Avid book reader. Lover of fantasy, contemporary fiction, short stories and non-fiction. This blog is a work in progress - and it will likely always be that way.
For me, Robin Hobb was one of those authors I just had to get around reading. How can I call myself a fantasy fan without having read Robin Hobb?! So I had to get my act together, and now I'm just wondering why it took me this long.
I really enjoyed the start of this series. I can't really look at this as 'just a book' though, I've always looked at it as the start of a long series. But it introduced a lot of really enjoyable characters, a mental magic system that looks interesting (and had me scratching my head already a bit - apparently I had my Skills and Wits all mixed up).
To me, there are two things that make this book so good:
The first is definitely the characters. Robin Hobb got me wrapped around her finger here. I got very protective about young Fitz, I'm curious about Patience, I feel grateful towards Verity, I adored the Fool, I wanted to take a long stare in Burrich's eyes to see what he was up to and then there were a few people I just wanted to kick (metaphorically, I'm not really the violent type).
What more can you ask from an author when it comes to character-building?
The second is that Robin Hobb is an excellent writer. I can imagine that some people would be put off by a slow start, but I enjoyed it. The first couple of chapters are like reading Fitz' picture albums: Fitz being left at the keep, Fitz as a kid running around near the harbour with his dog and beggar friends, Fitz getting teached and finding his way, learning who to trust and who not.
The story is told in the first person, which I found very refreshing within the fantasy genre. Not every writer could pull this off, but Robin Hobb most certainly does.
This book is 4,5 stars for me, and a book I can definitely recommend.