I don't really have any criticism for this book. It was very easy to lose yourself in the world of the Six Duchies and the story of Fitz, the royal baI don't really have any criticism for this book. It was very easy to lose yourself in the world of the Six Duchies and the story of Fitz, the royal bastard. A good friend of mine forced me to read this because he loves it so much and I can honestly see why now. I would recommend this to any fan of good fantasy. The world is deep and rich in history. The characters are the same and so imperfect they were believable, it's very easy to create Mary Sues in your stories, and Robin Hobb has not even come close to that. And she really does make you love the dogs in the story. The story itself weaved itself around the characters and settings to the point that, whilst pointing at something, would hide it so well that when the twist finally came to light, you were surprised by it and not expecting it. Good plot twists! It didn't thrust anything in your face, it was subtle and enjoyable. Therefore, I can't give it any criticism.
As an aside, Jhaampe reminded me of Munchkin Land, and Galen reminded me of the bad guy from Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. ...more
The sequel to Assassin's Apprentice, and second in the Farseer trilogy. Yet again, Robin Hobb weaves her magic across the Six Duchies, further developThe sequel to Assassin's Apprentice, and second in the Farseer trilogy. Yet again, Robin Hobb weaves her magic across the Six Duchies, further developing the subtle story of the Farseer trilogy, and creating these characters with such depths that they annoy us, yet we fall in love with them, and hate them. Well, that's how it goes for me anyway. And my God I hate Regal. Hate. He's a phenomenal bad guy.
I also wasn't sure whether to take a quick break after this one before picking up Assassin's Quest, but Hobb has perfected that ending. It's not a cliffhanger in an annoying way, but she definitely hasn't closed the story and it has left me with this hunger to read the next and see what happens. What happens to everybody in the end? The way she writes, will we even know what happens to everybody? I'm a little dubious that the story will be left open. Not in the way that a film is left open to make way for a sequel, but in the way that a true artist will let your mind fill in the gaps for yourself.
Hobb is definitely what I think fantasy should be, and I can only hope that other fantasy authors I have yet to read are as diverse and subtle as she is....more
How to review this without spoilers... That's quite a difficult one isn't it. Reviewing the last in a series without spoiling the ending because all yHow to review this without spoilers... That's quite a difficult one isn't it. Reviewing the last in a series without spoiling the ending because all you want to do is discuss how everything was wrapped up, what you thought of the way such-a-body acted, what was sad, what made you smile. I guess I can safely say that Hobb is fantastic at letting her story fall into place. Giving justice, sadness, and happiness in equal measures, ending her story as it began - balanced. And to me, it almost did come around in a circle, starting the way it began. I think the best literature successfully mirrors itself.
The first half of the novel was a struggle, I will admit. I felt as thought the same times were happening again and again and I almost took a break from it, right in the middle, and then something changed and the story dusted itself off and got going again, and I didn't quite expect it to go where it did. Some things I anticipated all along, some things weren't even trying to be twists, which is fine, not every change in a story should be a twist, but the things that you don't expect, you really don't expect, or perhaps you're given plenty of clues, and you have an inkling, but even so, the twist comes and slaps you in the face, mocking you for missing it so easily.
Hobb is a genius with words, and though I'd probably have rated this one more at 4.5 stars for the first half of the novel, the ending was brilliant and ended the Farseer trilogy perfectly, and so it was closer to 5 than 4, based on the ending and her writing style alone. If you haven't read it yet and like fantasy, I recommend you go and get yourself a copy of Assassin's Apprentice....more
I decided it would be best if I rate these separately even if I am reading them in the omnibus, because they are separate stories.
Sword of Shannara fiI decided it would be best if I rate these separately even if I am reading them in the omnibus, because they are separate stories.
