The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
“This story is for all the slightly broken people out there.
I am one of you. You are not alone. You are all beautiful to me.” – Patrick Rothfuss, Author’s Endnote, Slow Regard of Silent Things
Pat warns his readers, in the Author’s Forward, that they might not want to but this book, that it is a strange story, and deals entirely with a side character from the Kingkiller Chronicles. It is a strange story, but it is strange as a result of all the perfect and beautiful ways one can use words. How one can look at a character and get so snug inside their head one starts to look at the world differently.
It is a book that is hard to wake up from. You break out slowly, your head still thick with and tangled in words. It is beautiful and it is perfect.
It is not a book for those looking for grand adventure, action, dialog. It is a novella that sneaks up on you, quietly draws you in and is loath to let you leave. A lot of that is Pat’s words- the way he plays with them, coaxes them into new configurations and meanings. Part of that is the character of Auri herself, enthralling, exceptional, unique, and so very broken.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things is for anyone who wants to know more about Auri, not necessarily how she fits into the grand scheme of the Kingkiller Chronicles- you will not get plot advancement or hints here- but just…Auri. Herself. What she does and why and how she does it. It is a look at seven days of her life, in her head. And it is magnificent.
It is, indeed, a strange story. But it is exactly the story I wanted.
Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre
In a world where a great war devastated both human and Ferisher populations, the Ferisher Architect closed the paths between the mundane and fae worlds, stranding some Ferisher on the mundane, human side. Bloodlines mingled in a world changed by the Architects work, and humans with Ferisher blood, and Ferisher magic, exist alongside their mundane compatriots.
It is in this world that Mikani and Ritsuko work for the Criminal Investigations Department. Ritsuko is the first female in the department, and determined to both earn her keep and prove her ability. Mikani is rough around the edges, and in possession of (possessed by) a bit of a uncanny second sight with proves useful on the job.
A murder involving an obscene and intricate machine sets off an investigation that will turn the city Mikani and Ritsuko call home inside-out. From dance halls to criminal dens, they rush to solve the puzzle before the body count gets too high.
Bronze Gods is a fantastic bit of steampunk, flavored with noir, that flirts with just enough romance to be subtle. The world build is an interesting one- the split between the straight human-blooded and those with a bit (or more) Ferisher in their lineage makes things interesting and has shaped a fascinating sort of culture for Aguirre to work with. Crisp prose and an engaging, enthralling plot keeps this one moving. Recommended.