Thursday, 11 April 2013

Book: The Realm of the Elderlings Series by Robin Hobb

So this includes the following books:

  1. The Farseer Trilogy Book 1: Assassin's Apprentice
  2. The Farseer Trilogy Book 2: Royal Assassin
  3. The Farseer Trilogy Book 3: Assassin's Quest
  4. The Liveship Traders Series Book 1: Ship of Magic
  5. The Liveship Traders Series Book 2: The Mad Ship
  6. The Liveship Traders Series Book 3: Ship of Destiny
  7. The Tawny Man Trilogy Book 1: Fool's Errand
  8. The Tawny Man Trilogy Book 2: The Golden Fool
  9. The Tawny Man Trilogy Book 3: Fool's Fate
  10. The Rain Wild Chronicles Book 1: Dragon Keeper
  11. The Rain Wild Chronicles Book 2: Dragon Haven
  12. The Rain Wild Chronicles Book 3: City of Dragons
  13. The Rain Wild Chronicles Book 4: Blood of Dragons
And also includes several short stories, not all of which I have read. I know this seems like a substancial list of books, but I found myself drawn into the world that Hobb creates and the books were somewhat effortless to read. Books 1-3 and 7-9 (on the list above) are all narrated in the first person by FitzChivalry Farseer (who I must say, has incrediable luck avoiding death!) and focus on a country called the Six Duchies. Books 4-6 and 10-13 are told in the third person narrative, following several characters throughout Bingtown and the Rain Wilds.

Throughout all 13 books there is the theme of fate and ultimately the part that each of the characters is playing towards the return of dragons. I really enjoyed the way that the books 'overlapped' more than just being set in the same universe. For example, a certain character from books 1-3 being carved onto the figure head of a liveship in book 6 (or maybe 5), Jek, and Seldon, turning up in books 7-9 after being characters in books 4-6. There are also little mentions of bits of information learnt from the other books. Hobb really does make sure that you know how things ended up for your favourite characters! And don't get me started on how proud I felt when I worked out Amber's secret before it was explicitly mentioned!

Hobb creates real characters, with real growth, that do little moping thankfully! The best example of this is probably Malta, who I really didn't like in book 4 but by book 13 I liked her at least a bit more!

I enjoyed the fact that these books all tied together but there was no overkill of the characters, because you were taken into another part of the world before you could get bored or frustrated. I was glad that this turned out this way because I must admit, I was apprehensive about the switch between the Farseer Trilogy and the Liveship Traders Series, and the fact that it was a different style of story and different characters. But in the end I think my favourite character of the lot was from the Liveship Traders Series (Althea Vestrit if you're interested) so those worries weren't well founded!!

Give these books ago, they are incrediably well written, easy to read and it is a fantastic story!

And my piece of advice: READ THEM IN THAT ORDER, if you don't then you will spoil some of the events from previous books (and reading them in that order makes the story much more logical!)