Author Addiction: Robin Hobb

author addiction

It’s the first Monday of the month and we’re back with Author Addiction! This is a monthly feature here on Of Dragons and Hearts and on A Fool’s Ingenuity, Becky’s wonderful blog. You can also check out my previous editions with Tessa DareSarah MacLeanLaini TaylorVictoria (V. E.) Schwab, Sarah J. Maas, and Jennifer L. Armentrout.

This month was a freebie so we get to choose our own authors. I’m stepping away from romances for a bit (worry not, though, we’re back with Jane Austen for September!), as I picked a fantasy author, ROBIN HOBB.

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The first thing you probably need to know if we’re going to talk about my love for Robin Hobb is that my husband, A., is a huge fan. I think she might be one of his all-time favourite authors. The number of her books we own is something of a give-away (and there’s a whole trilogy missing from this stack because it’s currently being read by people we’ve forced her books on converted to our cause suggested her books to):

hobb-stack

Look at them, all shiny and matching (well, almost all of them are). I love these covers!

assassins-apprentice-robin-hobbSo A. bought The Assassin’s Apprentice several years ago (I think it was when we started dating? Yep, he confirms that he didn’t read a lot before we met, aww.) and we both read it and fell in love. The story is just so unbelievably well-written and the characters’ personalities so colourful and real and compelling.

I think Hobb writes the best characters in fantasy. There, I said it! Her novels are sometimes really hefty and it takes some effort to get through them but I immediately connected with Fitz, the young royal orphan/bastard who is sucked into the powerful world of courtly intrigue and passed to the royal assassin to be trained as his apprentice.

I’m currently reading her Liveship Traders trilogy – you can check back for my review of The Mad Ship later this week! – but I’m looking forward to reading the Tawny Man trilogy, which is set in the same corner of the world as The Farseer Trilogy, so I’ll meet the old cast of characters again.

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Hobb writes epic/high fantasy, if you’re wondering about that, meaning that her novels are set in a completely fictional world. I’ve said before that I prefer my fantasies to be more subtle, not flashy (let’s say Brandon Sanderson and George R. R. Martin are definitely not on the top of my favourites list in this regard!) and that’s exactly where Hobb excells.

Her world is complex without being bombastic, her character and place names are unique without being unpronouncable, and her magic is awe-inspiring but has a price, a system to it that makes it all the better. This doesn’t mean that her stories lack action – they most definitely don’t but I like that she’s more concerned with her characters than with epic bangs or battles or manly showing off. Have I mentioned that there are also dragons? :)

If I’ve convinced you that you should definitely give Robin Hobb’s novels a try, you can find her here: her websiteGoodreadsTwitter. She also writes as Megan Lindholm, but I haven’t tried those books yet.

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Don’t forget to check out Becky’s post

Have you read any novels by Robin Hobb? If yes, which one was your favourite? If not, did you add them to your TBR yet? :)

Do you prefer character- or action-based fantasy? 

I’d love to hear from you!

  • I met Robin when I was fourteen and was so ridiculously star struck!

    • Hm, I wouldn’t have known what to do with Hobb when I was 14 (I’d only read LOTR then) but it would have been amazing to read her books as a teenager, I wonder how they would have shaped my taste…
      And I think I’d still be star struck if I met her now! :)

  • See, now I’ve learnt about her books (see, I’ve learnt it’s a woman!) and seen how many there are I’m both daunted and want to read. Robin Hobb is a well-known fantasy author, I’ve seen her name all over the place, and I know these covers well, but never actually looked in to reading any. I’m intrigued, though. I love a good fantasy series, and definitely thinking I should give a series a chance. It’s the thought of the time! I have so many different series half finished I need to catch up on them! You have successfully managed to add a whole array of books onto my TBR list.

    I think this is a series (a whole collection of them) that I will be adding to the top of my to buy list. As soon as I allow myself to buy again (which may be sooner than I think, I do have very poor self-control when it comes to books).

    • Oh I know what you mean about series – I’m horrible at this. And Hobb’s books are so chunky! But if you ever find yourself in want of a really good, quality fantasy that will hook you and break your heart a little, go for Hobb ;)

      I’m horrible with banning myself from buying books, too. But I think I only bought Armentrout’s new book in the last 2 weeks so that’s a definite improvement! (I did get one or two off Netgalley and one at the library but they don’t count!) ;)

  • OMG JANE AUSTEN IN SEPTEMBER? I am so there! I will be participating for sure. :D

    I own all three books in the Assassin trilogy and the first book in the Soldier Son trilogy. I have read none of these books. *hangs head in shame* I love the sound of her books, don’t get me wrong, but man…they are long. And I’ve heard that they can be quite dark? Obviously that’s great sometimes but I confess: I am a wimp and sometimes I just want my beloved characters to end up happy in a field of daisies. There, I’ve said it!

    You are clearly a good influence on A. Turning one’s significant other into a reader is like the #1 responsibility of a book lover, imo. ;) When we first started dating my guy was not a big reader either, but he reads a bit more now. He’s actually read Joe Abercrombie’s YA trilogy before I have!

    • YASS join us, we have cookies (digital ones but still).

      There, there *pats Danya on head* This is a safe haven where you shall not be judged on the crazy amount of unread books you hoard at home. You are among your equals (but seriously, I need to attack my tbr with more vehemence…).

