Let’s Read The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Chapter 1 (again)


Chapter 1 (for realz)

I should probably mention that this book has quite a few illustrations in it, drawn by one Nate Taylor. They’re pretty good! They’re done in a nice pen and ink style, very comic book-y. It kind of makes me wonder if this whole thing would have worked better in that format.

Anyway, Auri makes her way into another part of the Underthing, closer to the surface (the Overthing?) and quirks out some more over bottles, or something. Then she jumps over some cracks, in a quirky and whimsical way.

The third she jumped as wildly as a pretty girl who looked like the sun.

I once again feel compelled to remind everyone that Auri is supposed to be a fully grown woman.

After jumping over the cracks she goes skinny-dipping in a pool to find stuff that washes into the Underthing from above, in accordance with the inscrutable whims of her highly quirky personality.

Auri balanced for a moment, holding her nekkid self up with both hands,



I am reading an officially purchased ebook copy, that isn’t a bizarre typo.

There was nothing peppermint about the cold stone edge. It was a dull, blunt bite against her tender altogether hindmost self.




Okay. Okay, deep breaths. Let’s all just calm down here.

Anyway, Auri

Wait hold on I have to quote more of this shit at you so you can share my pain

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.


Okay. Right. Continuing on. After hearing a bit more about Auri’s nethers she dives into the pool and through a tunnel of pipes, in a bit that’s actually quite evocative. You always have these juxtapositions with Rothfuss, where it goes from SCREAMING FOREVER to “hey actually, not bad”.

During multiple dives Auri finds a random assortment of stuff, including a bone and a Mystery Key. I’m really wondering how clean this water is; even in a modern city I wouldn’t generally recommend diving in underground tunnels no matter what their purpose, to say nothing of a pre-indusrial Ye Olde Fantasy world.

Her lips had gone from pink  to pale pink tinged with blue.

Swimming in water cold enough to induce hypothermia: always a good idea.

On her third dive she finds something “full of love and answers” (what does that meeeeaaaaan) that’s heavy and metallic. She compares it to “raw iridium” in terms of weight. According to Wikipedia Iridium is one of the rarest metals found in the Earth’s crust; only three tons of it are produced and consumed every year on the entire planet. I guess since Wizard School is all about the science it’s not inconceivable that Auri, a former student, would have handled iridium bars often enough to use them as a comparison.

(While we’re on the subject of things that are more interesting than this book, did you know that Iridium deposits are found in meteorites? It’s true! This led to the hypothesis that the K-Pg boundary marking the extinction of the dinosaurs, which contains a higher than average amount of iridium, was caused by a meteorite impact)



What were we talking about? Nethers, or something?

Oh right, Auri!

So Auri is swimming up with her metal bundle of love (more or less exactly what she calls it) but it’s super heavy so she starts running out of air, and then she drops the bottle she’s holding Foxen in and I guess this is supposed to be tense or exciting but there’s no stakes or context or…. well, anything to make us care, really.

Man, when I think of all the times in the Kvothe books when I would have killed for a near-drowning…..

burdened as she was with the heavy lump of sharp, hard love she held so tightly to her chest. Was it the answers that it held that gave it so much weight?


I will say this, this section proves that Rothfuss is capable of writing prose that doesn’t largely consist of people faffing around doing nothing. I don’t know why he doesn’t employ this skill more often.

Even though she’s in imminent danger of drowning Auri refuses to let the piece of metal fall, convinced that this would be worse than her dying for some reason. Realistic depiction of mental illness? Not qualified to answer that, but in any case it kind of sheds new light on Kvothe’s insistence on keeping Auri out of the Crockery or whatever it’s called, the place where students who have been affected by magic are kept. We see here that she has strong and irrational delusions of a nature that seriously impair her decision making and endanger her life; that’s not the sort of person that should be living on her own in a dangerous environment. Elodin’s claim that his confinement represented an injustice was more compelling since his magic damage seemed to manifest entirely as excessive quirkiness rather than anything that was going to result in him getting hurt.

It was a bright brass gear, big as a platter. Thicker than her thumb with some to spare. It had a hole in the middle, nine teeth, and a jagged gap where a tenth had long ago been torn away.


Incidentally while I’m unfairly nit-picking, a brass gear seems like the sort of thing a magic engineering student would be more familiar with than an iridium bar.

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12 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Chapter 1 (again)

  1. Clodboy

    Iridium is actually ridiculously heavy – approximately twice as dense as lead, or more than two-and-a-half times as dense as brass.

    I’m not sure what “raw” irridium might be, but according to Wikipedia, natural Iridium deposits ususally consist of natural alloys containing both Iridium and the even denser Osmium.

    So yeah, most likely a case of Rothfuss simply namedropping the stuff because it sounded sciencey.

  2. Pingback: Let’s Read The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Chapter 1 (once more) | Doing In The Wizard

    1. Signatus

      Was wondering that myself.

      Anyways, I hate this book. I struggled to get past the first chapter and, if it wasn’t because of this Let’s Read, I would have put it down to never be openned again. As much as I hate Denna, if Rothfus had decided to write about her life before Qvothe, it would have been far more interesting. Gee, he COULD have written about Auri before the accident and it would have made a far more interesting story. Auri in her current state has an unbearable personality (made worse by the little girl treatment she receives from the author), and a full chapter from her POV is terrible.

      I believe Auri was inserted into the book as an afterthought during one of the revisions? Think I read that somewhere.

  3. devilsjunkshop

    I had a quick look at the book in a local shop and some of the illustrations – the tunnel-o’-pipes one in particular – make the setting look decidedly post-industrial and not remotely like I imagined from the usual ren-fair type descriptions in your readings of NOTW and WMF. Is this secretly a post-apocalyptic environment built on the ruins of an ancient more advanced civilisation? Or, you know, just badly thought out…

  4. Chackludwig

    I get the feeling Rothfuss just wants to write weird, gross and fetishistic porn about mentally ill women and still have people tell him it’s fine literature. Now I feel unclean.

  5. steamysalt

    My God, this is so twee it hurts. And you’re just showing excerpts! Hopefully a mountain of iridium comes crashing into Kvotheslavia.

  6. Reveen

    Oh god naked nekkid mentally ill woman in second chapter. No, wait first chapter!

    Personally, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Rothfuss is actually aware of this blog and he wrote this as a literary assassination attempt.

  7. Pingback: Let’s Read The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Chapter 1 (lol nope) | Doing In The Wizard

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