This is such a beautifully weird book! In this novella (part of the KingKiller Chronicles), we follow Auri through a week in the tunnels of the Underthing, as she sets her vast home to rights, fixes leaky pipes so that no one comes down to repair them, and scrounges for food and necessities. She explores the tunnels and passages of the Underthing, discovering new rooms and hallways, and even ventures on to the Top of Things.
This is not a book for everyone. It’s very strange. It doesn’t follow a regular plot or have conflict or character development. But its sweetness is in the glimpses of brightness and dark, the silly wisdom of a girl hiding from the world and embracing it at the same time. Auri’s little story is charming and haunting and wild!
I felt drawn to Auri in the other books of the KingKiller Chronicles, and have always wanted to know more about her. She’s definitely crazy, and it’s especially pathetic and sad because she knows she’s not right in the head; but then, the whole world around her is crazy too. In some ways, she’s the only sane person in the world. Despite her misplaced thoughts, her heart is so good and kind and self-sacrificing. She’s incredibly brave about the most ridiculous things!
I think she appeals to many people because she is broken, and we all recognize our own brokenness and helplessness in her. I was amazed at how many times her thought processes actually mirrored my own… right up to the point where she was, you know… nutso. But the way she thinks about inanimate objects, or about the proper way of placing things near one another because they get along together, or the proper times to do something… those are all things I think about.
I was very impressed with her knowledge. It’s evident that she was well-trained in alchemy, and there are hints that she has magical power beyond anything Kvothe has ever discovered. She’s definitely a highly intelligent person.
I was just delighted with this entire book, seeing the mysteries of Auri’s day to day life revealed in such an intimate and reckless way. Her perspective is all wildness and wishing and laughter!
There’s something so indescribable about Rothfuss’ writing. He’s an absolute genius! Sometimes I had to stop and re-read a sentence, just because it was so beautifully crafted with rich words that melt on your tongue like honey-centered candy. Oh, I adore his writing!