It does not happen often that Leander and me disagree on a book we both have read; Fool’s Assassin, the first in Robin Hobb’s most recent trilogy in her Realm of the Elderlings series has been one of those rare occasions, with me enjoying it greatly and much more than that author’s Dragon Wild Chronicles, while Leander was not terribly keen on it. We’ll see whether we’re still diverging on this second volume of Fitz and the Fool.
This is the fourth and final volume in Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles – or rather, it is the second part of the second novel, a novel which (like the first one) would probably have been much better served and definitely been much more enjoyable if it had been published in one part. After City of Dragons ended on a rather weird point – basically, a recap of what had happened before which would have made much more sense at the beginning of a volume than at its end – Blood of Dragons throws the reader in medias res, and even with Hobb’s wondeful skills at memorable characterisation, at least this reader had to struggle somewhat to remember who was who and what they had been up to in the previous volume.
I have been a fan of Robin Hobb’s work ever since first reading Assassin’s Apprentice. I loved the beauty of her writing, the depth of her characterisation and that she avoided the beaten paths of most Epic Fantasy novels and took the genre into new directions, where she did lots of exciting things with it. And I think she only got better with every work she published, up to her Soldier Son trilogy which I loved even though many of her fans did not, most likely because it blithely ignores pretty much every Fantasy convention there is, and whittles down the exterior plot to the bare minimum while using the freed-up space for character exploration and breathtakingly beautiful nature descriptions – those, at least, are the reason why that trilogy is my favourite among her works.