The Slow Regard Of Silent Things

The Slow Regard Of Silent Things

Hardcover | October 28, 2014

byPatrick Rothfuss

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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.

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The Slow Regard Of Silent Things

Hardcover | October 28, 2014
In stock online Available in stores
$19.95 online $21.95 (save 9%)

From the Publisher

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...

Patrick Rothfuss currently lives in central Wisconsin where he teaches at the local university. Patrick loves words, laughs often, and dabbles in alchemy. His first novel, The Name of the Wind, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Its sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear, debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller chart and won th...

other books by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name Of The Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One
The Name Of The Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One

Mass Market Paperback|Apr 1 2008

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The Wise Man's Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two
The Wise Man's Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two

Paperback|Mar 6 2012

$18.18 online$25.00list price(save 27%)
see all books by Patrick Rothfuss
Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.27 × 5.5 × 0.62 inPublished:October 28, 2014Publisher:DawLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0756410436

ISBN - 13:9780756410438

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not A Typical Story - In A Great Way! I could not have been more surprised by The Slow Regard of Silent Things. It's not a story in the usual sense - it's not a quest/hero's journey; there's no typical building arc with conflict and resolution, or any of that usual stuff. Instead, what we have is, essentially, a week in the life of the broken and intriguing Auri, who lives mostly below ground in a world of her own. We get to see how she lives and learn why she does what she does (not what broke her, but rather her current worldview). At 150 pages, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a delicate, emotionally fraught novella that is frequently mesmerizing and heart-breakingly poignant. If you need quests and heroics and such, this is not the story for you. If, on the other hand, you love character and intelligence and are open to the very different, it will probably enthrall you. It did me.
Date published: 2015-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful "Well, after that she would do her best. That was the only way. You did not want things for yourself. That made you small. That kept you safe. That meant you could move smoothly through the world without upsetting every applecart you came across. And if you were careful, if you were a proper part of things, then you could help. You mended what was cracked. You tended to the things you found askew. And you trusted that the world in turn would brush you up against the chance to eat. It was the only graceful way to move. All else was vanity and pride." Last week I read some of the initial reviews on Goodreads and they were varied. On one hand, you have the people who didn't like it. Who begrudge Mr. Rothfuss for writing it. I assume (probably wrongly, but it's my assumption so I'll take the risk) that these are people who have never really felt lonely. Lost. Not proper true. Oh, they've been through some tough circumstances, but to know what it is to be truly forlorn is foreign to them. The "Ambroses" of the world. They're not necessarily bad people. They just don't know the feeling of being "the only one that tended to the proper turning of the world." On the other hand, us. Those who have walked through the valley of isolation, abandonment, neglect, etc, and still have the dust of it on our face, our hands, our feet. Those who understand what it is to feel that things aren't quite as they should be and who try to mend the little incongruences. I found a part of myself in Auri even before "The Slow Regard of Silent Things", but this glimpse into her day to day world really solidified it. And I loved her all the more for it. She just resonates with me in so many ways. Her story is pitiful and beautiful and raw, full of soaring hope and gut-wrenching despair. Some of my favourite moments were the most quiet and sweet. When she finished her soap (especially the little poem: "She went to Clinks. She washed herself. She brushed her hair. She laughed and leapt. She hurried home. She went to bed. And all alone, she smiled and slept."), I shared her delight. Her panic attack broke my heart ("She knew. She knew how quickly things could break. You did the things you could. You tended the world for the world's sake. You hoped you would be safe. But still she knew. It could come crashing down and there was nothing you could do."). This woman who takes care of the entire Underthing, and yet doesn't remember to eat. This woman who finds such joy in the simplest of things and has the freedom to express all her joy and pain and triumph and fear without shame. This woman, so fragile and so strong. I envy her. I empathize with her. "The Name of the Wind" and "Wise Man's Fear" are books of the face, the hands, the feet. Auri's story is one of the heart, the mind, the soul. I echo Vi Hart's sentiments: Mr. Rothfuss made me feel more empathy for Auri's inanimate companions than a lot of authors make me feel about their main characters. I would say of Auri what she said of the gear: "Poor thing. To be so lovely and so lost. To be all answerful with all that knowing trapped inside. To be beautiful and broken." And now, a note to Mr. Rothfuss. First of all, thank you. Thank you for having the courage to write this, to show Vi Hart, to show your other trusted friends, and to allow them to publish this sublime tome. You knew people were going to be pissed, and you did it anyway. But