I recently read the first two books in Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle and loved both of them, so when I heard that Rothfuss was releasing a novella concerning one of my favourite characters I was sold.
This is Auri’s story, and this book gives the reader an insight to the inner workings of her world whilst still keeping a lot of the mystery about her. The story takes place in her home of the Underthing which is underneath the University it is as mysterious as our character with its labyrinthian corridors which lead into rooms and staircases, pools and doorways to goodness knows where. Each of these places in the Underthing has a name, and like most things in Auri’s world has a true purpose along with its true name.
I find the way Auri does things enthralling. Auri seems to be not all there but then again looking at the world through Auri’s eyes is a much nicer way to view everything, although there does seem to be part of her life that is tinged with a very deep sadness, this however, doesnt seem to show itself a lot of the time. Auri has a fragility to her but also a great strength within her soul.
In truth this is really an odd sort of story but I mean that in a good way. The main focus is on Auri and there is not a speck of dialogue to be found but it really doesnt need it. What I loved about this novella is that although it shone a light on Auri’s life it didnt ruin the mystery about her. She still remains very much an enigma and one thing this story does very well is add more mystery to her. when I was reading this I likened Auri to a sort of invisible caretaker under the University making everything just so, so that everything above is working in order. Then with this thought still in my mind I came to the conclusion that Auri may just not be an invisible caretaker, but almost an integral part of Rothfuss’ world of Temerant, making sure everything is happy and is in its rightful place, making sure that world is turning and the balance is being kept from the confines of the Underthing.
I really loved this story and It made me fall in love with Auri even more. The story is accompanied by illustrations by Nathan Taylor and they really are wonderful.
At the beginning of the book there is a disclaimer of sorts by the author which starts by saying “You might not want to buy this book.” then it goes on to explain that this is has nothing to do with Kvothe’s storyline etc. At the end of the book Rothfuss has explained how The Slow Regard Of Silent Things came to be, and at first I thought that both of these things were a little unnecessary. Then something about these two things reminded me of how I am when it comes to creating things such as a piece of writing or a piece of music. So, I’ll write something or record something then more often than not I show it to my wife as she is the most honest person I know, but before I show the writing/music to her I will explain to her my thought process behind making it, and then say things that almost defend its purpose or reasons before she has even heard/read it. The foreword and afterword by Rothfuss has an honesty to them. I think sometimes we all think that writers can craft these amazing stories as easy as breathing and already know how brilliant they are going to be even with the blank page before them but we know that that is not the case at all, and it is obvious that Rothfuss was unsure about The Slow Regard Of Silent Things, but he need not be as it really is a very special book and It is one I am going to revisit again and again.
One thing I have almost forgot to mention is that the cover for the Uk version (Gollancz/Orion) is absolutely wonderful and truly captures Auri’s free spirit and beautiful soul.