Sword of Shannara finished, whilst I found the narrative way too descriptive of the landscape making it a little too heavy-going, and the perspectives of characters switched a little too frequently, sometimes mid-paragraph, the story was brilliant. I'll give it 3.5 stars, because it was difficult to read but the story was worthwhile. I look forward to reading Elfstones, but for now I need a break!...more
Spoilers for the Farseer trilogy in this review. If You haven't read that yet, don't read this review.
Robin Hobb is probably the only author who managSpoilers for the Farseer trilogy in this review. If You haven't read that yet, don't read this review.
Robin Hobb is probably the only author who manages to write a novel that can leave me thinking, "That was fantastic! So well written! But not very much seemed to happen." That is the beauty of her books. They are so driven by the characters' stories and the writing that the plot can be as slow as it wants, and the book will still be brilliant.
Fool's Errand again follows the perspective of FitzChivalry Farseer, except 15 years on from the end of Assassin's Quest. He has been living away from society in a cottage with his bond wolf, Nighteyes and an abandoned boy called Hap, short for Mishap. It doesn't take long before duty calls and he has to aid the Farseer crown once again. The characters are bright and interesting, as I've come to expect from Hobb, and there are hints of bigger things to come, which I can't wait to see unfold in the next two books (which I'm very glad I picked up at Christmas).
I found this one a lot easier to read than the previous trilogy as not only does the writing seem improved, which isn't something I expected to say, truth be told, but although it had its' moments, Fool's Errand was much less depressing than the Farseer trilogy was. It doesn't feel like a fantasy story in the typical sense. There wasn't a hell of a lot of action, and I don't recall any real twists, yet it still excels as an epic fantasy....more
I didn't even have to think about the rating for this one. I haven't been this hooked on a book since I read Harry Potter and that was a fair few yearI didn't even have to think about the rating for this one. I haven't been this hooked on a book since I read Harry Potter and that was a fair few years ago. The Final Empire has easily moved up to being my favourite book. It wasn't perfect, of course, but it was enjoyable.
Brandon Sanderson weaves between the characters Kelsier and Vin, building them up so well that you do become quite emotionally invested. If a book can make you laugh and cry and frown and smile and all of those things with the turnings of the story, it is a good book. This one did exactly that.
I found that I worked a few things out fairly early on, but the story's twists and turns constantly proved me wrong and left me surprised. Another brilliant feat for a good book. The ending itself was really one of those kick yourself moments, but my god I was shocked by it.
I love the characters in this story. Sazed the Terrisman steward is absolutely fantastic (and oddly reminded me of Iggy from Ergo Proxy). Vin is an amazing female lead, and Kelsier is a loveable male protagonist. The world building in this novel left me able to imagine exactly how everything must look in quite some detail without leaving me bored. I love the mists, and the ashfalls, and the way "magic" works in Mistborn.
Sanderson has set us up well for a good trilogy, leaving a fair few things open, whilst ending the book well enough to not be too annoying a cliffhanger. I'm officially a fangirl - without all the creepy obsessiveness....more
I started reading The Name of the Wind when I first bought it about 4 years ago (I think it was about that.. perhaps closer to 3 and half *shrug* doesI started reading The Name of the Wind when I first bought it about 4 years ago (I think it was about that.. perhaps closer to 3 and half *shrug* doesn't matter), in fact, it was the last book I was reading before I stopped reading for a few years, which perhaps left an impression on me that it wasn't a great book, but honestly, I read upto the part just before Kvothe meets Chronicler, which can't be must past page 60. Those first few chapters feel very disjointed, as you're following the story of an innkeeper and his student, but there is clearly more to them than at first glance. And so it goes on, leading you into a "what the frick is going on here?!" mindset, which I think when you barely feel like reading and you're sat on a train is difficult to shake. This does kind of break off after page 200 or so, but those first 200 pages had me wanting to put the book down so many times, I just kept pushing on.
