the-scenes study of a character and her fragment of the world.

5 Stars

In a sense, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is an extended character study centering on Auri as she works through a solitary week in the tunnels and ruins – revealing who she is through what she does and values and thinks.  Through masterful descriptions, the reader, in the end, develops a deep understanding and sympathy for this young woman.

But it is also more, because throughout the Slow Regard of Silent Things, we are given hints about ruins that are ignored or forgotten, but apparently not all that old …. And not entirely forgotten nor in complete disrepair.  There is more to the tale than we know or can surmise, and I am left wanting to hear the end of the history that Kvothe tells about his own growing legend.

Strengths:

  • This is extremely masterful, subtle story telling.  The author paints the character of Auri so well and so sympathetically that you just want to take her home and take care of her.
  • But – and I won’t spoil it – I don’t think Auri needs taking care of.    Read this story carefully and you’ll see it.
  • The writing is so subtle and artistic.  Through the muddled ramblings, we understand Auri’s muddled, broken mind.  She is tragically sane enough to know that she is not sane.  And she is brave enough to find a way to cope.
  • The book leaves me asking more questions at the end than the beginning.  It’s a delightful appetizer that has me asking “what happened?” on so many levels.

Weaknesses:

  •  It’s not a classic story form.  It rambles.  Many things are not explained but only hinted at.  Single, casual lines of observation suggest major, past occurrences …. And that’s the end of it.  No explanations or exposition.  Yet.  Some people will find this more annoying than enticing.  Personally, I think it entirely, masterfully artistic – this is the way life IS.  And we seldom ever know the whole tale …. just pieces dropped casually that we need to fit into a pattern that pleases us as right.

Summary:

On the whole, I give it 5 stars and recommend that people who have read the other two volumes give it a try because, in a way, it balances Kvothe’s tale very effectively.

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Barb

 

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

© 2015, Barbara. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Hmmm I was planning on skipping this one out of mere spite of Rothfuss’ slow writing abilities. You may have convinced me otherwise.
    Alyssa Zech recently posted…Blood Soaked AshesMy Profile

  2. This book was an automatic preorder for me, and while I’ve dipped into it once or twice since it arrived, I’ve been sort of putting it off or saving it because I know when I actually read it, I will devour it in a sitting and be left hungry for more. (I guess you can say I’ve been hoarding it – appropriate given my blog name.) The little bits of it I’ve seen make me appreciate your review, because I totally agree. And I think I’ll break down and read it soon, because the temptation keeps getting stronger!
    Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…Sunday Post – Ides of March (3/15/15)My Profile

  3. I can’t decide whether to give this a go! I enjoyed the Kingkiller books but I have to admit I didn’t like Auri very much although I think I could be alone in that. I could sense that Rothfuss was fond of her and wanted us to be too but I never looked forward to her parts of the story. But your review is persuasive so I will reconsider!

    http://iwillwritewithit.blogspot.co.uk/

    Katie
    KatieB recently posted…Jamaica InnMy Profile

  4. I loved it! But, yes, it is quite different and far form traditional. You really have to be able to bask in the personality and quirkiness of Auri. I also loved Rothfuss’ foreword explaining that this book is not for everyone.
    Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – The VagrantMy Profile

  5. I know the feeling. I got this one after I had recovered and had started wondering when the next book would come out …. too long!! So this filled in as a temporary appetizer, but I really want even more to find out what happens in Kvothe’s life next.

  6. Wonderful review! I really want to read this one, but I had such a huge book hangover after I read The Wise Man’s Fear that I’m putting it off for the time being.

  7. I’ve considered getting this one, but the price is just too much for the fact that this is a novella. And I looked at it in a book store, there really isn’t all that much text. However, I am glad Rothfuss made it count. He is basically the only fantasy writer I know that does lyrical well. Will have to pick this one up some time, Auri does fascinate me (:

  8. I like it when they warn us. I also like it when they are willing to walk the line because that is where they want to take the characters. They want you to know! KUDOS to him!
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger recently posted…Audiobook Review: Magic Rises by Ilona AndrewsMy Profile

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