How highly do you rate Hobb?

Alexa

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I couldn't finish neither the Liveship Traders not The Tawny Man. Not that I didn't like them or want to. I could't find the trilogies in English in Montreal. So, I bought the French translation from Pygmalion edition. I really don't understand them. They translated the first and third trilogy as one and still not finished. I know Fitz is ready to go with the prince Dutiful to kill the dragon and he has his own clan to serve the prince. Well, the voyage is close. The Livership Traders is still on going for me. Althea is back home, ready to fight for Vivacia. But she doesn't know Vivacia was captured by pirates.

In other words, I have finished the Farseer Trilogy and I'm in advanced lecture for the other two. This really drives me crazy, as I couldn't let any volume aside (14 translated) till it was finished. Even when I began re-reading them. :mad:

Hodor can you tell me if there is a lot from the Livership Traders left for me ? I do not dare to ask you about Golden Fool and Fool's fate. I'm afraid they need too many years to finish the translation. :eek:
 

Amber

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I adore Robin Hobb..... but only as Robin Hobb. I utterly disliked her Megan Lindholm books as it happens. They simply did nothing for me in terms of characters.

All three series were great and I would highly recommend them!
 

Darken Rahl

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If anybody still wants to know, "How would I rate Hobb?" At or near the top of the current crop of fantasy writers. She manages to tell a very lenghty story (9 books), that never gets dull. Her characters are multi-faceted and very easy to emotionally connect to. All in all, an excellent writer that I would recommend to anybody who asks my opinion.

Matter of fact, just started the wife on Ship of Magic. I know, Farseer first, but she's a bit picky about her reading, and I thought the sailing might interest her more than the trials of Fitz, even though she would LOVE Nighteyes. If she likes this one, then I'll steer her back to the beginning. I read them out of order, and I would be interested to see if / when she makes the character connection between the series. :D Evil aren't I?
 

nixie

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Hobb is one of favourites, if your going to read them start with Farseer,then Liveship[my personal favourite] then Tawny Man.Fool's Fate is one of the most beautiful and emotional books I've ever read.
 

Sooby

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I read the first series - and utterly adored it. I'd finishes the Carol Berg series and couldn't believe my luck in finding a comparable author to Berg.

I started the Liveship series about 5 months ago - got half way through book two when a real tragedy struck my life- and I found I couldn't finish the series. I just put the book down one day, and I couldn't pick it up again. because my life changed radically within the space of a couple of hours.

I've just started reading again (thanks to this web site) and I'm half way throught the first book of the Tawney Man series - it really I saving me. Thank God for Hobb. Angels do exist - and they write books.
 

Neon

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I too would rate Hobb in my top 3 favorites of fantasy writers. I read Farseer first, but then got caught up in other series before returning to Liveship and Tawny Man. But each book was wonderful, and I definitely recommend Hobb to any fiction/fantasy reader I come across.
 

Jay

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Regarding the types of stories she writes (epic) she is very good. It's arguable IMHO Farseer trilogy is the best completed epic fantasy written since Patricia Mckillip's Riddle Master. Thus far I consider the works by Martin, Erikson, and Bakker ot be superior to Hobb, but when regarding completed series Hobb defintely has a case to have to be incldued amongst the best writers of epic fantasy. When considering other branches of the genre she still cracks my top 50. Looking forward to her forthcoming series.
 

rune

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I just hope that now she's completed such a good series her tallent won't drop off with the new one. I have read the description for her new book and it sounds a bit dull and detailed :confused:
 

Jay

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I just hope that now she's completed such a good series her tallent won't drop off with the new one. I have read the description for her new book and it sounds a bit dull and detailed

To me it sounds like it will be her best work.:) I never understood how detailed correlated with dull, particulary in fantasy which IMHO suffers from a severe lack in enough details or any at all in the bulk of novels.

I'm looking forward to the new series, sounds full of potential to me, it sounds like Hobb is writing a more matured work as her audience matures.

What's the story about, rune ?

You can read various synopsis released in this thread [url=http://www.fantasybookspot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=107&start=0[/url]]HERE
 

Brys

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I don't actually rate Hobb that highly. Yes, the Farseer trilogy books weren't bad, but they weren't spectacular either. Maybe they are one of the best completed epic fantasy series of recent times, but there really isn't much competition for that. Fitz's characterisation is pretty well done, but again, it's not on a level with some of the best, and a criticism I've levelled at other well respected authors (Donaldson) - the other characters are often simplistic. Worldbuilding - here Hobb completely falls down, IMO. Her world is cliched, not well described and generally boring. There's very little imagination here, except for a little in the magic system. And the last book of the Farseer trilogy really didn't work for me - the deus ex machina, and combine that with a deus ex machina being dragons, not to mention the whole series naturally ending at the end of the previous book - just really put me off the series. The first two books were pretty good. But the third book was unnecessary, poorly written, not well plotted and only took away from the series as a whole. Hobb stands as one of the examples that a series doesn't have to be a huge epic to suffer from filler.

