The Larkin Ledgers

Like an endless chain of half-built houses

FAQ: When does The Slow Regard of Silent Things Take Place?


When additional material is added to a series, finished or ongoing, one of the first things readers want to know is when in relation to the primary work it takes place. Sometimes the author tells you. Sometimes ze does not. Pat wants the reader know, but he also likes to make you work a little.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things takes place between the events of chapter four of The Wise Man’s Fear, “Tar and Tin,” and chapter eleven, “Haven.” The following passage precedes the events of the novella.

“You didn’t bring your lute,” she said after we had finished eating.
“I have to go read tonight,” I said. “But I’ll bring it soon.”
“How soon?”
“Six nights from now,” I said. I’d be finished with admissions then, and more studying would be pointless.
Her tiny face pulled a frown. “Six days isn’t soon,” she said. “Tomorrow is soon.”
“Six days is soon for a stone,” I said.
“Then play for a stone in six days,” she said. “And play for me tomorrow.”
“I think you can be a stone for six days,” I said. “It is better than being a lettuce.”
She grinned at that. “It is.”WMF p35

And the final line of The Slow Regard of Silent Things, “DEEP IN THE UNDERTHING, stones warm beneath her feet, Auri heard a faint, sweet strain of music,” occurs concurrent with this passage.

Auri in Lady Larbor

Auri wasn’t expecting me, but this was the first place I’d met her, and on clear nights she sometimes came out to watch the stars. I checked to make sure the classrooms overlooking the courtyard were dark and empty, then I brought out my lute and began to tune it.
I had been playing for almost an hour when I heard a rustling movement in the overgrown courtyard below. Then Auri appeared, scurrying up the overgrown apple tree and onto the roof.
She ran toward me, her bare feet skipping lightly across the tar, her hair blowing behind her. “I heard you!” she said as she came close. “I heard you all the way down in Vaults!”
“I seem to remember,” I said slowly, “that I was going to play music for someone.”
“Me!” She held both her hands close to her chest, grinning. She moved from foot to foot, almost dancing with her eagerness. “Play for me! I have been as patient as two stones together,” she said. “You are just in time. I could not be as patient as three stones.”WMF 103

She gives him the candle, a kiss, and the offer of a place to stay. All of which she’s been preparing.


3 thoughts on “FAQ: When does The Slow Regard of Silent Things Take Place?

  1. So, chapters 4-11, that means the period covers seven chapters in Wise Men’s Fear as well as ‘seven days’ for Auri?

    I was intrigued about the ring structure to the book that you mentioned and it got me thinking; is the story itself being linked to the brazen gear, in a ring with one part truncated? You mention Hollow is a turning point in the story – the fulcrum on which the world turns, perhaps? I suppose my main objection is that there are 10 chapters, not 9, but perhaps that’s a Sir Savian style hedging of 9 and 1 short/damaged part.

  2. Oh wait, I was being foolish – there are 9 teeth to the gear now but there would of course have been 10 parts originally, as it divides into three threes at the end.

  3. Thistlepong, would you consider finishing the reread of TSRoST? I found your blog today, read all of your posts and I’m close to despair for not knowing your thoughts/analysis for the rest of it. Please …

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