The Larkin Ledgers

Like an endless chain of half-built houses


New Covers: Die Musik der Stille

There’s another cover for The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Die Musik der Stille is the German edition of the novella. Longtime translator Jochen Schwarzer did the heavy lifting again. The interior is illustrated by Marc Simonetti.

Check out Melanie Miklitza‘s original artwork. The cover was designed by Birgit Gitschier.

Die Musik der Stille - TSoRST German ed 1st HC

Du solltest dir dieses Buch vielleicht nicht kaufen. However, if you want to anyway, signed copies are available at The Tinker’s Packs.


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FAQ: Where is Severen?

Of the, maybe, eleven cities on the map included in The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe has visited less than half of them so far.  Despite spending a sizable portion of the second book in Severen, we’re never told precisely where it is.  It’s in Vintas.  It’s four or five days walk from The Eld.  And it has docks.

With the money I’d accumulated, I spent the next several hours on the docks and found a ship leaving the next day for Junpui.WMF 928

So Severen needs to be on a river or a lake, preferably in Western Vintas near, but not too near, The Eld.  Pat did a Q&A on A Forum of Ice and Fire a few months after The Wise Man’s Fear was published.  He provided a little more information.

Will you tell us where Severen is located on your map?

It’s north of Renere. South of Tinue.

Based on all of the above, the location targeted in red is the longstanding best guess for the location of Severen.  It could pretty easily be anywhere in or near the larger circle.



A more detailed map was the $600,000 stretch goal for Worldbuilders 2013.  It was supposed to be drawn by Nate Taylor and posted on the website.  The page for Vintas has been available for months, but as we head into Worldbuilders 2014, we still haven’t heard anything about it.  We’ve yet to see several stretch goals from 2012 and 2013, so there’s no way of knowing when it’ll go live.

One of the lingering questions is how Kvothe would have gotten there by sea from Tarbean.

MY ROUTE WAS A simple one. I would head downriver to Tarbean, through the Refting Strait, down the coast toward Junpui, then up the Arrand River.WMF 365

Only two sea rivers appear to empty into the Centhe Sea from Vintas.  One appears to form the northwestern border of Vintas and travel through the Small Kingdoms, something Kvothe was keen to avoid.  The other forms the southeastern border and connects all the way to the northern most lake via river routes.

Both are marked in yellow on the map below.  I’m incline to think the southern river is the more likely.


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Reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Part IV – Dedication

The DEDICATION is two lines, two sentences.  It’s a fairly straightforward thank you to recreational mathemusician Vi Hart, Pat’s mutually avowed best friend and composer of “Knackerman, Knackerman” for Worldbuilders 2013, during which he offered her the opportunity to take a look at the manuscript that would eventually be published as The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

And it contains a mysterious reference to a figure familiar to Madisonian Wisconsinites, but generally unknown to the outside world.  Pat’s weighed in on both and their contributions to the text.

For Vi, without whom there might be no story.1

And Tunnel Bob, without whom there would be no Auri.2

  1. The News: The Slow Regard of Silent Things (April 25, 2014)

Then I took a big risk and showed it to Vi Hart. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog where she put some of my lyrics to music, we are now Best Friends.

So I knew her, and respected her opinion, but since we haven’t known each other very long, I trusted her to tell me the truth.

She read it, and we talked about the story. She pointed out some things she thought were problematic. I agreed. She pointed out some things she liked, and I was flattered.

We were in a bar in San Fransisco at this point. The Casanova. We’d spent a lovely evening together, and I was drinking a little bit, which is unusual for me. And it might be because of that that I started to lament the fact that the story was kind of a hot mess. Good stories are supposed to contain certain elements, I explained, and my story didn’t have those things.

Vi said she liked it.

I told her I liked it too, but that didn’t change the fact that people expect certain things from a story. If people read this story looking for those things, they wouldn’t get them, they’d be dissatisfied. Disappointed.

And Vi said something I hope she’ll forgive me for paraphrasing here without asking her first. She said, “Fuck those people. Those people get all the other stories in the world. Everyone writes stories for them. This story is for people like me. We deserve stories too.”

