I've read it three times. Once it was good, twice it sucked, and third time was a charm thanks to the Finnish translator. Hence the average rating ofI've read it three times. Once it was good, twice it sucked, and third time was a charm thanks to the Finnish translator. Hence the average rating of two stars....more
Having reread it in English, I can't remember ever hating Burrich as much as I did on the last pages ofRemains as one of my all time favourite books.
Having reread it in English, I can't remember ever hating Burrich as much as I did on the last pages of this book. Having said that, this time around I'm finding myself disliking Fitz too, occasionally. The self-hate is a bit thick at times and although it works in this book, I'm growing weary of the author's need to repeat everything with the near exact phrases used either earlier in this same book or its prequel.
I read it in Finnish and I loved the trilogy. I remember not being a fan of the slow start, but when the events started to unfold I was captivated.
I fI read it in Finnish and I loved the trilogy. I remember not being a fan of the slow start, but when the events started to unfold I was captivated.
I finished the reread in English.
Things I do to myself. Like reread a book I absolutely loved over a decade ago and spend three days remembering the translated names I hated the first time I around. Or draw comparisons between the main character in this series and the one so similar in Soldier Son that I ended up hating long before I jilted the books.
Some of the pain and suffering that Fitz goes through in his teens, I've grown out of in a way that prevents me from even sympathising with him. And this time, knowing what's coming, I look forward to the ending of Farseer trilogy in a way I never could accept the appeasing in Tawny Man.
I've learned to despise the first person voice more than anything in writing aside from bad grammar. It's a choice that shuts out so many avenues for the author, and makes the brilliant magic's like Old Wit and Skill seem like illusionist's tricks to cheat the audience. But it also works here and solely because of the character Hobb created. Things that others would have missed Fitz noticed, because of his training, and that allowed clues to create unexpected depths for the story. Many things made sense only a hundred pages later after having been first introduced.
It's also one thing that didn't work in Soldier Son and the other being the main character always blaming others for his troubles undeservedly, but enough about that.
I still love this book and despite my reserve, I'm tempted to upgrade the rating. Tempted, only tempted....more
Update: I'm rounding up the rating after the reread.
What kind of ridiculous name is that? That's what I thought when I first read Finnikin of thUpdate: I'm rounding up the rating after the reread.
What kind of ridiculous name is that? That's what I thought when I first read Finnikin of the Rock and marvelled at the fact that he was going to be the main character of the second book. Then I read the ending of Finnikin and decided I didn't care. I decidedly didn't care. I wanted to read Melina Marchetta's books and that was it.
I'm happy to say the gamble paid off. Froi of the Exiles not only deepens the world building (maybe not enough for the severest critics) and further explores other characters, it brings alive Lumatere's greatest enemy: Charyn and its people.
Froi is sent on a mission for his Queen and country, but he ends up finding himself instead. The exile without a past finds out exactly what he's lost. Through a journey that isn't that dissimilar from the one Finnikin and Evanjalin took, Froi finds a home and a family if not, yet, a place where he belongs.
I have my doubts about the love of these two broken people are still developing, but I don't doubt my love for the secondary characters. The brothers who share a face and their lost loves were who I really found myself invested in. Let's just say that Arjuro needs his happy ending. It's non-negotiable.
What was a throwaway remark in Finnikin was also further demonstrated in Froi. Bonding–what the people of Skuldenore call a marriage–is completely asexual. It's part of why I love these books so, but it's not the only reason.
For all the good there's so much more wickedness. It's like the ick factor of Finnikin and the turnside of the war is multiplied in Froi, but the story's set up and the characters ground it and make it believable if not bearable. A word of warning, though. If you can't forgive and look past what Froi did to Isaboe, you most likely won't like what's done to Quintana and others. Many, many others.
It isn't a secret that this book ends with a cliffhanger. I knew it going in and it honestly didn't bother me as much as it would others. What did annoy me, were the very last lines of the epilogue. I didn't need that trick to be revealed. There's very little mystery in these books and all that keeps me reading is the need to find out how it'll happen. The what is easily guessed.
Marchetta's magic is in the words, not in the misdirection and slow reveal of a mystery. What I'm trying to say is that I've read better storytellers, but I've read few authors whose writing speaks to me like hers does.
