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 Post subject: Robin Hobb
PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb , 2005 4:11 pm 
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The Gimli has made himself useful and sent me the third volume of the trilogy. w00t! :banana:

I bought the first two when I was in Toronto...in december 2003. Imagine waiting a year to find out what happens next...

...and then discovering you have to read the first two volumes over. Because you want to enjoy the third to its fullest, with the knowledge of what happened before fresh in your mind.

When I first started reading 'Fool's Errand' I remember I was impressed by how clean and original the language was. There wasn't a single sentence that I felt I'd read elsewhere before. (and I learned a great deal many new words from that book!)

Hobb takes her time, and gives the character time to introduce himself to us. She doesn't start the action immediately, making us feel that outside of the brief adventure of the book, the characters are useless. On the contrary. Fitz's long years of solitude are there, they're not just an interlude that we don't notice. He notices them, he lived them, and so must we. I'm 160 pages into the book, chapter eight, and the setting is still the same. This might seem boring, but it's actually very good, because while Fitz's past is brought back to him, we learn about it. (I haven't read the Farseer books yet. I'm looking forward to them being a sort of 'prequel' for me. :) ) And we don't have the nagging feeling that he must leave soon. We know he has some sort of task to fulfil before this book is over (else, why write about him?) but we don't feel rushed into its beginning.

I also like how carefully she places the information in the book. We don't learn everything straight away, and sometimes we just have to trust her. Sometimes a character is mentioned in passing, and we don't expect them to appear- but they do. Clues aren't revealed when convenient, but when their time comes.

Finally, it doesn't feel as though the events are organised around the characters for purpose of exposure. What happens to Fitz happens because such is the story, coincidence, fate, his life- not because the author needed an event to reveal a weakness or trait of his.

I'm really really impressed by this book. It's not just quality fantasy-the magic doesn't justify it. If you set it in a realistic environment and made changes to suit, it would still be an excellent book.

Now you talk. :P

But if you must talk about Fool's Fate, mark it clearly! I don't want it spoiled for me.

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Last edited by Rodia on Sun 06 Mar , 2005 6:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb , 2005 7:38 pm 
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Did you read the first trilogy of Hobb's that relates to this one? The Farseer Trilogy?
I read that... Im looking forward to Tawny Man but I've been told by hardcore Hobb peoples over on torc that I better read things in order, so Im in the middle of the first book of the Liveship Trilogy (her second one) that I supposedly must finish before going on to Tawny Man :P
I want to know what happens to Fitz (err.. Badgerlock) and the Fool!!!!

Ive taken a hiatus from reading Mad Ship due to reading other stuff... and now I have several other books intruding on my to be read list...

I liked Hobb...not bad at all...though I found the Farseer trilogy a little infuriating at times:P...but addictive enough to finish :D... I still like Kay better :P (surprise!!!!!)

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PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb , 2005 7:58 pm 
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See, I tried reading The Lions Of Al-something but I got lost after five pages. :(

Maybe some day.

I know I'm bad, reading the Tawny Man first, but she writes it in a way that makes it okay, it's not like reading The Two Towers before reading Fellowship, it's a book all on its own. You just have to trust her about certain things- for example I only get a vague idea of what happened before, why Fitz went into exile, why the Fool is so mysterious... but I never actually have to stop and go, wait, what is going on? She gives brief recounts when needed, and they blend in very nicely.

And I'm glad I'm reading this first! It's always cool to find out what the characters you like so much did when they were younger... :D

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PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb , 2005 6:24 pm 
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i read both Farseers and Tawny Man. And love them both.

Farseer more then Tawny Man but Tawny Man made me cry ;)

It's a well written book with a great dose of magic and fantasy but written as if it could be true. truly one of my fave books. the characters are major as well not goody good as heros sometimes are Fitz has become an unwanted hero. that's what i love about him and the Fool, well i have so many quesions about him and somehow i don't want to know the awnser ;)

thank you Ro for starting this thread :love:

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PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb , 2005 7:43 pm 
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Oh, I've cried reading it more than once :hug:. It's got so many ponderings on life, and they're not wisdoms given to us from some nameless oracle, but they're people who really do have problems and have to work them out on their own. Sometimes they don't.

I especially love the part near the beginning, the would-be 'boring' part when nothing has yet happened...when the Fool and Fitz are reunited. Their friendship is ardent, yes, but like a fire in the hearth, not an untamed flame. It's so comfortable.


(and it's starting to influence my bloody language already, darnit, whatever happened to higgledypiggledy something and something and you know.)

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PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb , 2005 8:58 pm 
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:hug: i am very glad i finally read the first series i understand their relationship so much better now.

and like you said it is a comforting thought.

