The foreword of this book begins with "You may not want to buy this book". I suggest you read the foreword (either in a physical copy or in something like amazons samples) before deciding if you want to read this book. It may not be for everyone, and it most definitely will not make any sense to you if you have not read the previous two books, The Name of the Wind, and The Wise Man's Fear (which are both brilliant, and whyever would you not have read them yet? Read them right now and come back afterwards). I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author, Patrick Rothfuss, himself. Sometimes you can tell that this is the first time he narrated an audiobook, but overall it went pretty well.
This book is hard to review. Not because it is hard to do without giving spoilers (hell, I am not even sure if spoilers in the traditional sense are technically possible for this book). It's because it is something completely different from almost every other book I have ever read. It focusses on Auri, who is one of my favourite characters of the Name of the Wind series, if not the favourite. It gives the reader a view into the head of that wonderful, broken girl.
I loved it. I did not love it like I loved Name of the Wind (which I loved for its lyrical language) or like The Way of Kings (which I loved for the Story and Worldbuilding), or like I loved A Memory of Light (which I loved (among other things) for how it managed to actually evoke the images of what was happening inside my head). No, I loved it for how it just perfectly fit the image I had of Auri. It was exactly as I expected, while being completely unlike anything I expected.
Now, I know that this statement may not make much sense. How can something be as expected, while not being as expected? Well, it's easy: Auri behaved like I expected her to, but it was completely unexpected how Pat described it. I am sure that there is more to this book than the first read shows. I am also sure that I missed out on some things by listening to the book instead of reading it (there are some plays on words which are hard to get right in an audiobook). I will have to read the eBook to get the other half of the experience.
Patrick Rothfuss managed to write a book completely different to the others, while staying true to them at the same time. He managed to write a book that completely defies all standards of what a story is supposed to be, while still writing something that I loved to listen to. And, most importantly of all, he managed to write in a style that completely fits one of the most mysterious, beautiful and broken characters I have ever read.
As Pat says: "This book may not be for you". But it most definitely was for me.