“She’d strayed from the true way of things. First you set yourself to rights. And then your house. And then your corner of the sky. And after that… Well, then she didn’t rightly know what happened next. But she hoped that after that the world would start to run itself a bit, like a gear-watch proper fit and kissed with oil. That was what she hoped would happen.”
Auri is a character introduced in the Kingkiller Chronicles. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a novella that focuses on Auri and her life down in the Underthing (the abandoned underground floors of the university). I honestly don’t know if this novella would be interesting if you haven’t read the Kingkiller Chronicles, but I suspect it might – it mainly focuses on Auri and I don’t get the sense we need to know much about the actual world, but it mainly focuses on the world that Auri constructs for herself.
While this novella lives inside a fantasy world it is not quite a fantasy story, it does not follow the rules of fantasy, even as it borrows from its storytelling techniques. This mostly works, sometimes Rothfuss dips into the telling and not the showing, nevertheless it is a very sweet novel, so I’ll forgive him for that.
Over the course of the novella we get the quiet sense that something bad happened to Auri and the way she lives is her way of coping. She gives life to every inanimate object and their moods change daily, this door is coy, that lamp is brave, this blanket feels like it is out of place.
It took a few tries for me to get into this novella and I almost didn’t buy it because of the mixed reviews, but I found a copy in the airport that was just too beautiful to pass up. Still I read the first pages a couple of times before it found me and I found it in just the right mood to just walk along with a broken girl trying to put the world into place.
“There is a difference between the truth and what we wish were true.”