Oh, and the story behind the ridiculous name is explained as well. I could tell you, but I won't. You'll just have to read the book to find out.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the US publisher through NetGalley....more
It's been many, many years since I first read this book, but I can say that knowing where things were going didn't lessen the impact of the story. IfIt's been many, many years since I first read this book, but I can say that knowing where things were going didn't lessen the impact of the story. If anything, I felt like I understood more this time around, both about the book and about myself.
First person narrative isn't my favourite, but it works here. The old Adson is free to add context without which the reader would be at a loss––unless they're historians specialised in the events of the 13th century–-but also errs onto long byways about religion and beliefs. For a secular person such as myself, these got to be a bit too heavy. The young Adson faithfully describes and narrates the events of that week he and William spend in the monastery watching a murder mystery unfold.
There are many things I disagree with but that are appropriate and even essential to the period and the setting. The role of women and the attitudes towards commoners to name a few. Also, my heart weeps at the thought of a restricted access to any library.
It's an exhausting read even as a Finnish translation and I can't imagine reading it in any other language without losing a part of my sanity, but I know I'll be picking this book up again. So, please, choose your native translation––or the closest to your understanding available--and read this book. Or reread it. Or reread it again. You get the idea. ...more
That much hasn't changed. In all the years since I last read this and things I've learned, I still think theI loved it and the ending most of all.
That much hasn't changed. In all the years since I last read this and things I've learned, I still think the ending is the best part of this book. Of this trilogy. It's where the story should have ended. But more of that later.
I should not reread my favourites. I really shouldn't. I've changed and knowing what's going to happen has changed my view on the writing and the plot, but most of all I have changed. There were times when I actively disliked Fitz while reading the Farseer trilogy and that doesn't bode well for other Robin Hobb books I might read. His whining and self-deprecation and blaming of others for his misfortunes became tiresome this time around. For the love of El and Eda take hold of yourself and do something about it!
And I really thought he did, in the end. He reclaims his life from his King and goes to have wonderful (view spoiler)[Shut up! Hobb didn't see fit to give any details on the contrary so I'm deeming the trips to Near Island, Chalced, Rain River and everywhere else wonderful (hide spoiler)] adventures with Nighteyes and, although it's not quite what he'd wish or picture for himself, Fitz seems to be content. I have hope for him, hope that this quiet life will bring him happiness all the riches of Buckkeep never could.
...and then I read Tawny Man. [Věrka - Don't you dare to read this before finishing the Tawny Man trilogy.] (view spoiler)[Oh, I know that the pain over losing Molly to Burrich cut deep and that Fizt might have learned to live it and move on had he not given the pain to the Girl-on-a-Dragon, but come on. Tawny Man completely undoes any character growth Fitz might have had. Sure he's older, a man then, but sending him back to Molly shows he's not learnt a thing. It shows Fitz is stuck and can not be a functioning human being without a woman who was, is and will always be wrong for him. I thought he deserved better than that, but apparently I was wrong and the raving masses of shipper lunatics have to have their way. Boo! And even if I could forgive Hobb that, I would never forgive her for sacrificing the Fool to the altar of spring love. My only consolation is that Hobb can't ruin the character any further. (hide spoiler)]
And this was supposed to be about the Farseer trilogy.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Takakansi lupaa teoksen olevan “täsmäkirja kuntauudistuksen kourissa kiemurtelevaan maahan”. Ja sitähän se onkin: kirjan alkusivuilla. Heikkisen kritiTakakansi lupaa teoksen olevan “täsmäkirja kuntauudistuksen kourissa kiemurtelevaan maahan”. Ja sitähän se onkin: kirjan alkusivuilla. Heikkisen kritiikki on terävimmillään alussa asetelman luonnissa. Lyhyt kuvaus siitä kuinka Suomi päätyi sisällissodan kynnykselle on hupaisa ja tarkka. Valitettavasti siihen se kosto fantasia sitten jääkin.
