This summer I finally gave in and read the first two books of Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles. I pretty much instantly fell in love, but I understand that there has been a significant period of time since the 2nd book was released and there is some concern about when the conclusion might be published. I try not to get too invested in stuff like that – like with Martin’s series, I really want to know how the story ends, but I can’t let myself get hung up on this. Neil Gaiman had a pretty frank analysis on the responsibility of the writer to satisfy readers that I return to when I tend to get antsy about finishing out a series, so I will try and apply that to the Kingkiller Chronicles too.
HOWEVER, there is a third book, a slim volume telling a piece of the story from one of the very interesting supporting characters.Auri is fascinating to me – mysterious, self sufficient, intelligent, generous, kind and obviously has been damaged in some way. In the main series, we see her make a connection with Kvothe, and he unselfishly cares for her as best he can. I think his moments with Auri, developing that reciprocal are when the reader see the best of Kvothe, and I wanted to know more about her.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things shows us how Auri lives in the Underthing, deep in the mostly hidden world under the University. It’s very different – it is told from Auri’s point of view, and gives us a relatively small and quiet story of Auri’s adventures. Much like in the main series, Auri’s adventures are often really just her struggle to survive – it is just so striking to me. Audi is sweet and brave and an obviously powerful arcanist, but something in the past happened to her and it changed the course of her life, forcing her into hiding. While there isn’t a lot of plot in this book, it did enrich my understanding of the the wider world, which was wonderful. It also gave me a glimpse of Auri’s thought processes and daily life, and it was sweet and touching. I understand that people have really mixed feelings about this book, but I really loved it.