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I've known for some time that Robin Hobb is to be one of the Guests of Honour at Loncon 3, the 2014 Worldcon; and was rather guiltily conscious of the fact that I had never read any of her books. Even apart from the Worldcon connection, she has been recommended to me several times by you guys.

Well, if you did recommend her to me, you can feel very smug, because I thoroughly enjoyed Assassin's Apprentice, the tale of the bastard son of a prince whose natural and supernatural gifts turn out to be useful to his grandfather in the twisted paths of statecraft in a fantasy kingdom desperately seeking allies against attack from a barely human, possibly inhuman, foe. The description of intersecting court politics and personal loyalty was intricate, fascinating and even moving. (OK, she uses puppies shamelessly as a way of engaging the reader's emotions; but I am a sucker for small furry creatures with large trusting eyes.) I will go out and get the sequel, and probably the third volume; and then consider how much further to take it.

I am trying to identify why Assassin's Apprentice worked for me, when the very similar (and much shorter) Yearwood totally did not. It may partly be the puppies; it may be the well-handled theme of education from many sources. But in general I think Hobb has a better political sense, and also after killing off a significant character or two in the early chapters there is a much greater feeling of suspense.

One minor linguistic whinge: the words "flout" and "flaunt" are used the wrong way round!


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
Really glad you're enjoying Hobb!
Sep. 4th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
Ahh, I love that book (and the rest of that trilogy, and the subsequent related one -- I am actually quite jealous you've still got the rest of her novels to read).
Sep. 4th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
There are two other associated trilogies actually: Liveship Traders and Tawny Man. I hope this means you have three more books to enjoy!

I'm about 3/4 of the way through Assassin's Quest, nwhyte; given the speed at which you read, I imagine you will beat me to the end.
Sep. 4th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
Err, and also another trilogy apparently: The Rain Wilds Chronicles
Sep. 4th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
I, too, am having to bootstrap Hobb. Now Lindholme on the other hand....
Sep. 5th, 2012 07:14 am (UTC)
I have famously low tolerance for books-that-are-the-same-as-each-other, such as sprawling fantasies set in the same world, and I scarfed down about eight Robin Hobbs before I started to get fed up. Which is loads; about six and a half more than I managed of Jasper Fforde, for example.
Sep. 5th, 2012 10:07 am (UTC)
Second Bohemian Coast. I scarfed the Assassins trilogy and the Liveship Traders, and although I have given up half way through Soldier Son it's not because she's not a good writer.

Oh, and if you have not read the books of her earlier incarnation as Megan Lindholm, please do hunt out Wizard of the Pigeons, which is awesome, and the Windsingers trilogy is good too.
Sep. 5th, 2012 01:32 pm (UTC)
Jeej! Her Farseer Trilogy is her best, glad you're enjoying it.
Sep. 5th, 2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
*Feels suitably smug* ;)

I've enjoyed all her books set in that world (she's on the 4th trilogy just now, although I think she may have finished it and I'm a book behind), although I too didn't get on with Soldier Son trilogy, which is a different setting, and have yet to bother reading the final volume.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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