as Vi so wisely said, "Those people have stories written for them all the time. What about me? Where's the story for people like me?" Second of all, the people who were disappointed, angry, apathetic - it is their fault that they missed the quiet, resplendent elegance. Thirdly, there are people who begrudge you for writing this with Doors of Stone still unpublished. I disagree vehemently with them. I think you should write exactly what you'd like to write, and you should take exactly as long as you'd like to do so. As you said in the afterword, you grew your craft through writing Auri's story, and I love that you are still looking to improve and be challenged. I hope above all things that you don't feel the weight of everyone's expectations over much and that you allow yourself the freedom to continue to stretch yourself. To live. To breathe. You owe yourself that. And after all you've given to us, your readers, we owe it to you as well.
Date published: 2014-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Vulnerability in Book Form "Well, after that she would do her best. That was the only way. You did not want things for yourself. That made you small. That kept you safe. That meant you could move smoothly through the world without upsetting every applecart you came across. And if you were careful, if you were a proper part of things, then you could help. You mended what was cracked. You tended to the things you found askew. And you trusted that the world in turn would brush you up against the chance to eat. It was the only graceful way to move. All else was vanity and pride." Last week I read some of the initial reviews on Goodreads and they were varied. On one hand, you have the people who didn't like it. Who begrudge Mr. Rothfuss for writing it. I assume (probably wrongly, but it's my assumption so I'll take the risk) that these are people who have never really felt lonely. Lost. Not proper true. Oh, they've been through some tough circumstances, but to know what it is to be truly forlorn is foreign to them. The "Ambroses" of the world. They're not necessarily bad people. They just don't know the feeling of being "the only one that tended to the proper turning of the world." On the other hand, us. Those who have walked through the valley of isolation, abandonment, neglect, etc, and still have the dust of it on our face, our hands, our feet. Those who understand what it is to feel that things aren't quite as they should be and who try to mend the little incongruences. I found a part of myself in Auri even before "The Slow Regard of Silent Things", but this glimpse into her day to day world really solidified it. And I loved her all the more for it. She just resonates with me in so many ways. Her story is pitiful and beautiful and raw, full of soaring hope and gut-wrenching despair. Some of my favourite moments were the most quiet and sweet. When she finished her soap (especially the little poem: "She went to Clinks. She washed herself. She brushed her hair. She laughed and leapt. She hurried home. She went to bed. And all alone, she smiled and slept."), I shared her delight. Her panic attack broke my heart ("She knew. She knew how quickly things could break. You did the things you could. You tended the world for the world's sake. You hoped you would be safe. But still she knew. It could come crashing down and there was nothing you could do."). This woman who takes care of the entire Underthing, and yet doesn't remember to eat. This woman who finds such joy in the simplest of things and has the freedom to express all her joy and pain and triumph and fear without shame. This woman, so fragile and so strong. I envy her. I empathize with her. "The Name of the Wind" and "Wise Man's Fear" are books of the face, the hands, the feet. Auri's story is one of the heart, the mind, the soul. I echo Vi Hart's sentiments: Mr. Rothfuss made me feel more empathy for Auri's inanimate companions than a lot of authors make me feel about their main characters. I would say of Auri what she said of the gear: "Poor thing. To be so lovely and so lost. To be all answerful with all that knowing trapped inside. To be beautiful and broken." And now, a note to Mr. Rothfuss. First of all, thank you. Thank you for having the courage to write this, to show Vi Hart, to show your other trusted friends, and to allow them to publish this sublime tome. You knew people were going to be pissed, and you did it anyway. But as Vi so wisely said, "Those people have stories written for them all the time. What about me? Where's the story for people like me?" Second of all, the people who were disappointed, angry, apathetic - it is their fault that they missed the quiet, resplendent elegance. Thirdly, there are people who begrudge you for writing this with Doors of Stone still unpublished. I disagree vehemently with them. I think you should write exactly what you'd like to write, and you should take exactly as long as you'd like to do so. As you said in the afterword, you grew your craft through writing Auri's story, and I love that you are still looking to improve and be challenged. I hope above all things that you don't feel the weight of everyone's expectations over much and that you allow yourself the freedom to continue to stretch yourself. To live. To breathe. You owe yourself that. And after all you've given to us, your readers, we owe it to you as well.
Date published: 2014-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A nice addition to the series I wouldn't classify this as a story, more of a novella. A well-thought through addition to the series. If you have read the first two novels of the King-killer Chronicles, which i would consider a pre-requisite to this book, then you will immediately understand why it's is written a certain way. If you are looking for a continuation of Kvothes story-line, you wont find it hear. But you will find a great story that a nice abridgment to the (hopefully) soon to be released last book in the series. Definite recommend.
Date published: 2014-10-22

