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The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince

(Realm of the Elderlings 0.5)

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  5,022 ratings  ·  458 reviews
One of the darkest legends in the Realm of the Elderlings recounts the tale of the so-called Piebald Prince, a Witted pretender to the throne unseated by the actions of brave nobles so that the Farseer line could continue untainted. Now the truth behind the story is revealed through the account of Felicity, a low-born companion of the Princess Caution at Buckkeep.

With Feli
...more
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published February 28th 2013 by Subterranean (first published 2013)
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Popular Answered Questions
Lorrae Stefan I know this is a super late reply, but I just finished this book and need to discuss it :p

The new queen's baby was born under the assumption that he…more
I know this is a super late reply, but I just finished this book and need to discuss it :p

The new queen's baby was born under the assumption that he was Canny's son, but it's said that the baby has a same birthmark as Charger had on his arm, so its clear that Charger was actually the one who impregnated Lady Wiffin.(less)
Jikke Gruwel No, not really. Although it's a great book to read later on, it will probably be to confusing to read as first book. Start with the Assassin books.…moreNo, not really. Although it's a great book to read later on, it will probably be to confusing to read as first book. Start with the Assassin books. There will be a lot of things you won't understand if you won't read those first.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,022 ratings  ·  458 reviews


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Mark Lawrence
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First let's talk about the book - the physical thing. The edition I have is a Voyager hardback and they have gone to town on it. The cover artist, the excellent Jackie Morris, has additional artwork scattered through the text, including two coloured illustrations at the start, and pen and ink work through the body. Each page ends in a narrow scrolled design too. It's a lovely thing.

This is a short book, technically a novella at 38,000 words.

You should be aware when picking this up that it's in a
...more
Petrik
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There needs to be more novella like this.

The Legend of the Piebald Prince was first briefly mentioned in chapter 31 of Royal Assassin. In this novella, we get to see the full story of the legend, which mostly focused on explaining the dark history of the Farseer line long before FitzChivalry Farseer’s storyline and the most important one, it shed light on why The Wit became despicable by the society in the first place.

This is a short book, just around two hours read for me, but within 160 pages
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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Excellent fairy tale retelling with a darkling twist!

Q:
These things I saw and knew. ... But willful she was. And still I loved her. (c)
Q:
I had all I needed there at my fingertips, for I loved her with all my being. (c)
Q:
For now, while I have you, I need no man to share my bed. (c)
Q:
From my mother, I had learned that although all noble ladies must be virgins when they first wed, it did not mean they must be strangers to pleasure. And in that duty I had served my queen well and willingly since bef
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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
I wish Robin Hobb would write more books like this. Well, I wish she would write more books in general, which speaks volumes considering how many she has already written. Her prose is simply excellent; it is so easily to become lost in it. This book tells the tale of a legend that is often referred to in the Farseer books. So, it’s great to see the story in depth, as it adds a sense of history to her already remarkable novels.

An excellent backstory

The Witted folk often claim to have a kinship
...more
Mark Lawrence
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First let's talk about the book - the physical thing. The edition I have is a Voyager hardback and they have gone to town on it. The cover artist, the excellent Jackie Morris, has additional artwork scattered through the text, including two coloured illustrations at the start, and pen and ink work through the body. Each page ends in a narrow scrolled design too. It's a lovely thing.

This is a short book, technically a novella at 38,000 words.

You should be aware when picking this up that it's in a
...more
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Excellent fairy tale retelling with a darkling twist!

Q:
These things I saw and knew. ... But willful she was. And still I loved her. (c)
Q:
I had all I needed there at my fingertips, for I loved her with all my being. (c)
Q:
For now, while I have you, I need no man to share my bed. (c)
Q:
From my mother, I had learned that although all noble ladies must be virgins when they first wed, it did not mean they must be strangers to pleasure. And in that duty I had served my queen well and willingly since bef
...more
Phee
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It probably surprises no one that I absolutely loved this. It’s been available for a while but I preordered the paperback version that came out today (30/11/17) to match the rest of my Hobb collection. It was well worth the wait. I read it in one glorious sitting.

