Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Date Added: October 30, 2014
Date Started: June 24, 2016
Date Completed: July 14, 2016
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Media Type: Paperback
“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.”
The main (and only) character of this slim volume was introduced to us in the first book of The Kingkiller Chronicle, The Name of the Wind. She is known as Auri and was discovered by Kvothe, the main character of the series. As Auri is shrouded in timid mystery, Kvothe realizes he must speak softly and step lightly around this petite figure, but though mentioned this story is not about Kvothe.
Auri dwells in the Underthing, the hidden and labyrinthine world beneath the great university. How long she has been there and why she is self-interred remains a mystery throughout the short novel, but Auri knows things no one knows and sees things no one sees. She has an intrinsic understanding of the secret turnings of the world, a strong sense of everything’s proper place. Beneath the seams she works to ensure that all is set to right as well as she can.
Rothfuss uses a whimsical, lilting language to lay this tale. As Auri is the only character, her thoughts are the ones laid bare, and they spin and skirl like a leaf in a gale, yet that leaf knows its proper place.
Auri is broken, and I’d a suspicion as to why, which was confirmed near the end of the story. It’s never blatantly said, but the strings are there. Pluck them to your despair. Our wispy lady spends the seven days before Kvothe’s predicted arrival traversing the Underthing, naming the unnamed, fixing the broken, finding the lost, and moving pieces to their proper place. To many readers this might come off as pointless and boring, but it is the inner workings of Auri’s mind and her understanding of the shape of things that keep you wanting more. She is lonely in ways many of us are, and though her confinement seems voluntary, many hints suggest it is not. As fore mentioned you find that Auri is hiding from the terrible world above. It broke her because it is broken, but beneath she can try to mend.
I’m finding it hard to talk cohesively about this book, because I feel it’s something you’ll either love or loathe. I’m a fan of lilting language and the seem beneath the seeming. Even though Slow Regard doesn’t present as a mystery, great mystery lies in it. At the end, though we’re shown a glimpse, there are still many more questions.
I think like George R R Martin, Rothfuss speaks well of loneliness, which is solidified in his heartbreaking Author’s Note. I’m not going to write out the entire part that spoke to me (there’s quite a bit), but I will recount the sliver of section that even now has called tears to my eyes.
“This story is for all the slightly broken people out there.
I am one of you. You are not alone. You are all beautiful to me.”