After page 200 or so it does really pick up. I love the layering of the telling of the tale, and the tale itself. I felt that was very well done, and the idea that he would take 3 days to tell his story really sets up well for a good trilogy. Once he gets to the University, the story becomes fun to read. There wasn't really much change in pace or events, but it really did improve a lot. And as for the "this is like Harry Potter for adults" comments - I don't really see it. I suppose that comes from my not liking to compare one good thing to another good thing for fear of ruining one of the good things out of comparison, and becoming disappointed that there isn't an owl called Hedwig in it. Sorry for the spoilers, but Hedwig isn't in The Name of the Wind. This is a fantastic fantasy novel, it's not fair to pin Rothfuss up against another novel that is completely different to this one. His imagination is brilliant and I loved the magic system in place, and the creatures and colours and buildings described. Excellent world building. And such a way with language!
The story is wrapped up as well as you could wrap up something that is so clearly laid out to be written as a trilogy. Many people he said how the story seems to just stop, but now I see why, and if it had wrapped up really well, the way most trilogies do, I don't think it would have worked as well. My thoughts regarding this book, overall, were, "Wow. If this was the foundation for the story, how good are the next two books going to be?! And will there be a sequel series?" I don't see a reason why not. This trilogy is the life story of Kvothe, as far as we are aware. What's to stop Rothfuss from creating further novels based on the later life of Kvothe, or Bast, or perhaps somebody else entirely in the same world? Because it would work. It's a shame that the third novel won't be available for a while, but I am glad I waited this long to finally read it, and I did read it at the perfect time. I can't wait to see where he goes.
Originally, I planned to give it a 3.5 rating, because there were so many times I wanted to put the book down for a bit and pick up the next Mistborn book, but I'm terrible at giving books a break. I knew it might be a long time before I picked it back up, so I kept with it, and I'm so glad I did. I'm still a little torn over whether it deserves a 4.5 or a 5 star rating, because 200 odd pages of wanting to put a book down is a very large chunk, but I really think the rest of the novel picked up enough. On Goodreads, it's a 5. ...more
Honestly? I was just a little underwhelmed. I'd really become overhyped on The Final Empire because I found it so utterly fantastic I started to fangiHonestly? I was just a little underwhelmed. I'd really become overhyped on The Final Empire because I found it so utterly fantastic I started to fangirl a little bit. The Well of Ascension took way too long to happen. The entire novel was hinting at the main plotline and focusing on other things and I found myself bored way too often, having to force myself to keep reading. And you know? I was going to give this book a 3 star rating. Not terrible, but nowhere near Final Empire stands. It was the ending that really saved this book. Finally, the story the book was named after shone through the warring and politics and things seemed less hopeless, and my interest was captured again. Not soon enough to save my opinion of the novel as being "okay, worth reading if you liked the first one, but if you didn't don't bother", but enough to crank it upto a 4 star rating.
The shocking events that had me in tears (shutup, I get emotional with these things) in The Final Empire barely impacted me in The Well of Ascension. The point of view, whilst I see the sense in flickering between people, perhaps flickered between too many characters, to the point that some scenes felt a bit damp as a result. If they'd been shown from somebody else's point of view, I think they'd have had a lot more impact.
Although, that being said, I did not see those last 30ish pages coming. I can be quite slow to notice twists, and I suppose one of them I had picked up on earlier on and then forgot about, but the big one - did not see that coming. Well done, Mr. Sanderson for renewing my faith in this series at the last minute!