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb , 2005 1:27 am 
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With Lions, or any Kay book for that matter, you have to push past the initially discouraging "too many characters I cant keep them straight dammit" thing... I guarantee you it disappears after few tens of pages, and then its a beaaaauuuuuuuuuuutiful ride...
Lions is glorious...

I like Hobb, but I have some issues with her. Dont want to spoil Farseer since you havent read it but suffice it to say some drastic events were just going too far for me; too unrealistic. The happenings and sometimes their eventual reversals... In Farseer Fitz also annoys me to no end :P He is a real character, no doubt about it, but he is annoying as himself...most of the time entertainingly so...but sometimes... gah. :P

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb , 2005 1:40 am 
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Hehe, The Tawny Man's Fitz has changed, perhaps, because he's very quiet and humble and I can't imagine how he could annoy anyone.

I think I know what you mean by some unrealistic events- is it that there are so many different magics in her world, and so many strange things possible, not only people bonding with animals, but stone dragons coming to life, and Prophets, and Catalysts, and resurrections...

I think she keeps a good hold of all this, despite the variety. I've had to trust her with all this strange information that I only get bits of at the beginning of the book- and somehow I don't have a problem with that. They are nothing like anything I've ever heard before, but I accept them. They fit in.

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb , 2005 6:39 am 
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Ahhh, i've been meaning to start reading Hobb. Only there's this other trilogy of hers that i want to read first, only i can't find it at the library....i tend to think of it as The Assassins trilogy, though i'm sure it's not called that. Might be the Farseer trilogy i'm thinking of here.

Any of you guys read her "The Liveship Traders" books? they don't sound very interesting, but i might change my mind if someone here can recommend them.

Tell me, if the Libraries continue to be uncooperative, are her books worth the cost of buying? ;)

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb , 2005 11:19 am 
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It's called the Farseer Trilogy but all the titles have Assassin in them so no wonder. :P

I HATE HER TITLES... I can never remember whether I'm reading Fool's Errand or Fool's Fate or Fool's Gold...oh, gee, wait, there IS no Fool's Gold, it's a Golden Fool instead.

:bang:

Haven't tried Liveships yet. Need to finish the Tawny Man. As far as I understand, the Farseer Trilogy is what comes before the Tawny Man trilogy. I'm reading it backwards. ;)

And yes, they're worth buying. Well, I say so because 1. I love them 2. I love owning books ;).

I have the Bantam Books edition. Cover art by Stephen Youll, though there's one with John Howe's as well I think. But I'm happy with the Bantam, it's very nicely printed, the font is pleasant, and the chapter heads look like they've been quilled in. :)

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb , 2005 6:35 pm 
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Hi peeg! Dont believe we've met before properly yet... *waves* :D

Ive read the Assasin/Farseer trilogy... I dont own it... but then Im picky :P I am considering owning it... perhaps will decide after I finish Liveship trilogy and go on to Tawny Man.

Im in the middle of the first Liveship book right now. I was reluctant to start them especially since I wanted to go on to Tawny Man and see what goes on with Fitz etc. right after Farseer trilogy... but the folks in the TORC Hobb thread have persuaded me to start liveship. Came highly recommended.
It took me a while to get into... I was specifically concerned about the whole sea-faring pirate theme as I dont tend to do well with those books... the sea-faring jargon alone puts me off as I dont get it :P

Yet Mad Ship is not bad...I would recommend giving it a try. :)

Ro, that is precisely what I mean... the many bizarre magics... :P... and the fact that their reprecussions are so far reaching that they permit things like resurrections... I realize suspension of disbelief is required for fantasy readers... but sometimes I feel she's taking too much advantage of that...
Or things going bad, then worse, then even worse, then worse than worse... then what you think is THE worst... but oh wait it gets worse... but then it all gets switched around anyways and somehow bizarrely returns "back to normal". :P
Kay has some profoundly dismal moments too but I dont feel like he's pulling my leg as much as Hobb does sometimes... his misery and misfortune are more genuine. And dead people actually usually stay dead... :P :oops: ;)

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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb , 2005 11:57 am 
You Tolkien to me?
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Hey Enchie ;) :wave:

Well, like you, i'm picky when buying books....though maybe that's usually because of the state of my wallet. But next time i raid the library i'll be sure to check out Hobb's books. The problem is that they never have the first books of any of her trilogies, dammit. I've almost given up :bang:

As for her titles, i know what you mean, Ro. She could have just called the Farseer Trilogy "Assassins" and The Tawny Man "Fools." And speaking of Fool's Gold, there IS actually a trilogy called that by Jude Fisher, i read the first book last year i think and it was rather good, definetly worth reading even though i've forgotten mostof the details, and......

erm, perhaps that doesn't really belong here ;)

Anyway, can't really comment on Hobb's work cause i haven't read any yet, although i must say, it does sound a little like "typical" fantasy, where the whole world is in trouble by the evil baddy and one little dude (or in some cases, dudette ;)) has to save it. :roll:

Waitasecond......she's not like Robert Jordan, is she? :tired: :Q

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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb , 2005 3:23 pm 
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we have the Tawny man trilogy hard cover (with the fabulous Howe covers) but those are my mother's ;) doesn't stop me from reading them though. i have the pocket version of Farseer but also with the john howe covers.

my mother read lifeships but i have yet to rent the first volume.

