Tag Archives: Book

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Last time, I talked about Brandon Sanderdon’s Misborn trilogy. So, I thought I had to introduce you to his rival: Patrick Rothfuss. I think this is quite funny that he be his long-time rival as his writings are miles apart from Sanderson’s. Indeed, Rothfuss focuses on one story, The Kingkiller Chronicles, that takes place on a world we barely know anything about at first, but progressively happen to discover as details are revealed to he reader little by little to help us understand this world. What’s surprising is that the magic system is split into two: the rational system on the one hand, which is used to improve objects and is also taught at the University like every ordinary subject, and the real magic. This latter can only be used by a few people who know what’s called the Name of Things. It is the most powerful magic as it allows you to take control of an element if you know its name.

‘Theindex slow regard of silent things’ is a side story of this trilogy and focuses on a secondary character called Auri. She is very particular as she sees the world very differently from us. It can be seen in the trilogy but it’s made even more obvious in this book as she is the only character and we’re given her point of view, which can be disturbing at times. That must be why this book had two kinds of reviews: those who loved it, and those who really disliked it.

But who’s Auri ? She is like a wild child, a former student at the University (where magic is taught) that’s changed because of what she’s seen during her studies. She lives under the University in harmony with everything around her, whether it is animals, items, weather…and gives feelings to everything, even ash boards: “It was wise enough to know itself, and brave enough to be itself, and wild enough to change itself while somehow staying altogether true.”

In this book, we’re following Auri for a week in her everyday-life. It can seem boring at first but it’s written in such a beautiful way that when I first opened the book, I couldn’t stop reading until the very end. It is a really strange book as nothing happens, literally. It’s all about poetry and seeing the world in a new way…Auri’s way.

Patrick Rothfuss obviously knew not every reader would like it , that is why he added a pretty long preface explaining why he wanted to write this book and what it was all about. This really is interesting as he tells us a lot about his state of mind and that definitely allows us to better understand him onc eyou’ve started reading the book.

I highly recommend that you read his trilogy (the Kingkiller Chronicles) which is really well-written and, if you liked it, to give the Slow Regard of Silent Things a try.

Brandon Sanderson’s MISTBORN TRILOGY

Brandon Sanderson’s MISTBORN TRILOGY


A few months ago, I read the Mistborn Trilogy and I strongly advise you to give it a try if you’re looking for some great heroic-fantasy books. The author, Brandon Sanderson, has lately been recognized as one of the most famous authors of the genre and many of his books have turned into bestsellers. The guy has the particularity of inventing, creating stories which take place in a lot of different worlds, instead of just focusing on one as most authors do. But every single world of his is really unique, with its own magic, economic, political and religious systems, each influencing the others, eventually creating realistic worlds. For now, I’d like to talk about one of them, called Scadrial, where the Mistborn trilogy takes place.

The story focuses on one continent, called the Final Empire, which has been ruled for many centuries by Lord Ruler, a man considered a god because of his impressive longevity and his incredible strength. But many think this has lasted for too long. It’s time to take the power back. It’s time to defeat a god. This shortly sums up the plot, which seems very basic, but the characters’ deepness and the unexpected plot twists make these books unforgivable. I remember I thought I knew this world perfectly and then, something happened, forcing me to re-consider everything because I knew the author would never have introduced anything illogical. And it’s mostly by paying attention to little details that I could somehow anticipate some events.

Another uncommon thing with this writer is that he often gives very important roles to female characters, whereas they are often left behind in most other books of the genre (they are only used as an impotent and naive character and often kidnapped to trap the hero). In his universe, they are very independent, in need of freedom and add a lot to the story. In Mistborn, we follow the story of many characters, but the most important one is Vin, the girl you can see in the center of the picture below.


This world, just like the others he wrote, follows what’s called ‘Sanderson’s 3 laws of magic’. These 3 laws are, I think, what makes his books so interesting, allowing him to create such realistic worlds.

The first one is: “An author’s ability to solve conflict with magic is directly proportional to how well the reader understands said magic”. It’s really easy to see in his books as his magic system is perfectly described and we know what a character can do on nearly any given situation. I think that’s a good thing because some authors are using it too easily and we don’t really understand what’s going on, or the limits of one character’s power, creating Deus Ex Machina events that could be disturbing sometimes. For example, in Mistborn, the magic system is based on metals. 16 of them can be “absorbed”, each one granting a different power. Using steel allows you to push on nearby metals lighter than you are (coins can be used as throwing weapons this way) otherwise you’ll be pushed in the other way. Iron is basically the opposite as it allows you to pull lighter metalic items.

The second law is: “Limitations > Powers”. This law can easily be understood with the example of Superman. Indeed, what’s interesting about this character is what happens when he his facing someone using kryptonite. Were he always strong as hell, the comic would be pretty boring. In Mistborn, the limitations can be seen as the need of metals to have powers, and with the limitations linked with every single one of them. This forces characters to work harder to achieve their goals as they can’t just destroy everything in front of them throwing fireballs.

While the first 2 laws are mostly about characters, the final one is totally different but is definitely my favourite. The third law is: “Expand what you already have before adding something new”. It’s a huge problem with many new authors that try to add too many things to their universe, making it too hard to understand for the reader. This law can be easily observec in Mistborn very. Indeed, the power of absorbing metals is at the center of everything in this world. As only the nobles can use this power (it’s transmitted genetically), it reinforces their powers, adding a social dimension to this problem. This is exacerbated by atium, a very rare and expensive metal, which grants the ability of seeing the near future. This metal is the source of most of the struggles between the great houses as its gathering is controlled by Lord Ruler himself. Therefore, we can see that one power involves, in this trilogy, an economic and a social system. This law improves the realistic side of the worlds Sanderson created.

If you’re looking for an epic story that will keep you short-breathing until the end, just go for it.