Edit: Changed my mind on the rating. Though I loved the ending, I think this one deserved a 3 overall....more
As Naithin said, The Hero of Ages started out much better than The Well of Ascension, and was generally a much more well-written novel. Though the thiAs Naithin said, The Hero of Ages started out much better than The Well of Ascension, and was generally a much more well-written novel. Though the thing that really bothered me was how much repetition Sanderson seems to use. He really likes to hammer certain points home to the point that by about halfway through the novel I was sat alone on the sofa shouting at the book in my hand saying, "Yes! I bloody know all of this you tell us every damn time we meet that character. Get to the sodding point already!" Luckily, in the last 200-300 pages, that becomes a much less prominent point to the writing and with the annoying repetition gone, I once again found myself as gripped as I was in The Final Empire, which is what eventually made me decide to give this one a 4.5 star rating. If it wasn't for the repetition, and the whiny, droning on through the novel, it would easily have been a 5. I know the whining was appropriate, but a novel needs at least a little hope, else it becomes a struggle to read. This is actually something I considered - why books 2 and 3 weren't as good as book 1. They didn't have Kelsier. He gave the story a little bit of light, some humour. Without him, the characters just didn't seem driven and the narrative wandered off somewhere. The story doesn't grip me when everything seems hopeless, even though I'm well aware that a well loved author wouldn't write a story in which everything and everybody died, because that really would suck, but still, I'm sure you understand my point.
There were a heck of a lot of moral messages paramount in these novels which really hit home in this book. There's a lot about religion, about having hope, which didn't really affect me so much as I'm not all that religious, but this is a prominent part of the story, and the idea that it's hope, not belief itself, that helps people through tough times is a pretty good moral message to put in there, I think. There was also another one I noticed, which I'm not even sure was intentional, but the more I read fantasy, the more my view on capital punishment changes. I used to believe that for really bad crimes it was a good thing but lately my view is changing. Sure, if it's going to save people, I agree with it, but otherwise, this underlying message seems to say, "Who are we to choose when people should and shouldn't die, does that make us any better than murderers?" I'm not convinced it was intentional, but it's there.
All in all, a series well worth a read. I've heard that The Way of Kings is a lot better than these books, so I can't wait to eventually get my hands on a copy of that one....more
Obviously a classic, I had the separate books listed before but decided I'd rather list them as the one book. (No pun intended). As that is how I origObviously a classic, I had the separate books listed before but decided I'd rather list them as the one book. (No pun intended). As that is how I originally read them, and how they were originally intended. The cover's wrong, I have Gandalf (John Howe illustration) on my copy, but it's the right edition. I read these books when I was about 13 or 14, and though I remember loving them, I would like to read them again sometime. We will see when....more
Did I really just read a 1,000 page epic fantasy novel in 2 weeks? Wow. I expected that to take me a month, but see, that's the thing with Patrick RotDid I really just read a 1,000 page epic fantasy novel in 2 weeks? Wow. I expected that to take me a month, but see, that's the thing with Patrick Rothfuss. He is such an utter genius with words that you can't help but be completely drawn in by them, completely tantalised in the story. There is a story on the cover jacket from Ursula Le Guin that sums it up much better than I could, and she is spot on: "It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing not only with the accuracy of language that is essential to fantasy-making, but with true music in the words as well. Wherever Pat Rothfuss goes with the big story that begins with The Name of the Wind, he'll carry us with him as a good singer carries us through a song." I have a feeling this is a quote from the Name of the Wind jacket, but I believe I might well have a first printing of that one so there aren't many quotes on my copy.
The characters who we already know from The Name of the Wind have been developed a little further. Wil and Sim have a lot more character to them than they did in book one, and I found myself really despising Denna. The newer characters to the story are a lot more well built than sub-characters in the first book. It's nice to see Rothfuss' growth as a writer in that sense.
As for the story, I found myself utterly enthralled in parts, and a little bored in others. However, Rothfuss never seems to fail to bring my attention back with a change in pace, perhaps an interesting conflict thrown in, sometimes even a change in scenery. That is what keeps the story feeling fresh and enjoyable to read, and that is why The Wise Man's Fear is as good as, if not a little better than, The Name of the Wind. ...more
I took so many notes for Clash of Kings that I'm confident my review is going to be just as long as my Way of Kings review. I think I had somehow letI took so many notes for Clash of Kings that I'm confident my review is going to be just as long as my Way of Kings review. I think I had somehow let it slip my mind how fantastic George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire world is but now I'll definitely be working through the rest gleefully. And also, finally getting to watch series 2 of Game of Thrones.