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Book Review

‘The Slow Regard of Silent Things’

11/19/2014

Courtesy of Beaverdale Booksbook 11.20

Review by Julie Goodrich

$18.95

Oct. 28, 2014

Daw Books

HIV

159 pp

When talking about beautiful languages, it is common to think of French, Spanish or Italian. English rarely makes the list. Yet, in the right hands, my native tongue can be fantastically lyrical, surprising and profound. Patrick Rothfuss has incredible skills as a storyteller, which are fully on show in his wildly popular “Kingkiller” series. But his phenomenal artistry with words has never been more apparent than in his latest work, “The Slow Regard of Silent Things.”

This small story is about a girl named Auri. It is obvious from the first page that she is something special. She is an anomaly — a beautiful, transcendent being that is both child-like and deeply wise. Through the course of this short adventure, she reveals the hidden side of things in her world in a way that is both instantly recognizable and triumphantly strange and wonderful at the same time. She is so far outside the box as to be in another dimension entirely, and it’s a glorious ride.

Usually, words are simply the vehicle for a story. In this untraditional tale, the story becomes a vehicle for the magical, playful and almost spiritual use of language. People may tell you this book is only for devoted fans of Rothfuss’ world, but I vehemently disagree. The care and craft of this book is immediate and vividly apparent to anyone with an appreciation of linguistic genius. As the author himself says several times in the foreword, it’s not a story for everyone; it is a story for people who can see beyond the adventure, beyond the confines of plot and dialogue and neat little endings. It is a story for those who are always looking for something a little different, a little more. CV

Julie is a collector of pretty words, soft yarn and obsolete college degrees. She lives in Grimes with an obscene number of books. She likes cheese, hockey and board games. Not necessarily in that order.

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