Extra Content

Read from the Book

THE FAR BELOW BOTTOM OF THINGSWHEN AURI WOKE, she knew that she had seven days.Yes. She was quite sure of it. He would come for a visit on the seventh day.A long time. Long for waiting. But not so long for everything that needed to be done. Not if she were careful. Not if she wanted to be ready.Opening her eyes, Auri saw a whisper of dim light. A rare thing, as she was tucked tidily away in Mantle, her privatest of places. It was a white day, then. A deep day. A finding day. She smiled, excitement fizzing in her chest.There was just enough light to see the pale shape of her arm as her fingers found the dropper bottle on her bedshelf. She unscrewed it and let a single drip fall into Foxen’s dish. After a moment he slowly brightened into a faint gloaming blue.Moving carefully, Auri pushed back her blanket so it wouldn’t touch the floor. She slipped out of bed, the stone floor warm beneath her feet. Her basin rested on the table near her bed, next to a sliver of her sweetest soap. None of it had changed in the night. That was good.Auri squeezed another drop directly onto Foxen. She hesitated, then grinned and let a third drop fall. No half measures on a finding day. She gathered up her blanket then, folding and folding it up, carefully tucking it under her chin to keep it from brushing against the floor.Foxen’s light continued to swell. First the merest flickering: a fleck, a distant star. Then more of him began to iridesce, a firefly’s worth. Still more his brightness grew till he was all-over tremulant with shine. Then he sat proudly in his dish, looking like a blue-green ember slightly larger than a coin.She smiled at him while he roused himself the rest of the way and he filled all of Mantle with his truest, brightest blue-white light.Then Auri looked around. She saw her perfect bed. Just her size. Just so. She checked her sitting chair. Her cedar box. Her tiny silver cup.The fireplace was empty. And above that was the mantelpiece: her yellow leaf, her box of stone, her grey glass jar with sweet dried lavender inside. Nothing was nothing else. Nothing was anything it shouldn’t be.There were three ways out of Mantle. There was a hallway, and a doorway, and a door. The last of these was not for her.Auri took the doorway into Port. Foxen was still resting in his dish, so his light was dimmer here, but it was still bright enough to see. Port had not been very busy of late, but even so, Auri checked on everything in turn. In the wine rack rested half a broken plate of porcelain, no thicker than the petal of a flower. Below that was a leather octavo book, a pair of corks, a tiny ball of twine. Off to one side, his fine white teacup waited for him with a patience Auri envied.On the wall shelf sat a blob of yellow resin in a dish. A black rock. A grey stone. A smooth, flat piece of wood. Apart from all the rest, a tiny bottle stood, its wire bale open like a hungry bird.On the central table a handful of holly berries rested on a clean white cloth. Auri eyed them for a moment, then took them to the bookshelf, a perch they were more suited to. She looked around the room and nodded to herself. All good.Back in Mantle, Auri washed her face and hands and feet. She slipped out of her nightshirt and folded it into her cedar box. She stretched happily, lifting up her arms and rolling high onto her toes.Then she ducked into her favorite dress, the one he’d given her. It was sweet against her skin. Her name was burning like a fire inside her. Today was going to be a busy day.Auri gathered up Foxen, carrying him cupped in the palm of her hand. She made her way through Port, slipping through a jagged crack in the wall. It was not a wide crack, but Auri was so slight she barely needed turn her shoulders to keep from brushing up against the broken stones. It was nothing like a tight fit.Van was a tall room with straight, white walls of fitted stone. It was an echo-empty place save for her standing mirror. But today there was one other thing, the gentlest breath of sunlight. It snuck in through the peak of an arched doorway filled with rubble: broken timber, blocks of fallen stone. But there, at the very top, a smudge of light.Auri stood in front of the mirror and took the bristle brush from where it hung on the mirror’s wooden frame. She brushed the sleep snarl from her hair until it hung about her like a cloud.She closed her hand over Foxen, and without his blue-green shine the room went dark as dark. Then her eyes stretched wide and she could see nothing but the soft, faint smudge of warm light spilling past the rubble high behind her. Pale golden light caught in her pale golden hair. Auri grinned at herself in the mirror. She looked like the sun.Lifting her hand, she uncovered Foxen and skipped quickly off into the sprawling maze of Rubric. It was barely a minute’s work to find a copper pipe with the right kind of cloth wrapping. But finding