The Slow Regard of Silent Things is an odd book.
I knew coming into this that it was not going to be The Doors of Stone. I knew what it was going to be: a short side story about Auri. I knew that it was going to give her more life on the page; that it was going to give me more insight into her background and her personality.
I was right. And I was so, so wrong.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things isn’t really a story. It’s an ode. It is a glimpse into the life of a very sweet, very damaged young girl. It is Patrick Rothfuss continuing to prove that he is the quirkiest, oddest, and most poetic writer in epic fantasy today.
And here is my problem: what do I think of such a book? Auri has been shrouded in mystery since the very first time she appeared in The Name of the Wind. This book seemed to promise answers to some of those mysteries, and in a small way it did. But in a much larger way, it only brought up more questions. It tortured me with hints and secrets and magic. I am an impatient reader, sometimes. Rothfuss is not a writer who rewards impatient readers.
On the other hand, Rothfuss is a writer who can make your heart ache with one sentence. He is a writer who can make your hands shake as you turn the next page. He can put a smile on your face and have it trembling one sentence later. He is a poet with the mind of a novelist. His prose is, quite simply, beautiful.
And so I am stuck. I loved The Slow Regard of Silent Things. I loved the wonderful way I was immersed in the Underthing. In a book with only one human character, I was at times more captivated by the character of empty rooms and full glass bottles and brazen broken gears. I loved the way Rothfuss made his words sing together in Auri’s little, broken soul.
And at the same time, I still want more. I want answers, and this book did not give them. Patrick Rothfuss wrote that many readers probably won’t like his book. He was right. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is not what you are looking for if you want a story with action and character movement and dynamism and answers.
No, what you will instead find is a book written by a master of the written word, writing without strictures and bounds. If this is what you want, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is for you.
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