Friday, October 23, 2015

Book Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series: Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Published: October 28, 2014 by DAW (Penguin)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. 

Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries. 

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows... 

In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.

*** This is a novella that is a part of a larger series. It doesn't really have spoilers but you should still read those first. They're fantastic, trust me. ***

You may know that for me, 2014 was the year of Sanderson. I read eight of his books and I absolutely fell in love with his writing style. If I were looking for someone to make this the year of, I could say that it's the year of Patrick Rothfuss. I started the Kingkiller Chronicle with The Name of the Wind in January and I am now up to date with this fantastic series. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a novella in the series and is totally different from the two previous books but just as atmospheric and magical.

One of the things that makes this book so different is that it's not from Kvothe's perspective, it's from Auri's. Have you ever wished that there was a book, even a novella, about your favorite secondary character in a series. Of course you have. We all have. Right? Well anyway, that's exactly what I have here. A novella about my favorite character in the Kingkiller Chronicle, Auri. And this book is a seriously fascinating look into a very mysterious character. And this peak into her head really does nothing to take away her mystery despite the fact that we learn about her past. But it's so subtle. If you aren't paying attention you won't even really pick up the hints. That's probably because these sorts of things are not what is important to Auri. This look into her mind justified what is important to her. It showcases her kindness and helpfulness but it also communicates her paranoia and anxiety. It's sweet and melancholy at the same time. It's almost heartbreaking to be inside her head. But that is offset by a sense of her power. Auri is so much more magical then originally thought and I loved being able to see that.

I also really loved the peak inside Auri's world. All of this book takes place in the Underthing, a part of the University and a setting that we get to see a little of in the main series but here we see so much more of it. We also get to see it through Auri's eyes and it's Auri's world therefore it seems bigger and more important. She's given each location it's own name that coincides with the purpose of the room. I wish there was a better way of saying it then it is its own little world but that's exactly what it is. It's a world within a world. And of course Rothfuss explains this world with his trademark atmospheric beauty. You can picture everything from the pipes along the ceiling to the pool where Auri bathes and it has a lyrical beauty and dark mystery. It's trademark Rothfuss and one of the reasons I've grown to enjoy his writing this year.

Finally, the thing that makes this book so unique is the plot. There is author's note at the end where Rothfuss mentions he was nervous about this book because really there is no plot. And maybe I was just searching for one but I think there is. Yes, most of the book is just a week in the life of Auri. She's going about her business and day to day actions. It's like Auri if she were a daily vlogger on YouTube. But those moments were okay because it's a character-driven story about someone so interesting and mysterious. I almost wanted more of her daily goings on. But there is also this underlying plot of Auri preparing her gifts for Kvothe. It's a snapshot into an off-screen event during The Kingkiller Chronicles, And because it's just a short (160 pages is super short for a Rothfuss book) it was a great diversion and added a lot of color to the overall series. It might nor be your typical high fantasy epic adventure but that doesn't make it any less interesting and just one more example of why this book is so different.

I busted my TBR when I noticed that there was a copy of this available to borrow from the library on Overdrive and honestly, I regret nothing. It was a great read and a perfect addition to a series that I absolutely love. But now I need the final book in the series. Yes? Yes.

I give The Slow Regard of Silent Things bu Patrick Rothfuss 9 out of 10

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. This was definitely a good novella and a great addition to this series. If you are a fan of The Kingkiller Chronicle you should check out this diversion into the world of Auri, especially if she is your favorite secondary character. And if you aren't a fan of this series and you like fantasy, you should definitely check out this series. It's really wonderful.

Have you read The Slow Regard of Silent Things? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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