Review of The Slow Regard of Silent Things

9781473209329Let me preface this by saying that I am a huge fan of the Patrick Rothfuss series, The Kingkiller Chronicles, but even i found The Slow Regard of Silent Things a struggle.

More of a novella or long short story, The Slow Regard of Silent Things gives insights into one of the series’ more memorable characters – Auri.

Auri is the strange girl Kvothe meets at the university who lives beneath the ground.  The novella gives us an insight into her view of the world – her relationship to the objects she encounters and her need to create a kind of perfection within her environment.  The book recounts several unusual events that demonstrate this – the ruining of a blanket when it falls on the floor, and the deep search and pondering about the right gift for Kvothe.  You will certainly feel a greater connection to and understanding of this character after your reading.

The main issue for me is that there is essentially no plot.  This is pure character exploration, which at times made it difficult to read.  There is little to follow.

Rothfuss explains in his foreword (or if you read the audio like me, the afterword) that this is not a novel for everyone.  And he is right – even as a real fan of his writing, I felt this had a lot of flaws.  The voice is intriguing, but I was looking for greater shape and focus.


One comment

  1. In an author’s note, Rothfuss says he originally began this as a story for the collection ‘Rogues’ edited by George R. R. Martin. When he realised it wouldn’t quite work, he wrote the story ‘The Lightning Tree’ featuring the character Bast instead. I just read this story this week – it’s really very good.

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