I think any book that starts and ends with an apology (of sorts) doesn’t bode well. I will save people time here too. If the “disclaimer” Mr Rothfuss puts in the beginning of the novella isn’t enough, then let me say – if you have not read his previous works in the series then you will be left confused by this story – providing you can even finish it.
I was confused by this story, but for vastly different reasons to someone who has not read Mr Rothfuss’s previous work. I was confused as to the point of what it was trying to achieve, but I’ll explain that view shortly.
I know what the author says about this work, but I couldn’t help but feel this book on Auri seemed more something that was originally a couple of chapters in “A wise mans fear” and cut out from the final release as it did nothing to progress the novel.
And it does nothing to progress the Auri story either. I think readers of “A wise mans fear” would have already got the fact Auri suffered with a form of OCD. I think readers already worked out she had a soft spot for Kvothe. We didn’t (in my opinion) need a “week in the life of Auri” to tell us these things.
The very least this story could have done (and I knew from the outset it would not further the main storyline) would have been to explain why Auri ended up living in the Underthing, instead of that we are subjected to a few hundred (well written) words reinforcing that which we had already guessed.
If you want a definition of “fan boy” or “fan girl” look to the people who jump upon those critical of this work. Whilst “early reviewers” and people unfortunate enough to have waited a long time for more material might sing the praises of this, I cannot. This brings me to another point, how impartial are early reviews? I’d hope in the case of many they are completely, but I can’t help feeling, if you are a big fan of the author you’ve received the early review title for, the resulting opinion is not going to be as “honest” as someone who has gone out on release date and bought the title. When you look at the almost hero worship some have of Mr Rothfuss, you are left wondering whether what you have read is indeed an opinion or a homage to their literary deity.
As much as I loved the other two books (and don’t mind the long wait for the third) I cannot love this. I cannot love this because it isn’t a story in my view, its a reinforcement of a character which we had already worked out, its a sequence of happenings leading up to a planned meeting with Kvothe which only serve to spend a few hundred pages describing to us that which I would have thought most readers had already concluded.
There’s so much scope for a standalone Auri novel, this to me is I’m afraid, “The Wise Mans fear – the lost chapters”