Book Reviews

Book Review: Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb (1999).

Liveships! This novel brings the reader into a luxurious fantasy world to a place known as Bingtown. Where families of ancient lineage have fought and worked o survive in an extremely difficult time. Deals have been wrought amongst Rain Wild Traders, who have come from the Rain Wilds, and those who have made the port of Bingtown, their home. These deals and agreements must still be honoured by today’s descendants and debts must be paid, by gold or by blood. After all, a ship carved of Wizard Wood was never going to come cheaply.

Robin Hobb has indeed out done herself once again with the creation of so many wonderful characters that its difficult to decide on a favourite. Or even one that I look more than the others! Although Althea has admittedly stolen my heart. She has courage and determination and I think that is what I found most appealing about her. That and her strength living in what is predominantly a patriarchal business. Wintrow, on the other hand holds a different kind of strength, and his character is also very appealing. He has strong convictions and tries his hardest to remain true them even though he is put through so much turmoil vey young. It hard not to look at this character without a little bit of awe. Who else could withstand losing a digit without a sound?

As always, this is a well written novel with intelligent prose and amazing storyline’s. The idea that a ship can potentially have a life of its own in a way so unusual keeps readers engaged throughout. Not to mention the curiously tantalising snipits of information focused on the serpents who appear to be trailing behind most Slaving Vessels. Do they follow merely for the predictable food source or is there truly something much more?

I have to admit I have truly enjoyed this first book in the Liveship Traders Series, authored by the fabulous Robin Hobb. I would recommend it to young adult readers and older, who enjoy adventure and intrigue within their fantasy. I give this book a 10/10 star rating.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb (1997). The Farseer Trilogy Book 3.

Amazing! Utterly amazing! Yet again I have felt myself fall deeply under the spell that is FitzChivalry and Nighteyes, as they save the world from destruction. Fitz, not fully recovered from his “near-death” experience, finds himself alone but for Nighteyes, and must decide what he should now do with his life. Running with the wolf a time allows him to ponder and decide that he would rather be man than something in between , and that Regal must die at his hands. But nothing comes to Fitz as easy as he first plans it, and his attempts are thwarted by Regal and his own mistakes at underestimating his opponents. Fitz finds himself in danger yet again and it is during that this time Verity intervenes and ensures that Fitz puts his self set task aside, and bids him to “come to him”, where he is, far beyond the mountains. Unrelenting Regal makes sure that this task is most difficult for Fitz also, and is the cause of grievous injuries.

By the time Fitz begins his quest beyond the mountains he is joined by a unlikely company, consisting of Queen Kettricken, the minstrel Starling, the Fool, of course Nighteyes and a strange old woman by the name of Kettle. Together they face the Skill road and attempt to reunite with the estranged King Verity who continues his search for Elderlings to help him win the war against the Outislanders and their Red Ships and Raiders.

I fell in love with this tale during the first book. The story is written so well that as I read I feel what the characters feel, the emotions rent are so strongly infused that it’s impossible to keep a dry eye in some places. The writers style is such that everything is easy to visualise in ones minds eye. The relationship between Nighteyes and Fitz is a wonder to read, the way they communicate and the feeling engrained in the way the author writes. The series is one that remains with the reader long after the last page is turned. I recommend this book for young adults and older and give it a rating of 10/10. 

As a series, I feel that I have still yet to find better. I give it a rating of 10/10.

Thank you Robin Hobb. The Six Duchies will live forever in your readers.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Assassins Apprentice, by Robin Hobb (1995). The Farseer Triology – Book 1.


Robin Hobb is one of my all time favourite authors and has created an amazingly moving tale in The Farseer Trilogy. Assassins Apprentice is the story of How a young boy becomes in service to his King, being educated in the arts of killing invisibly. FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard son of Chivalry, the King-in-waiting, although is not known about until he is given over by his maternal grandfather to his fathers people to raise when he was only small. Fitz never meets his father and it is Burrich, Chivalry’s man and Royal Stable Master, who cares for him giving him a place to sleep and ensuring he was fed. King Shrewd, who is also Fitz’s uncle, deems the boy to be an asset to the crown and therefore brings him into them old early, making Fitz a sworn Kings man.
True to his word Shrewd sees Fitz is educated in the way of a prince to the dismay of his youngest son Regal, with certain elements detracted as fit for a bastard and the addition of some questionable lessons. Chade, the Kings current assassin being the main contributor of his extra curricular activities, and later Galen who teaches him the Royal magics of the Skill. Fitz also shows an affinity for something called the Wit. A gift that allows the user to communicate and form bonds with animals. It is looked upon as an evil form of magic and many ugly stories have formed about those who use it. However, this does not deter Fitz and he forms at least two memorable bonds with animals in this fantastic novel.
The characters in this novel are depicted so clearly that I can almost see them when I close my eyes. The town of Buck, with its stone paved roads and buildings the high walls of the keep, is all described so clearly and beautifully that I could almost walk the streets myself and find my way as easily as the characters in the story. An emotional rainbow is felt for each character, but I found my heart soar when Fitz does when he is running with Nosy, and my heart break when Smithy is murdered. But the ending and the last sacrifice Nosy made made heartfelt tears stream from my eyes.

I have truly enjoyed Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb. It isn’t the first time I have read this book and sunk deep into the fantasy world where the Skill and the Wit are forces of magic that exist, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy novels from the age group of young adult up. Fantastic read that left me aching for the loss of a dear friend. I give this book the rating of 10/10 stars.

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