Details - that all depends on how they're presented. Presented in a Robert Jordan style infodump is horrible. Naturally incorporated into a series like in Gormenghast, where you learn all about the rituals through natural progression is excellent, as is the Erikson style of being thrown straight into a world you have no idea about. The details should exist - but they shouldn't necessarily be revealed all at once, they need to be a part of a story. That said, I don't think this happens to be one of the flaws in Hobb's writing, her problem is that these details just aren't imaginative.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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Yes, the business of trying to create a functional society, a coherent history, and believable character motivations can really hamper the originality of the writer, especially when it comes to world-building.

Writers who don't care about that sort of thing have a lot more freedom.

In all seriousness, how highly one rates someone like Hobb in part depends on how much realism a reader looks for in fantasy (and whether the reader has enough background in history, anthropology, etc. to be delighted by certain details and put-off by others).
 

Brys

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I'm all for a coherent society and world (though at times I really don't think Hobb has done this successfully), but it shouldn't hamper originality as well. It's entirely possible to do both, as Mieville, Erikson and Martin show so well. The more in fantasy I read, the more I'm agreeing with these criteria:
http://www.rinkworks.com/fnovel/

Hobb's world is a simple feudal society - but is it even that realistic a one? If Hobb did have "functional society, a coherent history, and believable character motivations", then perhaps a lack of imagination would be entirely acceptable. But other than Fitz, are all the character's motives believable? Verity seems unrealistically altruistic, Chade seems to be barely affected by his past experiences, Burrich again is incredibly altruistic, and Regal seems to lack all redeeming features. And there also seems to be the idea of only one real nation. They would have to be an incredibly insular nation (which you are given the impression they are not) for them not to have a number of concerns in foreign policy outside of their own continent. And what about for the people themselves?

Admittedly, Hobb addresses these concerns better than most fantasy authors, and is limited by the first person viewpoint, but as this is an epic fantasy, I expect there to be a decent degree of worldbuilding.

As with many of the series considered to be top-tier in epic fantasy, I find that I've suffered from overly high expectations. I saw a number of people recommending this as one of the best out there by a long way. And at this time I'd read Erikson, Martin and Bakker (the recommendations tend to be coming from the angle of being a lot better than Jordan, Goodkind, Eddings etc, which I found out in retrospect). So, I read the series, expecting one of equal quality, and it isn't quite that good, which leaves me disappointed. Its far from a bad series, it just isn't a spectacular one, IMO.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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Brys said:
Hobb's world is a simple feudal society - but is it even that realistic a one?

Compared to Martin and a lot of other authors who are considered the best simply because they are the most popular at the moment -- yes. Far, far superior in that regard, in fact.

But I'll ask you a question: would you fault an author who sets his or her story in a contemporary setting with a lack of originality on that account? And if not, what is the difference?
 

Brys

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If the author compensated by having originality in other ways, then I wouldn't challenge them - two examples, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and Amber by Roger Zelazny. They use contemporary settings but still can show a lot of originality. I take the point though, but for epic fantasy in particular, I feel that originality in the world itself is often important.
As I've said before and elsewhere, I really enjoyed the first two novels of the Farseer trilogy. They weren't perfect or quite the best in fantasy, but they were very good. But the last book felt completely unnecessary - the natural ending of the series for me felt at the end of the second book. That was a powerful ending, and bringing Fitz back to wander around for another 800 pages, then use a deus ex machina, really wasn't satisfying for me. If it had ended at the end of Royal Assassin, it would have been one of the most powerful endings to a fantasy series ever. As it was, it lost focus in the last book and felt pretty aimless and effortless for Fitz.
 

the_faery_queen

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i really liked hobb because of her vivid characters and i do still rate her as one of my favourite writers, BUT:
I didn't like her ending to tawny man. it was contrived and so boring.
i didn't like how she killed off characters that were in the way of an others happy ending (kyle and burrich)
and i didn't like liveships at all! and can't get into the new one.

so i don't think she is all that great a writer, BUT she has great ideas. the fool, talking boat ship things, the whole skill and wit and the rest of it. and she writes great, vivid characters far better than most other people. the fool, for instance, inspired a lot of love in a lot of people because of how cool he was.
 

GOLLUM

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Well actually I wouldn't normally have used that specific word but seeing that the question in this thread used it I decided to employ it in my reply within that particular context. I'd prefer to say "like" as in I don't particualry "like" or enjoy Robin Hobbs prose or her stories all that much which results in me not feeling particulalrty "excited" or "mentally stimulated" or "inpsired" by reading her work. Naturally other members will enjoy her writing style but I'm clearly not one of them.

There, hope that explains what I meant to say a little more clearly...:)
 

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