Well. I loved the first book in the series, Shaman’s Crossing, which made me hopeful for what may come next. But after reading this one, I got the impression that all I thought would happen will not, and that the story is probably heading in a different direction. I was so put off by parts of this book that I’ve procrastinated on writing this reflection and thus have put off writing several book reviews. I’m backed up on them.
I’ve put off this piece for so long that I’ve already started buddy-reading the third and final book in the trilogy with my buddy-reader in all things Hobb — Emily at Embuhleeliest. We are several chapters in, and I’ve sort of come to terms with the fact that this story is heading in a totally different direction, so now I’m just going along with it to see how it ends.
Soldier Son, book 2
Quick summary (spoilers)
This one picks up shortly after the events in the first book. Nevare and his surviving schoolmates, instructors, and other folks in the city of Old Thares are recovering from the Speck Plague that swept through the city. In addition to his physical convalescence, Nev is also trying to come to terms with the fact that he was instrumental in starting the plague and that there’s a part of him that belongs, or at least is loyal, to the Specks. That part of him feels remorse for killing Tree Woman.
I really enjoyed reading this book, and I consider it a favorite. Emily at Embuhleeliest, my buddy-reader in all things Hobb, and I completed the Realm of the Elderlings books last year and really wrapped it up by reading a novella and a short story set in its world earlier this year. We then took a break before jumping into Hobb’s Soldier Son trilogy, which is fantasy but set in a different world than the Elderlings books and which begins with this novel — Shaman’s Crossing.
I had such a good time reading this novel with Emily that I slowly fell into a little reading and blogging slump. It took a while to move on from this story, especially since the books I picked up after it were lackluster. I also had a hard time drumming up energy to create new posts for my blog because I was procrastinating on reviewing this. I needed to get out my thoughts on it, but there were so many that I didn’t know where to start.
Soldier Son trilogy, book 1
Like the Farseer trilogy, Shaman’s Crossing begins with the protagonist, Nevare, as a young boy learning about his station and duty in life and the world beyond his father’s lands. Through him, we learn that he lives in a very patriarchal society that is also very religious. Sons are treasured, of course, and the religion dictates that the first son becomes his father’s heir while the second son serves as a soldier; the third son should be a priest, the fourth son an artist, and the fifth son a scholar. Nevare is the second son and strongly believes his destiny is to become a soldier, like his father.
My buddy-reader in all things Hobb, Emily at Embuhleeliest, and I completed the last novel in Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series last year and have been craving more of the story ever since. Will Hobb write more stories in this epic fantasy series that’s 17 books long (including a prequel)? I don’t know, but I think there’s potential for her to write more and if she does, Emily and I will read it.
Well, wanting more of Hobb’s stories no matter what they are about, Emily and I decided to read Hobb’s anthology of short stories, The Inheritance, which contains stories written under the pseudonyms Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm.
We began with the Hobb stories, of course, since they are based in the Realm of the Elderlings settings (so that we completely wrap up that series) and then moved on to the Lindholm ones. They weren’t what I expected.
Realm of the Elderlings (some stories are set in the same world)
And I’m back again for another Wyrd & Wonder BOOK TAG WEEK.
This time I’m doing the Quick Fire Fantasy Tag, which was created by the Bookworm Dreamer. I consider myself tagged by Lisa at Way Too Fantasy because I found the tag on her blog.
The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb
Of course, the first book to pop in my head is one by Robin Hobb from her Realm of the Elderlings series, which is absolutely fantastic. The Golden Fool is the second novel in the Tawney Man trilogy and it’s one of my favorites about Fitz and the Fool’s adventures.
I can’t believe I’ve read the entire Realm of the Elderlings books and there are no more books in the series for me and Emily at Embuhleeliest, my buddy-reader in all things Hobb, to devour. We were lost and wanting more, so we turned to this novella, a prequel to the massive series we wrapped up last year.