That shut me up. Because she’s right. It might not be for everyone. But not every story has to be for everyone. Maybe this was just a story for people like me and Vi. People who are curious about Auri and the life she leads. People who are, perhaps, not entirely normal.

Vi said a few other things that gave me enough confidence to send the story to my agent. He liked it, and said we should show it to Betsy, my editor at DAW. Betsy liked it. Really liked it. The people in her office liked it.

That made me think that maybe it *was* a story for everyone. Or maybe there are more people like me and Vi in the world than either of us expected.


  1. Best-Selling Author Warns ‘You Might Not Want to Buy’ His Book (October 25, 2014)

“Auri started from stories my father would tell me about a guy that he knew called Tunnel Bob. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and he’s just a little different from the rest of us, and he is constantly getting arrested for being in the steam tunnels underneath the university, you know, the access tunnels that every big city has. My dad used to run engineering for one of the hospitals down there, and so he had to learn how to deal with Tunnel Bob, like everyone in the city, because he gets into your tunnels. What do you do? And so my dad actually solved the problem by saying Tunnel Bob could volunteer there three hours a week, but the rest of the time he couldn’t be in there. And it worked like a charm. Suddenly they didn’t have to worry about him wandering around when he wasn’t allowed, because he would do anything to protect these three precious hours where he was officially sanctioned to be in their tunnels. … ‘So what do you do down there in the tunnels?’ my dad would ask, and he’d say, ‘Well, the first hour I walks around a bit, and the second hour I cleans up some, and the third hour, well, that’s just for me.’”

Several reports of Tunnel Bob exist online.  Here’s a quote from “Walking on UW-Madison campus? Look down — you might spot Tunnel Bob” from The Wisconsin State Journal (September 8, 2012)

Tunnel Bob — really Robert Gruenenwald — is one of those campus apparitions that new students occasionally hear about, but few see. His 6-foot 6-inch frame notwithstanding, Gruenenwald, 55, has always seemed comfortable below the geographical and social radar.

More of a surprise than a threat, he has been making unauthorized patrols of the labyrinth of heating and cooling steam tunnels beneath campus since the 1970s. The tunnels themselves have criss-crossed below surface since the late 1800s.



Reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Part III – The Table of Contents

I’m gonna go ahead and skip the TITLE PAGE and COPYRIGHT.  I’d planned to skip the Contents as well, but the title of chapter seven, “ASH AND EMBER,” jumps out immediately.  It’s part of the rhyme Bast recites in the frame narrative of The Wise Man’s Fear.

Maple. Maypole.
Catch and carry.
Ash and Ember.
(WMF 4, 991)

He recites it twice.  First in chapter one, “Apple and Elderberry;” and in chapter one hundred fifty-two, “Elderberry.”  In fact, it’s one of the phrases that pairs those chapters in what anthropologist Mary Douglas called ring composition.

The minimum criterion for a ring composition is for the ending to join up with the beginning… A ring is a framing device. The linking up of starting point and end creates an envelope that contains everything between the opening phrases and the conclusion… There has to be a well-marked point at which the ring turns, preparatory to working back to the beginning, and the whole series of stanzas from the beginning to the middle should be in parallel with the other series going from the middle back to the start. Each section on the second side of the ring corresponds to a matching section on the first side… It comes in many sizes, from a few lines to a whole book enclosed in its macro-envelope, arranged throughout in intricately corresponding parallelisms. (Thinking in Circles)

The Wise Man’s Fear is constructed this way.  The Prologue and Epilogue are nearly identical, providing a solid frame.  Within that frame, chapters one through seventy-six, and seventy-seven through one hundred fifty-two mirror one another in a variety of ways.  One of the primary ways is the restriction of particular words or phrases only to the chapters in parallel, like “Ash and Ember” in the first and last chapters.  I explained a little bit about how chapters two, “Holly,” and one hundred fifty-one, “Locks,” were related during the Tor Reread.

This is all a long way of saying that I sort of suspected The Slow Regard of Silent Things might be a ring as well.  Based on a chapter title.  I’ll show how that might be the case when I get into the actual text.  The fact that the narrative is framed by an AUTHOR’S FOREWORD and an AUTHOR’S ENDNOTE is also a strong clue.

