“But no. There is a difference between the truth and what we wish were true.”
American author Patrick Rothfuss partnered with DAW books to publish The Slow Regard of Silent Things in 2014. Referred to as “Kingkiller Chronicle 2.5”, this fantasy novella has nothing to do with either the present day nor autobiographical narrative of the prior books. This novella is a week-in-the life of Auri, the young girl who lives in the twisted and unmarked sewers and passageways beneath The University.
Auri is Kvothe’s friend. He plays his lute for her, and they bring each other small gifts.
Kvothe makes no appearance in this novella.
The entirety of the story is a stream of conscious narrative from the slightly-broken Auri, as she goes about cleaning her corner of the universe, setting things to right, naming the doors and stairwells she discovers, and mending that which might allow itself to be mended.
The writing style is significantly different from the prior two novels. There is much less ‘dialogue’ – and that which remains is typically to inanimate objects. There is greater exposition and, revealing potential backstory of Auri, that exposition is vocabulistically glamorous and svelte. Auri is compelled to know the precisely correct word for all the ‘inhabitants’ of her underground empire, reminding me of a favorite quote:
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning,” - Mark Twain
The Slow Regard of Silent Things does not go with The Kingkiller Chronicle, but it is a lovely supplement to an interesting and underused character. It debuted at number two on the New York Times Fiction list just weeks after release, and spent a month on that list before falling out of the ranking qualifications.