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The Slow Regard of Silent Things – Cover & Synopsis

Patrick Rothfuss fans are split into two camps. One camp is the ‘I want Patrick Rothfuss to write as much material as possible about The Four Corners of Civilization and beyond’ camp, whereas the other is the ‘Seriously, hurry up and finish the damned book already’ camp.

Personally, I often find myself in the ‘hurry up’ camp, but look at my reading list and quickly realise that when hindsight kicks in, after book 3 is released, I’d be wishing there was more extraneous material available. Additionally, I consider the idea of Patrick rushing to get book 3 finished and it forever taking its place as the biggest letdown in the history of SFF and think I can probably wait another year or so.

Anyway, enough about me and my mental conflict: The Slow Regard of Silent Things is on its way. For those who haven’t heard about this yet, it’s Patrick’s latest novella set in the same world as the Kingkiller Chronicles. It will feature that loveable, but very strange and mysterious Auri.

Here’s the official word on The Slow Regard of Silent Things, but stick around as there’s far more to tell…

Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.

Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows….

In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of the Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.

Although Rothfuss describes it as ‘a short, sweet story about one of my favourite characters’, it’s at very least a novella; it stands at 176 pages and is apparently longer than Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.

When discussing how he came up with the idea, Pat explains that he’d been invited to write for George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois’s Rogues Anthology and that: ‘I thought [Auri] would make a nice counterpoint to some of the other  classic rogue-type characters in the anthology. Sort of a trickster rogue, as opposed to a thief, swashbuckler, or a con man.’

In typical Rothfuss style, what was intended to be a 3000 word story grew and grew until it was 7000 words and having to admit that he’d barely even started. After unearthing more secrets about Auri and the Underthing, and hitting 15,000 words he decided he had to stop and come up with something else for Martin and Dozois (that other story, The Lightning Tree, was finished in time and will be in the Rogues anthology that publishes on June 17, 2014 by the way).

Rothfuss admits that the story sat for a fair while half-way completed. He didn’t know what to do with it and describes it as ‘strange’, but with ‘an odd sweetness’ (reminds me off the fish scene!). Apparently Pat was anxious about the story because he didn’t think it was what a typical story should be. He showed it to friends and they agreed it was very good, but weird. It wasn’t until he sought advice from someone and they told him to ignore conventions and what people ‘may’ think and just get it out there (for those who ‘will’ like it) that he plucked up the courage to seriously consider releasing it.

Apparently, once the Editors saw it, they were more confident than Pat of its appeal and, here we are, with a release date of October 28th 2014 set in stone and the cover (below) having just been released:

Untitled-14

For those confused about what this cover represents, it is in-line with the new US covers of  The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. It is an image of the Underthing – the area beneath the University where Auri lives. The blue is mysterious and alluring in a way that is likely to remind you of Auri’s character. In addition, the outside world looks somewhat far-away and threatening, a place the person behind the lens only considers going at night – again, those who have read the Kingkiller Chronicles will attribute this to Auri.

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5 Comments

  1. I don’t know. I think the hard thing about finding an author whose work you love is that you don’t always love their process. I like Rothfuss’s writing better then Sanderson’s but I like Sanderson’s process better then Rothfuss’s. I just don’t let myself get as invested in an author where I don’t like their process, even if they are a superior writer.

  2. Avatar Gruud says:

    Auri is one of my favorite characters, and I’ve met a lot. Think it matters ‘when’ we read this tale?

  3. Avatar Sebseb says:

    I’m in neither one of those camps lol. I’m in the camp of “when Rothfuss comes out with something I’ll read it.” I don’t really care how long it takes or where it’s set. Or even if it is fiction; I actively read his blog and love it. Because, while Kingkiller is one of my top favorite series, it’s Rothfuss’ storytelling that is really the best part of all of it. Which (whether he knows it or not) happens to be the very same style he uses for his blog because that’s just simply his style and tone. I don’t care what it is, how long it takes or how much of it there is. I’ll read it and won’t be upset by how long it takes to read it.

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