The Slow Regard of Silent Things – A Review
Cover illustration by Laura Brett (picture reference copyright Miranda Hedman) First published by Gollancz 2014.
Start with what’s fresh in the mind and leave the rest for later. Having recently read Patrick Rothfuss’ fantasy novella The Slow Regard of Silence Things, I find myself particularly lucky to be writing a review about a book so mysteriously unique and simple. For those of you not familiar with Rothfuss’s work (and you should be) his elegant use of words and imagery are highlighted in this tale: A story about the importance of names and finding order in a world of broken things and people.
Auri, a bittersweet young girl whose solitude and silence marks the journey of the story, finds herself alone in a web of tunnels and rooms in the Underthing, or rather, far below the magical university. Restoring peace to her fragmented world, Auri strives to find the perfect gift, for she has only seven days to put things to right and, using the best of her resources, succeed as time is running out.
It should suffice to say that this book is, well, quite different. If you are looking for a continuation of A Wise Man’s Fear, then I’m afraid you won’t find it here. If you would love to dive into the amazing and complex world Patrick Rothfuss has to offer, then maybe start with The name of the Wind. Yet, if you need to explore a story that is enigmatic, full of surprises and which leaves you silent with appreciation for its simplicity, then I guarantee this is for you.
What I loved about this book is how small it felt. Or rather, you appreciate the tiny details in an underground world so big; a microscope over a fine tapestry. you are left with Auri, focusing on the little things and making sure everything has its rightful place. Some readers may find the book pretentious, or an attempt at saying very little about nothing much, but I see it as an honest look into a vast world whose beauty is as enigmatic as Auri. The slow pace of the tale may leave some readers with too many unanswered questions, and the modesty of the action may also seem retrained and stuffy, but leaving all things aside, and letting go for a moment the need for too much activity, I do believe this story to be worth the read. Finally, amongst the many strengths of this delightful tale, Rothfuss’ wordsmanship complements neatly into Auri’s character, a young woman whose mind is as tricky and delicate as her surroundings.
Now, I couldn’t finish too quickly without at least giving you an insightful taste into this mysterious fantasy:
‘Laying in the dark, she wondered what the day would bring. Some days were trumpet-proud. They heralded like thunder. Some were courteous, careful as a lettered card upon a silver plate. But some days were shy. They did not name themselves. They waited for a careful girl to find them.’ (Text copyright Patrick Rothfuss)
As a final note, the beautiful cover by Laura Brett and inside illustrations from Nate Taylor do deserve their just considerations. They belong, beautifully nested, amongst the words and pages within the book. When enjoying Auri’s company, do take time to appreciate the fine artistry laying quietly beside the story.
Most of all, I hope you enjoy the book. And if you found this review to be useful and enjoyable, then do join our weekly newsletter for upcoming reviews and articles. Finally, we would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the book. Comment down below and let us know!
(Used under Fair use for quotation, critique or review)