Tag Archives: The Kingkiller Chronicle

The Book Character Quarantine Tag #Brainfluffbookblog #TheBookCharacterQuarantineTag


I saw this tag on Maddalena’s blog Space and Sorcery last week – and absolutely loved it, so decided to take up her generous general invitation to join in the fun…

Winne the Pooh by A.A. Milne
So… I know exactly what would happen to Pooh Bear if he found himself in a lockdown situation, as it happens several times in his adventures. He would retire to a suitably comfy spot with as many jars of honey as he could manage and emerge some time later, rather plumper and very sticky. I tried to replicate this behaviour with salt and vinegar crisps for the first few weeks of lockdown – and while I, too, became noticeably plumper, I also ended up with a rather sore tongue…

Pooh Bear would definitely be tubbier by the end of lockdown…

Captain Vimes from the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett
Assuming COVID-19 was brave enough to try and gain a foothold in Ankh-Morpok – I’m sure there are viruses and bacteria there far older and more terrible that could swallow it whole – our brave Captain Vimes of the City Watch might well harness Lady Sibyl’s little dragons and use them to sterilise the streets with FLAMES. After all, you wouldn’t want to use water from the River Ankh to wash anything – apart from anything else, it’s something of a hassle to cut through the crust of filth and pollution to actually get to the liquid below.

Sam Vimes wouldn’t let a little COVID-19 mess with his City…

Kvothe from The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
I think finding himself in lockdown might well be the making of Kvothe. After all, he’s got a memoir to complete. He’s made a great start – The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear are highly readable and gripping accounts of his adventures. He just needs to stop wandering through the forest, counting leaves on the trees, or chopping down a small plantation for firewood, or visiting every alehouse in the kingdom – and knuckle down to finish the tale. Maybe being quarantined will be the nudge he’s looking for. Quick – ink and parchment for Master Kvothe!

Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Hm. Well no one will go hungry if they are sharing lockdown with Katniss – and you won’t need to queue at Tesco’s or sit up half the night waiting for a spot to open up for online shopping, either. Not while she’s here with her trusty bow and arrow. Just be prepared for a few less squirrels visiting your bird table…

Mark Watney of The Martian by Andy Weir
Highly trained and extraordinarily resourceful, I’m thinking that you won’t have a dull moment if you’re sharing lockdown with Mark. For starters, there’ll be a steady stream of jokes – some funnier than others. And he’ll be growing produce in no time flat, as well as organising everyone on a strict rota so that your household – no make that the street – will all be self sufficient within the first month. Which is probably the time it will take him to invent a vaccine for COVID-19, though be prepared for that to include quantities of poo and potatoes…

Be prepared to be VERY organised…

Review of The Slow Regard of Silent Things – a Kingslayer Chronicle novella by Patrick Rothfuss


Received wisdom dictates that Fantasy titles should be mostly be short and punchy. Literary tales are the ones with wafty, long-winded titles. But then, literary stories tend to focus on beautiful prose, striking descriptions, while pushing the envelope of exactly what prose can do. Genre fiction is too busy ploughing through a crowded plotline, peopled with a cast of characters bristling with dour intent to deceive, murder or seduce the innocent, wide-eyed protagonist who has unwittingly wandered into the middle of this eventful, threat-filled landscape. However every so often an author, like Rothfuss, comes along who totally upends these genre conventions. Does he get away with it?

Untitled-14Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. Her name is Auri and she is full of mysteries. This novella offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes.

So, do you really need to have read The Kingkiller Chronicle to get The Slow Regard of Silent Things? Hm. There are a number of apparently throwaway references that have a certain resonance if you have read the book in which this novella is nested, but to be honest, I really don’t think you’ll be floundering all that much if you haven’t. For starters, there isn’t a huge cast to wrestle with, or a welter of events that has your head spinning. Auri lives in the dark places long forgotten and ekes out a sparse, solitary existence. She needs to move carefully, if sure-footedly through this landscape. So the pace is slow as we spend a week in her world alongside her.

Rothfuss has managed to build a painfully beautiful story, woven from her imagination and the events with which she fills her dark days. When the prose flows at its best, we are right in her head and caught up in the weird, discarded landscape she inhabits. I was rapt by the poetry of the writing and I felt the depth of Auri’s brokenness was fully conveyed without ever alluding to the events that caused her to flee and live such a solitary existence.

Any grizzles? Yes. Rothfuss every so often throws in comments about Auri’s appearance, referring to her ‘tiny feet’ and describing her eyes being ‘all softness and want’ while ‘her mouth grew firm and furious’. Which immediately yanked me out of her viewpoint and pulled me away from the story – such a great shame when most of the novella is so well crafted in deep pov.

This book has divided Rothfuss’ readership, as he recognised in his apologetic prologue – in fact skimming through the reviews on Goodreads, there are folks out there all set to go to war over this slim book. I really enjoyed this ambitious, beautiful story, but like poor little Auri, it is flawed.