      Yeah, Hobb’s books are LONG though if I remember correctly, the Farseer trilogy isn’t THAT bad – but you’re used to UF and YA fantasy, so yes, in comparison to that, they are long. But they are REALLY GOOD! :) And you know I’m the queen of chickens when it comes to dark/scary stories and I loved these so you can rest assured there will be no Martin-style massacres, deeply troubling incest and/or child molesting (seriously, though, why am I still reading/watching Game of Thrones? I’m 95% sure I’ll give up on him before he produces anything new/before the next season of the series).

      Heh, I don’t think I turned him into a reader per se, I just read loads of books (at breakfast, in bed, etc) so he probably felt left out and then discovered books were great? :) I probably raved about something I read and he gave it a try and the rest is history. Now he’s my go-to person for fantasy reads, he reads mostly fantasy though I often manage to squeeze contemporaries that I particularly enjoyed into his schedule (like Eleanor & Park).

      Did Ed like Abercrombie? Has he finished the series yet? I’m still conflicted about the last book; I liked it but didn’t love it like I did with the first two books…

  • Maraia

    Yayyyyy Robin Hobb! I’m so envious of your collection. I own a grand total of none of them, haha. Most of them I’ve read as library Kindle books, because I have to admit, the hardcovers and large paperbacks are heavy!

    Has A. read the Soldier Son trilogy yet? I really don’t know much about it, but I think my dad didn’t like it quite as much (darker, maybe?) as her other series. I mean, I am planning to read it at some point, because it’s Hobb, but I’m curious to know what A. thinks.

    I’m so excited for you to read Tawny Man. I love Fitz, the Fool, and the new characters introduced. You’re right that Robin Hobb truly excels with her characters. I actually agree with you about flashy fantasies. They can be done well, of course, but often they take away from the characters and the story. Robin Hobb’s world is certainly not our own, but it’s similar enough that it doesn’t distract. No matter how amazing the world-building or plot is, I need to love the characters. :)

    I didn’t know that Robin Hobb had a pen name, but the titles are so hilarious, I’m not sure I can take them seriously. :P

    • Yeah these are heavy to carry around. I like the small paperbacks but the print is tiny (my brother, who is currently reading The Assassin’s Apprentice, has complained about this as well). But now that the new trilogy is coming out, A. has been unable to wait for the mass market paperback, hence the large paperback of Fool’s Assassin.

      Yeah A. has read Soldier Son, he liked the series but he also said it wasn’t quite as good as the Farseer or Tawny Man. He said I should skip it (because if I was reading her books in order of appearance, I think Soldier Son comes before Tawny Man!) and just go on with Fitz and the Fool :)

      Yeah and the covers are pretty different, too! :) I have no idea what the books are about but I’m definitely tackling her Hobb books first and only when I run out of those (in about 20 years!) I’ll start thinking about going in for those. :D

      • Maraia

        As far as readability, I think large paperbacks are the easiest for long adult fantasies. They’re so much more flexible. The mass market paperbacks don’t always open all the way, plus there’s the tiny print, as you said.

        I thought Soldier Son was in a completely different world. Did my dad lie to me? Or wait, you just mean publication date. Wow, I really confused myself for a minute, haha.

        Haha, yeah, I don’t think we’ll run out of Hobb originals anytime soon. :D

        • Confession: I crack book spines *hides under the table in shame*. I just can’t justify the use of both hands when I’m reading – I often read at breakfast, for example, and have to hold the spoon/toast with the other hand. :)

          Umm no, I think Soldier Son is something completely different, I’m not sure what the world looks like.

          But yeah, reading one book a year (and she’s still writing them!) would mean I’d finish in about 2030 :D Man that’s a long time!

          • Maraia

            Confession: I don’t really know what that means. People always talk about cracking book spines, but what *is* that? I’m fully in support of reading at breakfast, though! Until I got addicted to crosswords, that’s what I always did.

            Haha, wow, that is a long time. Maybe I should slow down. I’m afraid of forgetting everything, though. I just started Ship of Destiny, but at the rate I’ve been reading lately, it could take me the rest of the year. :P

          • Ok do this: take one of your fat paperbacks, open it at about 100 pages in and open it up entirely, until the back “breaks” in half and touches itself. Like if you open a book just a bit, you get a 30 degree angle, for example; if you open it so it’s flat you get 180; and if you “break the spine”, you get 240 or something. Some people consider this a sacrilege and would have a fit if they saw a “broken” back (that results in those lines along the spine of a paperback).

          • Maraia

            Hmm, I’m not sure I have any unbroken paperbacks. All of my books are very old and have been read loads of times. :D I’ve never cracked a spine intentionally (I didn’t realize that was even a thing until I saw someone mention it on twitter recently), but re-reading takes care of that, I guess!

  • Speaking of reading series, after I finished the Dark Tower – or to maybe throw in between 1 of the 4 of the books left – the next one I have lined up is the Farseer Trilogy :)

    • Man, how long is the Dark Tower?? I haven’t read a single King book (I didn’t even know he wrote fantasy until about 2 years ago and I’m a total chicken when it comes to horror so I avoid it completely) but I’m wary of starting another series of that length – I still haven’t gotten to the halfway point with Robert Jordan! It’s just such a time commitment and I dislike leaving series unread.

      I hope you’ll enjoy Hobb, she’s great (as you probably gathered from my post) but sort of different from your typical epic fantasy.

  • Nicole Hewitt

    Well, you know that I adore Hobb (which is why I came to check this out.) I am all for pushing Hobb’s books on anyone who will take them!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • Yep, me too! :) Though they are a pretty huge undertaking, as each of the series is really long. But they’re totally worth it!

  • Ximena

    Hello!!! Excuse me…¿Where did you get the books with that cover? I only managed to find them in different editions…

    • Hi! I got them all from The Book Depository! :)