This interesting and slightly-odd novella connects to Patrick Rothfuss‘ outstanding Kingkiller Chronicles, and tells the story of Auri, the slightly-broken girl who aided Kvothe who lives in the Underthing. I think it’s meant to tide us over while Rothfuss writes himself out of a corner in the long-promised (but not yet delivered) third book in the series. Personally I think he should just give up and write it as four books, not three.
That aside, this novella makes more sense if you have read the other two books; but I think it could be enjoyable regardless. Just keep in mind that Rothfuss himself points out in his author’s note that this story doesn’t do or have a lot of things that you expect out of a story.
That aside, I really liked it! I can’t give you too much of the plot without revealing things that make the story great. I can say, however, that I thought to myself often that perhaps seeing things through Auri’s eyes might be a bit like how an autistic person sees the world, and it was fascinating. Also, I grasped a lot of the odder elements going on because I am slightly OCD.
“Magical realism” is probably the best definition of its genre, and it feels a lot like a fairytale fantasy as well, so if you don’t like those genres, you will not enjoy this book.
Others might be slightly confused. As Rothfuss says, the biggest “action sequence” is the making of some soap. But a story isn’t always about fighting bad guys in epic quests, is it?
Why did it take me so long to read? Because I’ve had a lot of Life happening over the past month. And I’ve been reading more than one book. And it is kind of difficult to get into at first, just because it is so different.
Well worth the experience in my opinion, especially if you’re looking for something quirky and different.