Author Exploration: Robin Hobb

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I wanted to talk about one of my favourite authors, Robin Hobb. This is actually the pen name of Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden, who also writes using the name Megan Lindholm. I am going to be talking about the books penned using the name Robin Hobb. Under this pen name, she has written 19 books, 16 of which make up the Realm of the Elderlings series,  as well as some short stories. She first published under this name in 1995 with the publication of Assassin’s Apprentice. Hobb writes adult fantasy with a focus on characterisation and world building. I won’t be going into any plot details because I don’t want to spoil anyone. Let’s get started.

 

The Realm of the Elderlings: Covers illustrated by Jackie Morris
Soldier Son trilogy:

 

The Farseer trilogy
Originally published in 1995, 1996 and 1997, this is the first trilogy in the Realm of the Elderlings series. We are introduced to FitzChivalry Farseer, known as Fitz, who is the central character and narrator. I have to admit that it took me a little while to get into the first book, but once I’d got roughly half way through I was hooked. In this trilogy we are introduced to the Six Duchies, although we spend most of our time in Buckkeep. We are also introduced to two magic systems; the Skill and the Wit. The first is basically the use of telepathy to communicate with others who are Skilled or influence other peoples emotions. The Wit is the use of telepathy to communicate with animals and possibly form a bond with an animal. These are very basic explanations of each system to give you a vague idea of the unique magic in this trilogy and series overall.

 

The Liveship Traders’ trilogy
Originally published in 1998, 1999 and 2000, this is the second trilogy in the Realm of the Elderlings series. As I understand the events in this trilogy occur at the same time as the Farseer trilogy. While I would suggest reading these books in chronological order, this is one place you can start if you didn’t want to start with Assassin’s Apprentice. In this trilogy we follow the Vestrit family in Bingtown. Once again the writing in these books is fantastic and the new characters are wonderfully written. There are definitely a few characters in this trilogy that frustrated me a lot, but I think that really showcases Hobb’s ability at writing characters.

 

The Tawny Man trilogy
Originally published in 2001, 2002 and 2003, this is the third trilogy in the Realm of the Elderlings series. We are back with Fitz for these books, although some years have passed since the Farseer trilogy. We get to explore more of the world and are introduced to new characters. This is probably my favourite trilogy of the entire series.

 

The Rain Wild Chronicles
Originally published in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, this is the fourth series in the Realm of Elderlings and the only one that isn’t a trilogy. In this series we get to explore the Rain Wilds, a territory that we haven’t really seen before this. We also start to learn more about the dragons in this world. I would say that this is the weakest series overall, but the books are still fantastic. I personally felt that it dragged in places throughout the four books and I wasn’t the biggest fan of some of the character arcs. These are only minor complaints though. This is the only other series I would suggest starting with, although as I said early I would recommend reading them chronologically.

 

The Fitz and the Fool trilogy
Published in 2014, 2015 and 2017, this is the fifth and final trilogy in the Realm of the Elderlings series. It is set many years after the events of the Tawny Man trilogy and we are back with Fitz for the final time. I thought this was a wonderful conclusion and I cannot recommend these books highly enough.

 

Soldier Son trilogy.
I have only read the first book in this trilogy so I cannot comment on the other two books but I’ll be sharing some thoughts on the first book. As with all her other books the characters and world are wonderfully written. I loved the setting of the school and I really enjoyed the plot. The pacing is slow but it rarely dragged. My main issue was my frustration with the main character, Nevare. I just wasn’t a fan of him. Other than that, I had no real issues. I think I may revisit this at some point because I’m such a big fan of Hobb and I want to give it another chance, but we’ll see.

 

Robin Hobb’s strength is creating detailed and complex characters. Each of her books are very character driven and she does an incredible job at developing the characters. You can clearly see how her characters have changed over time, which makes her books so enjoyable to read. You become invested in them very quickly and become so absorbed in their stories. Within these 17 books are wonderfully written characters and ever changing relationships. The strength of her characters are one of the main reasons I love her books so much. Due to this, her books tend to have a slow pace, because the focus is more on the characters then, say, action. Do not go into her books expecting a light, fast-paced read. The worlds she creates are also incredibly complex and full of amazing detail. The short stories are well worth a read too, as they add more depth to the world. The Realm of the Elderlings series is incredible and if you are a big fantasy reader then you need to check these books out.

