Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
There are books that you assume you are going to like. An author you’ve followed for a long time. Someone you trust. Someone whose world you’d languished in over many years and felt comfortable in, so that when the author wanted to do something new and exciting but puts it into a comfortable place so you don’t feel like you’ve been totally dropped into an alien world and left adrift. I’m pretty sure that a lot of people that read this book felt this way. Betrayed. Because this book is not just different from Rothfuss’ other work but from narrative in general. It's intrinsically alien.
This book is in a lot of ways the epitome of everything that Patrick Rothfuss has been writing in his main series, The Kingkiller Chronicles. Those books don’t have a plot. I mean you could certainly argue that they have an excellent story, and I’d be one of those, but in terms of plot you can’t complete the diagram. The math doesn’t work for the two books we have in the series. They don’t make turns and twists in the places we expect. They are collections of recollections by a main character that proves himself to be very unreliable. And I love the Kingkiller Chronicles. I did not enjoy the Slow Regard of Silent Things.
I think I can see how this study of a single character in her day to day life would appeal to some people but I am just not one of them. There are events that take place in this book but to me they can only have meaning for the main character and so, because I could never convince myself that the main character was anything but insane, the events of the book never held any impact for me. And because I was expecting something similar to the series it strides beside I kept waiting for a turn that would lead us into an intersection with everything I like from the Kingkiller Chronicles, but it never came.
I think I have to at least give the author credit for intentionally writing a story that most people would not enjoy, but I still can't recommend this regardless of the skill and good intention involved. Two stars out of five.