Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mini-Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss warns you not to read his latest novella, The Slow Regard of Silent Things – for reals – he says it repeatedly in the Foreword. I can understand this – it’s very different from the epic fantasy he’s most famous for. People looking for anything that’s more of the same will be…unrewarded in their quest. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t read the novella – because it’s good, very good in fact. But not classic fantasy and not what most people think of when they want to read something from Rothfuss.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is more a character study of Auri, a minor character from his world of epic fantasy. It’s simply the telling of a few days in Auri’s life as she prepares to meet with Kvothe, told in her own form of first person. The power of Rothfuss’ story telling is quite evident even in this more experimental novella – he makes a multi-page description of making soap exciting and entertaining. His playful prose only enhances his storytelling mojo, which makes this weird tragedy of an exploration of Auri something fun to read.

Of course the real beauty of the story is Auri – she is a tragic character, ‘broken’ in some way. But she’s found her world, her form of happiness, and it works. It reminds us to look past the exterior and consider an actual perspective. I think many will find her world something quite special, something they can relate to in some way, and something that brings of tear to their eye.

For the most part the experiment of The Slow Regard of Silent Things works well. Rothfuss shows flexibility and understanding and he once again entertains. Though he does slip up a few times where the story abruptly slips into a male gaze, and it still seems unfair that the world of Auri in this story entirely revolves around Kvothe.

So, some fans may heed Rothfuss’ warning and not read it. Many will not – some of those will love it, some will not. But I think a lot of them will ultimately feel as I do, that it is was a wonderful regard of a moment that has me even more excited for book three.

The Name of the Wind: My Review (don’t read, this one is old and I was such a ‘young’ blogger), Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon
The Wise Man’s Fear: My Review, Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon
The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon

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