Bravery and wisdom–Mr. Rothfuss has displayed both here. And talent–let’s not forget that. Brave, because he dared to risk making public a story so non-standard that he couldn’t help but risk offending a significant percentage of his fan base. Wise, because he took the extra step of describing up-front his intended audience–warning them in no uncertain terms this creation would not be for everyone. As a result, I knew exactly what to expect before it arrived.
It exceeded those expectations brilliantly.
I’ve been a consumer of Fantasy for over thirty-five years. What has always drawn me to the genre was the freedom it afforded the author to play with convention. Though I find them less commonly than I used to, fantasy still offers the slender hope of a story that is truly unique. When I find such a story–that is when I’m most delighted. That is what the Slow Regard of Silent Things delivers, and it does so using beautiful prose and an exquisitely gentle touch. It demonstrates that a quiet, contemplative story, when written well, can keep me turning pages, and that a subtle, understated implication can form the basis for an unexpected and satisfying ending. As a reader, I was more riveted by the action, pacing and cleverness of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, but as a writer, I’ve learned far more from this comparatively tiny vignette.
If you read fantasy only for unrelenting action, swords, sorcery and gore, be sure you read the Author’s foreword before you buy. If you revel in something that’s well-crafted, subtle, and heartwarming, though you’ll still want to read the Author’s foreword first, likely Auri’s tale will win you over. It did me.