The rest of the chapter titles weren’t so glaringly obvious in their relationship to the parent text.  At least not to me.  But I figured it might be worth noting whether they evoked anything.

Here’s what the Contents look like in the Kindle edition:

Contents (not actually listed in the contents)

Anyway, here goes.

THE FAR BELOW BOTTOM OF THINGS only appears in The Slow Regard of Silent Things.  It refers to the pool in The Twelve, the only place in the Underthing (that we’re exposed to) with a changing name.  There’s a title drop on page 6 followed by this image.

WHAT A LOOK ENTAILS includes a word that hasn’t appeared in Rothfuss before.  It’s worth considering its various nuances.  But think about what’s tied up in looking and seeing in The Kingkiller Chronicle.  Puppet comes to mind.  As does this line from Felurian:

“these old name-knowers moved smoothly through the world. they knew the fox and they knew the hare, and they knew the space between the two.” (WMF 669)

BEAUTIFUL AND BROKEN immediately calls to mind Kvothe’s meditations on and descriptions of Auri. Chapter titles like “The Broken Binding,” “A Beautiful Game,” and “The Broken Road” show a fondness for the words which appear frequently.  And, of course, there’s the bit from Kvothe’s introductory boast:

The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it’s spoken, can mean “The Flame,” “The Thunder,” or “The Broken Tree.” (NW 57)

A QUITE UNCOMMON PLEASANT PLACE sounds like a decent description of the Underthing, but seems deliberately unspecific.  Nothing really comes to mind.

HOLLOW also leaps out.  It’s the “hollow, echoing quiet” of the first silence in the Prologue of The Name of the Wind and both Epilogues.  It’s also Hollows, home of admissions and the horns.  Hollow is how Kote looks to Graham.

While it might not be relevant, it also reminds me of the Hollow Gods featured in the Modegan Pairs deck designed by Shane Tyree.  They’re the “gods all around us” sworn by Sovoy and Bredon.

THE ANGRY DARK suggests both Kvothe and Lanre as well as Adem mojo, but little else.

ASH AND EMBER I’ve already covered.  Ash is also the elephant in the room: Denna’s patron.  The only chapter to mention is The Name of the Wind chapter eighty-two, “Ash and Elm…”

ALL TO HER DESIRE was something I was sure I’d seen before, but it turns out it’s only a common form without an exact match.  The closest is the secret ritual of the Edema Ruh that Kvothe reveals in his story about Faeriniel and later exploited by Alleg.

The man at his elbow smiled. “Then have water and wine, each to your desire.” And saying so he brought the beggar to their water barrel. (WMF 283)

Bast uses similar phrasing when describing the fae to Kostrel in “The Lightning Tree.”

There are many types of fae, many courts and houses. And all of them are ruled according to their own desires …” (Rogues)

THE GRACEFUL WAY TO MOVE brings to mind Kvothe’s hands, Denna, Felurian, and Cinder.  It also provides a nice lead in to the scene in chapter eleven of The Wise Man’s Fear, “Haven,” that the novella is leading toward.

I turned in time to see Auri scurry across the roof toward us, her arms full. She stopped a short distance away, eyeing us both, before coming the rest of the way, stepping carefully as a dancer until she was back where she originally stood. Then she sat down lightly on the roof, crossing her legs beneath herself. Elodin and I sat as well, though not nearly as gracefully. (WMF 107)

THE HIDDEN HEART OF THINGS repeats the “of things” from the first chapter, another sign that the story’s probably a ring.  It also suggests a secret, perhaps in the Underthing and perhaps within its inhabitant.  We can’t forget our Teccam, either.

Secrets of the heart are different. They are private and painful, and we want nothing more than to hide them from the world. They do not swell and press against the mouth. They live in the heart, and the longer they are kept, the heavier they become. (WMF 487)

CODA provides what Douglas calls a latch, which further ties the beginning and end of the story.  It also ties the story into The Wise Man’s Fear.  In a way, The Slow Regard of Silent Things becomes an inner ring within the larger ring of that book.

