Review of “The Slow Regard of Silent Things” by Patrick Rothfuss

This novella is a supplement to the fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicles. It is not necessary for the main story, but offers a brief glimpse into the life of one of the minor characters.


Auri is a psychologically damaged waif that Kvote (the main character of The Kingkiller Chronicles) befriended while he was attending university. In some ways, this book reads like a clinical study of a severe case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). We get one hint in one sentence that this condition might have been precipitated by sexual abuse, but by whom and for how long we don’t know.

Auri lives in the abandoned underground rooms and passages of the university, a place she calls The Underthing. The story takes you into her world for a week of her life. It is in some ways a horrifying experience, but Rothfuss tells the story with compassion. I kept wishing I could get to Auri with some prescription medicine.

Evaluation: This story certainly conveys what it is like for those who have a psychological condition for which they do not receive treatment. I didn’t find it all that engrossing, but it is well done, and it’s a very interesting departure for a fantasy writer. As usual, Rothfuss takes his writing where few others travel.

Rating: 3/5

Published by DAW, a member of Penguin Group (USA), 2014


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3 Responses to Review of “The Slow Regard of Silent Things” by Patrick Rothfuss

  1. Beth F says:

    I haven’t read this series, but I try to read the prequels, novellas, and extras that authors seem to crank out to keep readers interested between the main books of the series.

  2. BermudaOnion says:

    Fantasy and psychotic condition? I don’t think it’s for me.

  3. Alyce Reese says:

    I loved this story for it’s insight into her different way of thinking. I didn’t see it as psychosis as much as possible damage from magical training gone awry – but I guess it amounts to the same thing. It really does give an explanation as to why she lives the way she does, and I found it to be a charming story.

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