“You might not want to buy this book.”
So begins Patrick Rothfuss’ foreword to his latest offering, a little gem of a novella called The Slow Regard of Silent Things.
1. It’s not the best place to start if you’ve never read Patrick Rothfuss.
This is a good point. Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles, the tale of Kvothe the Kingkiller begun with Name of The Wind and continued in The Wise Man’s Fear, are gorgeous works beloved by his legions of fans. Slow Regard is a side step into this world, telling a tale from the perspective of Auri, a much-loved minor character of the first two books. Auri is a young slip of a girl who lives in the Underthing, deep below the University that Kvothe attends. If you’re curious to try Rothfuss (and I cannot express how much I recommend that you do), I would suggest starting with Name of the Wind.
2. This is not the third book in the Kingkiller Chronicles.
More like Kingkiller Chronicles 2.5. Rothfuss fans have been howling for the next instalment in the series for quite some time now (The Wise Man’s Fear was released back in 2009), and many will be less than thrilled that this isn’t the continuation of Kvothe’s tale. In fact, Kvothe himself is barely hinted at, and does not actually appear at all. However, if you can check your desire for more Kvothe for a little bit longer (I know it’s difficult!), I promise you will love where this story takes you.
This is Auri’s story. It is a haunting, lyrical, imaginative, whimsical little novella, and a pleasing insight into the world of the Kingkiller Chronicles. You know that feeling you get in the centre of your chest, that sad, sweet sort of ache, when you’ve just read something so beautiful that you’re sure nothing else could come close to it again? That’s what you’re in for when you read Rothfuss, and like the man himself says: If you like mysteries and stories and secrets…Well, then this book might be for you.