This novella is the story of the Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince. Well known to those of you that have read the Realm of the Elderlings books by Robin Hobb. Through the course of that series you hear many tales of the Piebald Pr
...more
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Mini Review: Robin Hobb be like “Niki, you think Fitz and the Fool messed you up, you just wait. Ima gut punch you as many times as possible in under 200 pages.” Piebald prince, my friends, is a bonafide tragedy. It was also poignantly written and starkly engaging at parts, which is exactly what you don’t want in a story that’s setting you up for a throwdown... it has been a month and I’m still not fully recovered. On one hand, it was great to see backstory for why the “witted” are so despised i ...more
Manisha
Actual review: 4.75

“Opinions may have truth in them but that truth must be free of opinions.”

My love for Robin Hobb and her writing continues.

Hobb is an author who knows how to tell a story. ‘The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince’ is a tale continuously referenced in Assassin’s Apprentice, which is the first book in the Farseer Trilogy. It is a historical account of Princess Caution and her son and everything that had befallen them during a time when those who were Witted were known to B
...more
David Sven
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This novella covers the backstory of the Piebald Prince referred to in the Tawny Man trilogy. In the first book of the trilogy, the movement of those "afflicted" with the Wit Magic, calling themselves the Piebalds, claimed legitimacy because the Farseer Kings were said to have been descended from "old blood" through the Piebald Prince centuries before. This is that story.

We hearken back to a time when Wit magic wasn't despised and learn how it came to be hated and why those with wit magic are tr
...more
Damian Dubois
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I have to say that I am a little disheartened that The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince isn't getting as much love as it rightfully deserves. That title alone is simply delightful and deserves a star just for that alone ;)

They say that history is always written by the victor and in a way that is what exactly happens here. The Farseer books showed us the prejudice displayed against anyone showing signs of the Wit and from the tale being told by Felicity, a simple servant and maid in the em
...more
Alex Ristea
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think it's fair to say that at this point I'm addicted.

Some time will go by without reading any Robin Hobb, and I start getting the shakes, dreaming of the Fool, and wanting to go run in the woods alongside Nighteyes.

Now, while this doesn't quite slake my thirst as much as the forthcoming Fool's Assassin will, it's still a welcome adventure.

The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince is a delightful novella looking at the history of these two characters and how the Wit became demonized in the
...more
Althea Ann
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
A prequel or ancillary to Hobb's Farseer series This short novel (very brief, compared to other volumes in the series) takes a point of history referred to in the other books (view spoiler), and fleshes it out, showing how rumor and propaganda can become future generations' accepted facts.

As the title suggests, there's a lot of the fairy tale in this story, which is narrated by a wet nurse's dau
...more
YouKneeK
The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince is a novella set in the Six Duchies from Robin Hobb’s books, long before the events in the Farseer Trilogy. There are some references to this story throughout that Farseer Trilogy, but this novella tells the true story behind the legends as witnessed by those who were close to the people involved. It also explains how the Wit came to be so feared and loathed.

I don’t think the story would have much meaning to somebody not already familiar with the sett
...more
manda
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
12 Feb. '17
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Yet again, Robin Hobb reminds me why she is amongst my very few, all-time favourite writers. I decided to read this novella before I dived into my re-read of the main Farseer trilogy. This you don't need to do, as the series stands well on its own without any of its historical context. The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince offers the truth behind many of the distorted beliefs passed as historical fact in the Farseer trilogy, and it's just fascinating to
...more
Alissa
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
The only lie I ever told her was my undoing, and hers, and the Stablemaster’s. Such is the power of a lie given to one you love.
Maija
A great story of one historical event of the Six Duchies, giving some background info about the persecution of the Witted in the Farseer trilogy.
Mili
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-the-book
Short tale, sadly wasnt that interested in what was told. Well thats not true entirely, if you summed it up its awesome to know what actually happend. I did enjoy the writing as I always do but the content was ok.
Kaitlin
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
This is a collection of two novellas, both set in the Realm of the Elderlings but based many, many years before the storyline of Fitz and other Fareseer character we know and love. You could certainly start with these books and they wouldn't spoil anything for you, and I would say they're a great place to 'try out' Hobb. However, I will say if you have read the other books in the Realm of the Elderlings then some of the things Hobb mentions within this will resonate a lot with you and enchant yo ...more
Philip Foster.
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince is wonderful novella which serves as a a prequel to Hobb's classic Farseer Trilogy, illuminating the history of the Six Duchies stories as richly as her earlier story 'Homecoming' (collected in The Inheritance) does for The Liveship tradrers. Homecoming told the tale of the first settlers arriving in the Rain Wilds and how they discovered the lost cities of the Elderlings. This story explains how 'the wit', (the magical bond formed by those who carry it ...more
Emily
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2013
I don't know why I was unprepared for the amount of agony and upset in this novella. From the title, anyone who has read the two trilogies featuring Fitzchivalry could deduce that this has something to do with the Witted, and in Robin Hobb's world, they don't get a lot of happy endings.

