The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Book Review

silentTHE SLOW REGARD OF SILENT THINGS by Patrick Rothfuss
Gollancz, h/b, 176pp, £12.99
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

Down in the Underthing it is a finding day, and Auri has to begin it in just the right way. There are imbalances to correct. There are mysteries to solve, and treasures to find… and a right place to find for them once they are found. And there is a gift to be sought, and a gift to prepare – just the right gift, in just the right way. And there are everyday tasks to perform, and the perfect everyday ways in which to perform them. The time is counting down, and there is much that Auri must get done…

But everything must get done in the proper way, and everything must be placed in its proper place. Through deep tunnels the little urchin girl travels, deep below the University she lives her way, in her world, hidden from all but one.

Auri is potentially the deepest protagonist in Rothfuss’ fiction to date and this glimpse into her mind and the way she spends her days is truly wonderful. The reader gets to see the world that Auri sees, through heady descriptions that make ordinary, everyday objects feel more than they are, just as they are to Auri.

In his familiar lyrical, rhythmical way the author weaves a beautiful tale in the world of the Kingkiller Chronicles, and nothing but its length disappoints. That is not to say its length is bad; for a novella it is spot on. But, as always with this author, the reader is left wholly satisfied, yet wholly wanting more.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things reminds us that Rothfuss has a deserved place among the great writers of our time. In this book he demonstrates that he is a craftsman in the true sense, embracing language and playing it out in a melody that is at once powerfully immersive and not a little intimidating, in the best way. Those who have loved The Kingkiller Chronicles so far will delight in this new journey.

This hardback has some fantastic illustrations throughout, too. The image on the cover hints at the haunting and alluring descriptions and depictions within. It is a beauty of a book in every way. Drift into the visceral details and spend some time in the Underthing.