Realm of the Elderlings, book 0
Long before the time of Chivalry Farseer, there was another indiscreet member of the royal line. Princess Caution Farseer, in defiance of her name, was headstrong and willful, destined to fall dangerously in love where she ought not.
The child she bore, a Witted boy known as the Piebald Prince, rose to favour despite his questionable bloodlines. But the dukes of the Six Duchies backed Canny Farseer for the throne. And so both young men competed for power… But this was not their only struggle: for they both fell in love with the same lady. Such rivalry could end only in bloodshed…
Here I am at the end of the Fitz and the Fool trilogy, the end of the Realm of the Elderlings series, a 16-book epic fantasy series that took me and Emily at Embuhleeliest about four years to read. We made it to the end and had our hearts and emotions ripped apart along the way. The story kept us at the edge of our seats as we wondered what will be become of favorite characters and how the story would end. And when it did… I couldn’t… I…
So much happens that I’ve procrastinated on writing this reflection for the past two months. But no more! I need to get this out (so I can review other books) and move on.
We’re nearing the end, Emily of Embuhlee liest and I. We have just one more book to go before we complete the Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series, which we’ve been reading for maybe three years now (more or less). What will we do with ourselves after that final book?!
Fitz and the Fool, book 2
Realm of the Elderlings, book 15
After nearly killing his oldest friend, the Fool, and finding his daughter stolen away by those who were once targeting the Fool, FitzChivarly Farseer is out for blood. And who better to wreak havoc than a highly trained and deadly former royal assassin? Fitz might have let his skills go fallow over his years of peace, but such things, once learned, are not so easily forgotten. And nothing is more dangerous than a man who has nothing left to lose… (Goodreads)
I’ve been procrastinating on writing book reviews lately because of this novel. It was wonderful to return to Buckkeep and Fitz again, but much happens and I had so many feelings about it all that when I think about typing it all up, I felt overwhelmed and immediately sought something else to do. But here I am with my thoughts about Fool’s Assassin. I couldn’t put it off any longer because I have to start the second book soon. Of course, I’m buddy-reading it with Emily at Embuhlee liest. We’re nearing the end and we’re not happy about it. We want more.
Fitz and the Fool, book 1
Realm of the Elderlings, book 14
Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown.
And here we are at last: The final installment of the Rain Wilds Chronicles in which we see dragons return to Robin Hobb’s fantastic world. It’s been an exciting experience reading this book and learning about how dragons function in this world and who exactly the Elderlings are.
Blood of Dragons wraps up the Rain Wild Chronicles while leaving some plot threads untouched, hinting at more to come in other books. My buddy-reader for Hobb’s books, Emily at Embuhlee liest, and I plan to jump into the next stack of books – Fitz and the Fool trilogy – soon. But for now, here are my thoughts on the last installment of the Rain Wilds Chronicles.
Rain Wild Chronicles, book 4
Realm of the Elderlings, book 13
The dragons’ survival hangs in the balance in the thrilling final volume in the acclaimed River Wilds Chronicles fantasy series.
Hey y’all!! Something great happened: Dani invited ME to do a guest blog post on her blog Perspective of a Writer!! 😀
As the title of this post indicates, I wrote about fantasy characters who I’d love to go on a quest with. And, unable to help myself, I wrote all about Robin Hobb characters!! Hahahaaa…!! It was such fun brainstorming the characters and thinking of a quest to go on with them.
Go ahead and check out my guest post over on Perspective of a Writer. I hope it’ll get you interested in trying some of Robin Hobb’s books.
BTW, check out this gorgeous portrait of the Fool that Dani found:
The portrait looks almost exactly as I imagined the Fool when he became Lord Golden in the Tawney Man trilogy (my favorite of Hobb’s books).
According to the artist, she used David Bowie as her reference when creating this portrait. It’s spot on. I think she did a great job. Visit her DeviantArt page to see more of FloorSteinz’s Robin Hobb-inspired work.