Robin Hobb's Reviews > A Time of Dread

A Time of Dread by John Gwynne
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it was amazing
Recommended for: Readers of fantasy

Last night, I finished reading A Time of Dread.

I add my standard Caveat. I received this book for free. I do not know John Gwynne.

There was a time when I could devour four or five paperbacks a weekend. Books were shorter then, true, but I think it had more to do with my enthusiasm for the genre. As a teen, I was consuming fantasy almost indiscriminately, reading in every slice of the genre.

Am I older and more jaded now? Perhaps. Certainly, it seems harder to find book that awaken that elusive 'Sense of Wonder' or the need to turn pages despite what the numbers on the clock say.

If you've read any of my other reviews, you know that I detest spoilers. So here is what I can tall you. The story is solid. This is book one Of Blood and Bone. But there were a lot of satisfying arcs here, so I finished the book with the feeling of anticipation for the next one, but not with any frustrations about extreme cliff hangers. The reader knows there is more to the journey, but it feels as if the story stops and makes camp for the night rather than running off a cliff's edge in the dark.

Characters. You know how important characters are to me. There are some top notch ones in here. Not all of them are nice. All are believable. I was never tempted to skip a section because it was from the point of view of a character I couldn't engage with. I enjoyed my time with each of them. Sig and Drem, Bleda and Riv . . . (Oh, you know what else I liked? I could pronounce all the names!)None of the characters felt 'constructed for the purpose of this plot.' They stepped into the story because they had always been there.

There are scenes of battle and blood and mayhem. They are well written, as are the quieter, thoughtful scenes. There are background politics, and other forces at work in the world. The woodcraft and survival skills of the characters made sense. Those things are important to me.

All in all, a very satisfying read that has renewed my faith in the fantasy genre!
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 26, 2019 – Shelved
March 26, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

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message 1: by Greg (new) - added it


Mel (Epic Reading) Wow! This is huge praise coming from you Robin. Had this book but hadn’t read it yet. Moving it up the priority ranking to read soon!

Stephen Richter I too like John Gwynne's Books, His Faithful and the Fallen was the best Epic Fantasy series I have read in a while.

Audrey Mrs Hobbs you need to read the faithful and the fallen saga I think you will fall in love with a wolf in that book.

Edward Great review Robin, so glad you liked it. I can confirm that Dad and myself have been dancing all morning, what a surreal feeling you loved his book! Ed

message 6: by John (new) - added it

John Gwynne Wow, thank you so much, Robin, this has absolutely made my year. Your books have been a big part of my life for so long, it feels pretty surreal to hear that you've read and enjoyed one of mine. Thank you for taking the time to give A Time of Dread a go when your TBR mountain must be scraping the clouds.

Petrik Great review, Robin Hobb! I'm really pleased that you loved this book like I did! :)

@Ed @John: Can I join in the dance? xD

message 8: by Djilan (new) - added it

Djilan Great review! I came across this book after seeing the second book in special edition at Goldsboro. Bought it and of course I had to get the first book as well. Reading this I know I will have no regrets :)

Will.J.R. Gwynne Great review, it is amazing to hear that you enjoyed it. I was part of the Gwynne dance of happiness this morning as well. It feels strange that one of my favourite authors ever has read and liked my dad's book.

Edward Petrik wrote: "Great review, Robin Hobb! I'm really pleased that you loved this book like I did! :)

@Ed @John: Can I join in the dance? xD"

Always room for you, Petrik 😁

message 11: by David (new) - added it

David Good to know!

message 12: by Celtic (new)

Celtic Added to my wish list, thanks. As for that elusive sense of wonder and the need to turn pages, despite... the last fantasy book to do that for me was 'Jade City' by Fonda Lee - recommended.

message 13: by Kaitlin (new) - added it

Kaitlin I am adding this book to my list. Robin Hobb, you wrote some amazing characters that I did not empathize with/disliked at first, but who I was cheering on by book three.

message 14: by Dagmar (new) - added it

Dagmar I love that Rubin Hobb (a writer whose work I adore!) wrote such a solid review of another writer I appreciate. ❤️

message 15: by Yehudith (new)

Yehudith thank you for your review of the book. I enjoyed reading it and you convinced me to read it.

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