the perfect place, well, that was the trick, wasn’t it? She followed the pipe through the round red-brick tunnels for nearly half a mile, careful not to let it slip away from her among the countless other twining pipes.Then, with no hint of warning, the pipe kinked hard and dove straight into the curving wall, abandoning her. Rude thing. There were countless other pipes of course, but the tiny tin ones had no wrap at all. The icy ones of burnished steel were far too new. The iron pipes were so eager as to be almost embarrassing, but their wrappings were all cotton, and that was more trouble than she cared to bother with today.So Auri followed a fat ceramic pipe as it bumbled along. Eventually it burrowed deep into the ground, but where it bent, its linen wrap hung loose and ragged as an urchin’s shirt. Auri smiled and unwound the strip of cloth with gentle fingers, taking great care not to tear it.Eventually it came away. A perfect thing. A single gauzy piece of greying linen, long as Auri’s arm. It was tired but willing, and after folding it upon itself she turned and pelted madly off through echoing Umbrel, then down and down into The Twelve.The Twelve was one of the rare changing places of the Underthing. It was wise enough to know itself, and brave enough to be itself, and wild enough to change itself while somehow staying altogether true. It was nearly unique in this regard, and while it was not always safe or kind, Auri could not help but feel a fondness for it.Today the high arch of space was just as she’d expected, bright and lively. Sunlight speared down through the open gratings far above, striking down into the deep, narrow valley of the changing place. The light filtered past pipes, support beams, and the strong, straight line of an ancient wooden walkway. The distant noise of the street drifted down to the far below bottom of things.Auri heard the sound of hooves on cobblestones, sharp and round as a cracking knuckle. She heard the distant thunder of a passing wagon and the dim mingle of voices. Threading through it all was the high, angry cry of a babe who clearly wanted tit and wasn’t getting any.At the bottom of The Yellow Twelve there was a long deep pool with water smooth as glass. The sunlight from above was bright enough that Auri could see all the way down to the second snarl of pipes beneath the surface.She already had straw here, and three bottles waited on a narrow ledge of stone along one wall. But looking at them, Auri frowned. There was a green one, a brown one, and a clear one. There was a wide wire baling top, a grey twisting lid, and a cork fat as a fist. They were all different shapes and sizes, but none of them were quite right.Exasperated, Auri threw her hands into the air.So she ran back to Mantle, her bare feet slapping on the stone. Once there, she eyed the grey glass bottle with the lavender inside. She picked it up, looked it over carefully, then set it back down in its proper place before she scampered out again.Auri hurried through Port, heading out by way of the slanting doorway this time, rather than the crack in the wall. She twisted up through Withy, Foxen throwing wild shadows on the walls. As she ran, her hair streamed out behind her like a banner.She took the spiraling stairs through Darkhouse, down and around, down and around. When she finally heard moving water and the tink of glass she knew she’d crossed the threshold into Clinks. Soon Foxen’s light reflected off the roiling pool of black water that swallowed the bottom of the spiraling stairs.There were two bottles perched in a shallow niche there. One blue and narrow. One green and squat. Auri tilted her head and closed one eye, then reached out to touch the green one with two fingers. She grinned, snatched it up, and ran back up the stairs.Heading back, she went through Vaults for a change of air. Running down the hall, she sprang over the first deep fissure in the broken floor as lithely as a dancer. The second crack she leapt as lightly as a bird. The third she jumped as wildly as a pretty girl who looked like the sun.She came into The Yellow Twelve all puffed and panting. As she caught her breath, she tucked Foxen in the green bottle, padded him carefully with straw, and locked down the hasp against the rubber gasket, sealing the lid down tight. She held it up to her face, then grinned and kissed the bottle before setting it carefully by the edge of the pool.Auri shucked off her favorite dress and hung it on a bright brass pipe. She grinned and shivered a little, nervous fish swimming in her stomach. Then, standing in her altogether, she gathered up her floating hair with both her hands. She brushed it back and bound it, winding and tying it behind her with the strip of old grey linen cloth. When she was done it made a long tail that hung down to the small of her back.Arms held close against her chest, Auri took two tiny steps to stand beside the