Still, even when putting her characters through one hell after another, Robin Hobb writes with a skill that can't be denied. The voice of the narrator simultaneously makes the reader disgusted with her character
...more
Ferdy
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: liked-it, fantasy, novella
2.5 stars

It was an okay read. The characters were fairly good, and the relationship the narrator had with her mum and the princess was done well, but overall it was all a little too predictable and forgettable.
Tim
This book combines two novellas that take place many years before the events in the Farseer Trilogy. However, it is best to read this trilogy first before reading these novellas. Otherwise, you'll have, in my humble opinion, a harder time appreciating the stories and getting into the story, into the context.

--------------------

The Wilful Princess: This story is about a low-born wet-nurse, working at Buckkeep, whose daughter should follow in her footsteps and thus assure a bright future for herse
...more
Barry Mulvany
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely little novella by Robin Hobb. In this we see where the hatred and distrust about Witted people comes from in the Six Duchies. It is not told in the traditional sense, it is more an accounting of what happened from the POV of a wet-nurse/nanny who was involved with all the main participants. The first part is the Willful Princess and the second part to do with her son, the Piebald Prince.

As usual with Hobb, even in a somewhat dry account of what happens you still feel for the protagonis
...more
Stretch's Books
So here it is, 4:30 a.m., and I just finished Robin Hobb's new 183 page novella "The Willful Princess & The Piebald Prince". A story given to tell more of the Farseer lineage. I must say, it's a really well written, entertaining piece of literature. I actually never put it down after I picked it up.

Two reasons the book doesn't get five stars from me. 1: I haven't read any of the other books involving the realm of the Farseer's. I have them, but haven't read them yet. Although, I will be mo
...more
Stefan
Over the years, Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings has become one of fantasy’s most beloved settings. So far, the series consists of three completed trilogies (Farseer, Live Ship, and Tawny Man), as well as the Rain Wilds Chronicles, a four book cycle whose final installment is due out in March. In addition, there are a number of shorter works set in this fantasy universe. The most recent of these is the brand new novella The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince.

It’s best to think of The Wi
...more
FrankieReads
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great short story giving some background and perspective on the royal lineage of the Six Duchies and why The Wit is so hated. Besides the background story which is like a mini-prequal to The Farseer Trilogy, it's just a thumping good story! The main characters are interesting, the drama that ensues is engaging, and I was really drawn into it. I read it because I'm currently reading Fool's Errand, and there were multiple mentions of the Piebald Prince. Since I already had this book, I ...more
Lucille
This was SO sad!
The story of how the Wit magic came to be in the Farseer bloodline, and how it came to be seen as such a negative thing.
I can't say if I *liked* this book, since it is full of flawed character and rather short. But it was a good insight into the Realm of the Elderlings lore and I'm glad I decided to read it before re-reading the Tawny Man trilogy!
Claudia
The story of the Piebald Prince and the events that led later on to the persecution of the Witted. It lacks the passion which usually accompanies RH’s characters, for it is told from the objective PoV of Felicity, the prince’s wet-nurse. Not a must, because it's not that compelling, but interesting enough.
Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
Trigger warnings: Animal abuse

I can’t decide on whether this gets 4.5 or 5 stars?
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75,874 followers
** I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 st ...more

Other books in the series

Realm of the Elderlings (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)
  • Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2)
  • Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)
  • Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, #1)
  • The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2)
  • Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders, #3)
  • Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1)
  • Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)
  • Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3)
  • The Dragon Keeper (Rain Wild Chronicles, #1)
“opinions may have truth in them but that truth must be free of opinions.” 0 likes
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