Stars: 3.5 / 5
Patrick Rothfuss has published two books so far in The Kingkiller Chronicle series - The Name of The Wind (My review here) and The Wise Man's Fear (My review here) - and I have been waiting for his third and final book, The Doors of Stone to be out. Unfortunately Day 3 in the life of Kvothe is yet to come to light. In the meanwhile he has written three novellas featuring things and people from the Kingkiller Chronicle's world and set during the time periods explored in the two books of the series.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the third short novella focusing on the character Auri who lives in the Underthing - a hidden location of old rooms and tunnels under the University - published in October of 2014 in UK and November of 2015 in USA. According to Wiki entry the books covers specifically the time period that was covered between chapters seven and eleven of the second book The Wise Man's Fear. After much waiting on my part to open and read the book, I finally finished it.
However, just like the author has warned in his foreward, if you haven't read his first two books in The Kingkiller Chronicle series, then this is not the book to start with and would be a total confusion for you. I urge you to read the other two books before picking this or any of his novellas related to this series.
The writing style of the author is very old world almost from some other century far far away. He humanized every single thing even the inanimate ones as though they had life and would speak. So does Auri - the central character of this book - treats her things around like humans, like her family. She has a finding day for finding them. She uses the tunnels and the rooms around as though she owned them - perhaps she did since she is the only one living there. She liked to do things the proper way. And she liked things to be in their proper place just like she was. She has seven days before "he" comes for a visit and she needed to find something for him by then. The second day was turning day - to do something while the Third day she cried. Fourth day was tapering day - a burning day. Fifth Day didn’t have a name so Auri set on to do the preparation for "him". Sixth Day was the wazing day - a day of making.
Author has used very interesting names to the rooms - Mantle (the area where Auri lives), Port, maze of Rubric, The Twelve (one of the rare changing places of the Underthing), The Yellow Twelve, Withy, Darkhouse (a very dark area where light doesn’t seep into much), Clinks (area where the tink of glass could be heard), Vaults, Tenners, Dunnings, Bakers, Borough, Black Door (Auri didn’t like this on a white day), Wains, Throughbottom, Greely (area is filled with sulfurant smell), Crumbledon (a narrow dirt tunnel that is not more than a hole), Tumbrel (Place that was half fallen and half full), Delving, Woods, Van, Cricklet (a small trickle of stream of drinking water), Tree (the tree that Auri used as her kitchen), Applecourt (Where Auri met "him"), Umbrel, The Grey Twelve, Mandril, Candlebear, Tenance, Billows, Pickering, Scaperling, Mote (An area with pool of clear water), Grimsby, Oars, Trip Beneath, The Black Twelve, Emberling, The Silver Twelve, Old Ironways, Winoway, Draughting, Annulet, Taps (place where there are faucets with fresh water), Boundary (A place that is similar to a lab), Veneret, Doubton, Forth, Lucient, Annulet, Lynne (a place full of pipes), Ninewise and Tocks.
She has a companion whom she calls Foxen, living in her Mantle and provides light to her when she wanted. Auri seems to know all about Alchemy and Chemistry and with efficiency and knowledge that only learned scholars could achieve with age and experience. How did she acquire all this knowledge? How old is she really? How long has she been living in the Underthing.
A very interesting style of writing by the author that gives life to all the mute and inanimate things making us feel the existence of so many characters when in reality the whole book has only one person in it - Auri. There is a lengthy description of how to make a candle which might have been a boring episode. However we are so engrossed in Auri by then that we literally make the candle in our minds. So it doesn’t become boring at all.
Frankly speaking it took me a while before I finally ventured on to read this book even though I had bought it a long time ago. I was sure I would be bored to death. However since I loved the main books for this novella, I braved myself to read it. To my surprise the book hooked me on to it so quickly that I couldn’t keep it down. I was constantly thinking will Auri complete what she had figured out to do for that day? What will she find when she would go into one those rooms in the Underthing? How does she live all by herself and all alone there? All these questions made me want to go back to the book immediately. Believe me, I had finished it much faster than I had anticipated.
Give it a try if you come across this book. And if you are anyone like me, trust me, you will not be disappointed.
PS: Now that I have read this I am looking forward to read two of his other novellas that he has written in a similar way - tying back to the main books.