The Larkin Ledgers

Like an endless chain of half-built houses


Reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Part I – The Cover

Let’s look at the cover.  A view up stairs through an arch, a full moon visible behind a building.  And it’s blue.  It evokes the Underthing, but it’s not.  Like all Rothfuss covers, it’s an approximation.  The blue does resonate, though.

He laid a hand on my shoulder. “Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating.” He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. “But there are other ways to understanding!” he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still laughing. “Look!” he shouted tilting his head back. “Blue! Blue! Blue!”

(TNoTW 673)

This is the only triple epizeuxis in the story.  In Rothfuss.  It calls attention to itself and the chapter, “The Fire Itself,” in which it appears.  It’s also potentially alchemically significant, which is appropriate for this story.  According to Lyndy Abraham, “The mercurial water… [is] frequently described as being sky blue or azure.”  Given the story’s position within the albedo of The Kingkiller Chronicle, an azure interstitial fits perfectly.

larkin image 1On to the raw data.  The Wise Man’s Fear debuted at number one on The New York Times bestseller list.  Pat posted a photo on March 21, 2011.  DAW added that to all subsequent covers.  Patrick Rothfuss is, um, the author.  If you’re reading this, I’m gonna assume you’re aware of that.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is different from the working title he used for awhile.  When it was a shorter piece, and as far as I can tell up until DAW purchased it, he referred to the story as “The Weight of Her Desire.”  The phrase appears in the first and last chapters of the book, suggesting some of the same structural elements present in The Wise Man’s Fear.  That’ll have to wait for the second or third pass, though.

Nate Taylor is a professional illustrator and longtime collaborator who does occasional artwork for Pat’s blog.  He illustrated The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed and The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below as well as the “Princess” and “Faen” decks for Pairs from Cheapass Games.  The illustrations in The Slow Regard of Silent Things deliberately don’t show too much.

The cover varies depending on where in the world you are.  Here are the six international editions I know came out this week.  Did I miss one?

American English and Brazilian Portugese

American English (DAW)                         and                Brazilian Portugese (Arquiero)

British English (Gollancz)                and                     Castilian Spanish (Plaza & Janes Editores)

Catalan Spanish (Rosa Dels Vents) and French (Bragelonne)

Catalan Spanish (Rosa Dels Vents)                  and                                       French (Bragelonne)