Lack of time :roll:

and i don't see her books as typical fantasty PG ;) i thought so at first but there's something that sets it aside. can't quite explain what it is. just left an impression on me :)

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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb , 2005 5:56 pm 
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Noooononononono, peeg...although here's a quote from Fool's Errand.:P

Quote:
"A time or three, it did seem as if what you predicted came true. Though your predictions were aleays so nebulous, it seemed to me that you could make them mean anything."
He swallowed. "It was not my prophecies that were nebulous, but your understanding of them. When I arrived, I warned you that I had come back into your life because I must, not because I wanted to. Not that I didn't want to see you again. I mean only that if I could spare you somehow from all we must do, I would."
"And what is it, exactly, that we must do?"
"Exactly?" he queried with a raised eyebrow.
"Exactly. And precisely," I challenged him.
"Oh, very well, then. Exactly and precisely what we must do. We must save the world, you and I. Again."


So you might say, yes, they are saving the world... but FitzChivalry isn't a random little dude. And saving the world in this case is preserving the reality they know to be best- influencing politics in order to keep a balance. There are threatening fractions and groups, but no Dark Lord ;) and certainly no side can be defined as 'evil', or 'good'. No one is really innocent in those books, and everyone chooses their own goals and sacrifices.

And just the fact that the prophet who speaks in the quote above has a rival to his position...and is self-proclaimed... ;)

For all I know, I could be rooting for the wrong side!!! I'm being given everything from the perspective of the Farseers, but the reality is complex.

;)

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PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb , 2005 5:51 am 
You Tolkien to me?
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well, that excerpt does sound good, at any rate. Ezpecially the part about saving the world, again :LMAO:

I think perhaps i'd read this book just for the character Fitz, he sounds interesting. And i do have this teeny tiny obssession with characters.....i've read some pretty crap books with amazing characters and loved em. :D :D

Prophecy sounds dodgy, though, ever since the farce that was the 5th HP book i've been decidedly suspicious of any prophecy-related book. On the other hand, absence of an Evil Dark lord sounds promising ;)

Quote:
And saving the world in this case is preserving the reality they know to be best- influencing politics in order to keep a balance. There are threatening fractions and groups


If you're saying that, Ro, then it reminds me of this book i recently bought (and loved). Ever heard of Juliet Marillier? She writes Celtic, and her books are absolutely AMAZING.

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PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb , 2005 10:56 am 
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:oops: Nope...never heard...but will store her name away for future reference when I'm looking for a book to read.

Give Hobb a try. Ultimately, that's the only advice one can give another about a book- try it and see.

If there's a problem finding the book in the library, you can always find one of those bookstores that allow people to browse freely, and read the first chapter...it's twenty five pages long.

:D

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PostPosted: Thu 10 Feb , 2005 10:48 pm 
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It should come as no surprise that my first post would be in a Robin Hobb thread. :mrgreen: *hugs everyone* Before I say anything on Tawny Man though, I gotta say to Jae, whatta cat! So fluffy. :love:

I don't even know where to begin. I love Robin Hobb. *looks warily at enchie* More so than Kay actually. But just a teeny bit. :oops:

I second the Marillier suggestion btw. Fantastic writer.

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Last edited by Amarie on Sat 12 Feb , 2005 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu 10 Feb , 2005 11:42 pm 
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I KNEW you'd come here, Amarie!!!:D And what an honour...your first post. I hope many more are to come.

I'm speeding through Fool's Errand. Can't wait to get to Fool's Fate. *rushes*

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb , 2005 4:53 am 
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!!!!

:hug: :hug: :hug: Amarie!!!!!!

Despicable comment... yesh... :rage: .... but Im still immensely glad to see you here :D

I should resume Mad Ship reading, shouldnt I....

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb , 2005 2:48 pm 
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:hug: Amarie!!!!!!!!! nice to see you darling! and thanks ;) she is just that, one big fluff ball :mrgreen:

And i like the prophecies. they are not entirely set and even the white prophet doesn't know exactly what's going to happen. simply love the fact he needs his catalist.

And like Ro said, no one is truly good or evil. they are...human i guess.

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