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Reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Part II – Also By Patrick Rothfuss

ALSO BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS features the first of Nate Taylor’s illustrations and even it tells us something.  It depicts a portion of starry sky and a waning crescent moon within the circle of which the stars are visible.  This isn’t entirely new.

We’ve seen it beforStarse in the Lee Moyer’s (NSFW) illustration of Felurian for the 2013 Worldbuilders calendar and the Name of the Wind playing cards by Albino Dragon.  However, what this illustration does is end any querying speculation about whether these images are canon.  Elodin asks “Where does the moon go when it is no longer in our sky?” (WMF 88)

Felurian reiterates the concept (WMF 670)

Felurian’s eyes were black in the dim light. “the moon has our two worlds beguiled, like parents clutching at a child, pulling at her, to and fro, neither willing to let go.”

She stepped away, and we stood as far apart as we could, the stone gripped in our hands. “when she is torn, half in your sky, you see how far apart we lie.” Felurian reached toward me with her free hand making futile grasping gestures in the empty water. “no matter how we long to kiss, the space between us is not ripe for this.”

But there were occasional expressions of lingering doubt.  It’s a fantasy world.  One of it’s signature features is the ever moving moon.

The text on the page lists the first two books of the trilogy, so it’s only those books also published by DAW.

The Kingkiller Chronicle:

The full list of books and contributions by Patrick Rothfuss looks more like the following.

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future 18 edited by Algis BudrysThe Road to Levenshir” by Patrick Rothfuss illustrated by Jason Pastrana (Mass Market Paperback)

August 16, 2002


Galaxy Press (CA)

Your Annotated, Illustrated College Survival Guide by Patrick Rothfuss illustrated by Brett Hiorns (Paperback)

January 28, 2005


Cornerstone Press Chicago

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Hardcover)

March 27, 2007


DAW Hardcover

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Mass Market Paperback)

April 1, 2008



Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy edited by William Schafer“The Road to Levinshir” by Patrick Rothfuss (Hardcover)

July 31, 2008


Subterranean Press

The Order of the Stick: War and XPs by Rich Burlew”Foreword by Pat Rothfuss” by Patrick Rothfuss

August 27, 2008


Giant in the Playground

The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2009 Edition edited by Rich Horton”The Road to Levinshir” by Patrick Rothfuss (Paperback)

March 15, 2009


Prime Books

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Trade Paperback)

April 7, 2009


DAW Trade

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss illustrated byNate Taylor (Hardcover)

June 21, 2010


Subterranean Press

Clash of the Geeks edited by Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi”The Lay of the Eastern King” by Patrick Rothfuss (eBook)

September 20, 2010

Subterranean Press

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (Hardcover)

March 1, 2011


DAW Hardcover

Be Good, Little Puppy: A Penny Arcade Book by Jerry Holkins illustrated by Mike Krahulik”Foreword” by Patrick Rothfuss (Paperback)

June 28, 2011


Del Rey

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (Trade Paperback)

March 6, 2012


DAW Trade

Epic: Legends of Fantasy edited by John Joseph Adams”The Road to Levinshir” by Patrick Rothfuss (Paperback)

October 5, 2012


Tachyon Publications

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss illustrated by Nate Taylor (Paperback)

December 18, 2012


Sea Lion Books

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (Mass Market Paperback)

April 2, 2013



Unfettered edited by Shawn Speakman ”Foreword by Patrick Rothfuss; ”How Old Holly Came to Be by Patrick Rothfuss (Hardcover)

June 21, 2013


Grim Oak Press

The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below by Patrick Rothfuss illustrated by Nate Taylor (Hardcover)

November 30, 2013


Subterranean Press

Sword and Laser Anthology edited by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt“Foreword” by Patrick Rothfuss (Hardcover and ePub )

April 6, 2014


Sword and Laser LLC

Rogues edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner R. Dozois”The Lightning Tree by Patrick Rothfuss (Hardcover)

June 17, 2014



The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss illustrated by Nate Taylor (Hardcover)

October 28, 2014


DAW Hardcover

The Doors of Stone (Working Title) by Patrick Rothfuss

no release date

DAW Hardcover

The Tale of Laniel Young Again (Working Title) by Patrick Rothfuss (Hardcover)

no release date

DAW Hardcover