Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

by Patrick Rothfuss
159 pgs

There are two "hands" when it comes to The Slow Regard of Silent Things, the newest offering to Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles. On the one hand, it's Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles, and I think it's safe to say that anyone who has read the first two books in the series has been salivating for this book to come out ever since he first mentioned it. I include myself in that group. On the other hand, this isn't really a book that fits into the series or that moves the story along from where The Wise Man's Fear left off. It's a novella and only has one character in it--Auri, who is only a minor side character in the other two books. Back to the first hand, it's beautifully written, and it gives you a much deeper insight into Auri and her solitary life in the tunnels of the Underthing. On the other hand, reading it was kind of like eating a fantastic appetizer, without ever being given the chance for an entrée.

In the Author's Note at the end of the book Rothfuss explains the genesis of the story, and how he really never intended for it to be published. He also talks about the fear he had when it was decided that it would be. As he's quick to admit, the book doesn't have any of the things people want to have in a book: dialogue, a plot, action, other characters, etc. And I'll admit that for the first half of the story I kept waiting for something to take place or for Kvothe to make an appearance. But when I finally figured out what it was that Rothfuss had written, even minus everything that I was hoping for when I began reading it, I gained an appreciation for what he had accomplished.

I mentioned earlier that it's beautifully written. It's clear that Rothfuss toils over his writing until he gets it exactly like he wants it. And the end result is the reason why so many of us are anxiously waiting for Kvothe's story to continue. In the meantime, this was still a fantastic appetizer.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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