pool. She dipped a toe into the water, then her whole foot. She grinned at the feel of it, chill and sweet as peppermint. Then she lowered herself down, both legs dangling in the water. Auri balanced for a moment, holding her nekkid self up with both hands, away from the cold stone lip at the edge of the pool.But there was no avoiding it. So Auri puckered up and settled herself the rest of the way down. There was nothing peppermint about the cold stone edge. It was a dull, blunt bite against her tender altogether hindmost self.She turned herself around then, and began to lower herself into the water. She went slowly, tickling around with her feet until she found the little jut of stone. She curled her toes around it, holding herself thigh-deep in the pool. Then she drew a few deep breaths, screwed her eyes shut, and bared her teeth before letting go with her toes and ducking her nethers underneath the surface. She squeaked a little, and the chill made her whole self go gooseprickle.The worst over, she closed her eyes and dunked her head beneath the water too. Gasping and blinking, she rubbed the water out of her eyes. She had her big all-over shiver then, one arm folded across her breasts. But by the time it was done her grimace had turned to grin.Without her halo of hair, Auri felt small. Not the smallness that she strove for every day. Not the smallness of a tree among trees. Of a shadow underground. And not just small of body either. She knew there was not much of her. When she thought to look more closely at her standing mirror, the girl she saw was tiny as an urchin begging on the street. The girl she saw was thin as thin. Her cheekbones high and delicate. Her collarbones pressed tight against her skin.But no. With her hair pulled back and wetted down besides. She felt . . . less. She felt tamped down. Dim. More faint. Feint. Feigned. Fain. It would have been pure unpleasant without the perfect strip of linen. If not for that, she wouldn’t merely feel like a wick rolled down, she would be downright guttery. It was worth it, doing things the proper way.Finally the last of her trembling stopped. The fish were still turning in her stomach, but her grin was eager. The golden daylight from above struck down into the pool, straight and bright and steady as a spear.Auri drew a deep breath, then pushed it out, wriggling her toes. She took another deep breath and let it out more slowly.Then a third breath. Auri gripped the neck of Foxen’s bottle in one hand, let go of the stone edge of the pool, and dove beneath the water.The angle of the light was perfect, and Auri saw the first pipetangle clear as anything. Minnow-quick, she turned and glided smoothly through, not letting any of them touch her.Below that was the second snarl. She pushed an old iron pipe with her foot to keep herself moving downward, then tugged a valve with her free hand as she went past, changing speed and sliding through the narrow space between two wrist-thick copper pipes.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Patrick Rothfuss: "As seamless and lyrical as a song... This breathtakingly epic story is heartrending in its intimacy and masterful in its narrative essence."—Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Reminiscent in scope of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and similar in feel to the narrative tour de force of The Arabian Nights, this masterpiece of storytelling will appeal to lovers of fantasy on a grand scale."—Library Journal (starred review) "It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing...with true music in the words.... Wherever Pat Rothfuss goes...he'll carry us with him as a good singer carries us through a song."—Ursula K LeGuin "The Wise Man's Fear is a beautiful book to read. Masterful prose, a sense of cohesion to the storytelling, a wonderful sense of pacing.... There is beauty to Pat's writing that defies description."—Brandon Sanderson "Patrick Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous."—Terry Brooks "[Rothfuss is] the great new fantasy writer we've been waiting for, and this is an astonishing book."—Orson Scott Card "As with all very best books in our field, it's not the fantasy trappings (as wonderful as they are) that make this novel so good, but what the author has to say about true, common things, about ambition and failure, art, love, and loss."—Tad Williams “This is an extremely immersive story set in a flawlessly constructed world and told extremely well.”—Jo Walton, Tor.com “It is the best book I have read it years, fantasy or otherwise.... The world is so deep, the stakes are so high, the characters so real, the mysteries so magical, the magic so mysterious, the plot so twisty…every day you haven’t read it is a day in your life that could be better.”—Hank Green "This fast-moving, vivid, and unpretentious debut roots its coming-of-age fantasy in convincing mythology."—Entertainment Weekly