Jo muutaman kappaleen jälkeen tarina latistuu syrjäytyneiden sotaintoilijoiden – siis keski-ikäisten miesten – elämän kuvaukseksi. Tuntemattoman Koskelaa ihannoiva Jesse Purola ja Helsingin herroihin kyrpiintynyt Oula ovat pullamössö poikia kumpainenkin. Leluilla ja vekottimilla leikitään, mutta todellisesta sodasta tuskin tietää kumpainenkaan. Maahanmuuttaja Abdi ja pohjoisen räppäri lisäävät tarinan miesnäkökulmaan omat ulottuvuutensa.
Ei naisiakaan ole unohdettu: ei ainakaan porontaljoilta. Ainoa jokseenkin ihmisen oloinen naishahmo kirjassa on toimittaja Aino Riski. Työhönsä tympääntynyt kasvisruokavalionsa kanssa poroalueella kamppaileva tyttö sortuu sitten haastateltavaansa ja katoaa irrallisia lehtijuttuja lukuun ottamatta kirjan sivuilta lähes kokonaan.
Ja kun alun huumorikin uupuu yksittäisiksi anekdooteiksi, ei kirjasta minulle paljon iloa irronnut....more
Fun, light and a quick read romance. As I mentioned before, I wasn't particularly impressed by the author's usage of ellipses, but it wasn't as bad asFun, light and a quick read romance. As I mentioned before, I wasn't particularly impressed by the author's usage of ellipses, but it wasn't as bad as that other author infamous for her awkward pauses and bad writing. Also, there was some rambling included and prolonged sentence structures that made me stop and look back in order to decipher what the author had meant.
But that could just be the non-native English speaker in me talking.
I guess I could spring for four stars since the book fulfilled expectations, but considering how few 5 star books I've read and what I usually consider quality literary entertainment, I think not. ...more
It’s been almost two weeks since I read this book and the overwhelming joy I felt theThis review can also be found on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell-blog.
It’s been almost two weeks since I read this book and the overwhelming joy I felt then has since dissipated. The four stars I gave to The Raven Prince doesn’t seem as appropriate now as it did before. If I were working with half stars, I might adjust my rating, but as I am not, I’ll stick with what I chose.
Because as clichéd as the story was, it was entertaining enough to set it apart from all the three star meh books I’ve read.
I’ve come to expect some level of anachronism from modern historical romances. These books are written for a modern audience and there are things that couldn’t be thought of let alone written two or three hundred years ago that are expected in literature of today. As Scorn pointed out last week, it can be jarring, but if you’re prepared with a hefty dose the patented Suspended Disbelief magic powder you should be just fine. I was.
It didn’t bother me that a widow was working as a secretary for an earl in 1760. It didn’t bother me that said widow chose to further risk her reputation by caring for a sick whore. Neither did it bother me that the same virtuous and overly gentle-hearted widow chose to travel to London and pretend to be a courtesan just to have sex with the pre-mentioned earl. No, that part I actually liked, because I’m a well known fantasy fan, and because I had this feeling of a déjà vu. I can’t be absolutely certain but I think I’ve read those exact sex scenes before. Perhaps in Finnish in a book I “borrowed” from my mother.
Because the powder was working it’s magic I could sit back and enjoy the delightfully rounded characterisations for the main characters and the people around them. There was a sense of who they were, where they came from and why they chose the futures they chose, even if—predictably—the villainess of the situation was left with a little less attention than she deserved.
I liked that Anna Wren, the widow, was a headstrong feminist around the time blue stockings were only becoming a fashion. I liked that Edward de Raaf, the Earl, had real hopes and dreams he ultimately, and painfully, relinquished for something he wanted even more. I also liked he wasn’t one of the stupid heroes who needed to be hit with a sledgehammer in the head to realise the obvious truth.
“Would you prefer swive? Tup? Dance the buttock jig?”
Also, I have to echo Scorn’s spoilery remarks about the ending: (view spoiler)[I saw that a magic-cock-cures-all deus ex machina was coming around the time Felicity started thinking about her red headed child. For me, the only acceptable reason for Anna’s childlessness should have been her husband’s sterility. I’m aware that this happens in real life, that women who aren’t able to conceive with one man do with another, but this particular plot twist has been abused in romances and I would like to see it stop. (hide spoiler)]
To summarise: The Raven Prince fairytale was the best part of the book. Although there was too much sex, it was entertaining and I liked it. Slow start. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more