 

 

That’s all I have for today. I hope you liked this post, it took me quite some time to complete :). Have you read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

 

Pippa

 

 

 

 

TTT: Books By My Favourite Authors I Haven’t Read Yet

TTT-Big2 (1)
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.This weeks topic is books by my favourite authors I haven’t read yet. I will read these books at some point but I haven’t managed to get to them yet. Let’s get started.

 

 

Hopefully I’ll get to this books soon. High on my priority list are Tigana and The Reindeer People. What books by your favourite authors do you still need to read? I’d love to know. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

TTT: Favourite Author

TTT-Big2 (1)
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.This week I’m going a bit off topic. We’re supposed to be sharing our favourite reads of 2018 so far, but I’ve already done a post about that, so I’m going to be sharing my current favourite authors instead. I am also going to share one of my favourite book or series by each author, as well as a book by each author that is on my TBR. Let’s get started.

 

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. I’d love to hear who your favourite authors are right now. Have you read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

TBR: Female Authors

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. So I was wondering what to post about and after realising that the majority of books I’ve read so far this year are written by men, I thought I’d share some books I want to read by women. Of the 29 authors I’ve read so far this year, only 9 of them are women, so I’ve got ten women authors on my TBR to share with you guys. The first five are new to me and the other five are authors I’ve already read one or more of their books, if that makes sense. Let’s get started.

 

 

That’s it for today. There are more female authors I could share but I thought 10 would be a good number to share. Have you guys read any books by these authors? Let me know if you have any recommendations for me. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

The Author A-Z Tag

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As I mentioned in an earlier post I’m running low on blog post ideas and to be honest I’m feeling a bit unsure about my blog at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing this and I am so grateful to everyone who supports this blog. It’s just that my views haven’t been the best and I haven’t been getting as many as I have done in past months. Anyway, today I have a tag for you guys. I’m basically going to be sharing an author for every letter of the alphabet and I’ve added in my favourite book by that author. This tag was created by the lovely Jen Campbell and you can check out the original video here. Let’s get started

 

I have read and loved books by all of these authors and would highly recommend checking out the books I mentioned for each author. Did you spot any of your favourite authors in my list? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Cover Wars Wednesday

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would try something a little different and take part in the weekly bookish meme, cover wars Wednesday (created by Book is Glee). Basically I am going to be comparing the different covers of one book and I thought what better book to use then my first five star read of this year, Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay. I loved this book so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share it with you guys.
I’m not a fan of the cover on the left, but I really like the two others. The paperback I own has the cover in the middle, which is probably my favourite. There’s something about people on the cover that never works for me. I think the other two work better in terms of the book itself too, if that makes sense. They give a better feel of what the book is.
The German edition is definitely my favourite – it looks amazing. I think I like it even more than the English edition. The Italian and French editions are similar to the middle English edition. I’m not a big fan of the Spanish edition but it’s not too bad. It’s so interesting to see all the different cover designs, whether it’s just different editions or different countries. I think all of these covers are great in their own way.

 

Anyway my favourites are definitely the middle English one and the German edition. Which one do you like best? I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Seriously it was so good. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Words That Make Me Want To Pick Up A Book

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some key words that will immediately make me interested in a book. We all have certain things that make us what to read books and I have quite a few things that attract me towards books. Sorry for the long title but I couldn’t figure out a way of shortening it :). Now these don’t necessarily mean I will definitely pick up the book but these words will make me intrigued to check it out. Let’s get started.

 

General:
  • Hidden identities
  • Mythology
  • Strong group of friends
  • The author

 

Fantasy:
  • East Asia inspired
  • Animal companion
  • Strong female lead (especially if she’s good with a bow)
  • Great world building
  • Assassins

 

Historical fiction:
  • WW1 and WW2
  • Ancient China

 

Other things that may sway me to pick up a book include beautiful covers and/or a recommendation from someone I trust. I’m sure there are more but I can’t think of them right now :). What words or phrases make you want to pick up a book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa