I’ve been re-reading them in between other books since Jane has been born and I’m on my 6th book of hers in a month.
I haven’t yet had the words “dinna fash” or “you’ll ken” come out of my mouth yet but it’s a good thing I’ve only got one book left or I’d be yelling “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ” next time I burn dinner.
Would I recommend them? Having just stared blankly at the computer screen for a many minitues I have no tidy way to sum up the books nor why exactly I’d recommend them.
I think I’m in a Jamie and Claire induced stuper… and now I have to go read what happens next – even though I’ve read this one twice before.
I like epic fantasy novels and series. I like knowing what happens next… and next… and next. The trouble with this is that authors of epic fantasy’s usually don’t crank out their books one right after another so I’m required to remember what happens in a book for long stretches of time… possibly years. Usually this is where John comes in. I screen books and give him ones I think he’ll like and he remembers everything he reads and can remind me of all the little (and sometimes gigantic) details I have forgotten. Unfortunately after he read A Game of Thrones and possibly the next one or so in this series he quit. He quit reading them because the author makes you care about his characters and then he kills them. Sadly it’s true, the chapters switch character viewpoints among a huge cast and Martin has an uncanny ability to turn you from indifferent, to actively rooting for them right before he offs them.
In any case I couldn’t count on John to remind me what happened in the last books, which was a problem, because this books timeline runs along side the book before (A Feast For Crows) so I actually was trying to remember what happened two books (A Storm of Swords) ago. I read those books in 2004 and 2006 respectively. I can’t remember a book I read last week, asking me to not only remember back to a time before children but to also recall what I read then – not happening.
For the first quarter of the book I was confused, really confused. I recognized names, some events were familiar, I had a couple of “OH YEAH he killed that king” sort of moments but it was pretty bad. By the time I reached the half way point I was mildly confused but had come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t setting this book down, re-reading the last two and coming back to it. Mild confusion and I were getting along fine. The third quarter of the book I was well enough in that most of my confusion was behind me and I was caught up in the story again. Then last quarter arrived and he started killing off all the characters I cared about, threw a few new old ones that I was supposed to remember into the mix and ended it with me wanting to know what happens next.
Would I recommend it? The series isn’t for anyone… the term epic should not be taken lightly… This was a 1,000 page tome and while lots of people died nothing got resolved and it’s the fifth book in the series. On the other hand it’s a pretty darn good story, from what I can remember… If you are brave enough to take them on start with A Game of Thrones.
I find it to be a painless form of accidental learning where I often retain information better than completely non-fiction sources.
Like all the best historical fiction it includes a part in the back that says what is fact and what isn’t, important when used as an accidental learning source!
Then of course there was the actual substance of the book, involving two different times (current and past, love that) two different countries (culture comparisons, always good) and a willful woman in a time when that was not encouraged (gotta love that).
Oh, and pirates, they always make life more…”interesting.”
Would I recommend it? Yes, it dealt with a small part of history I’d never heard of before.
I still think that there are too many characters being followed, I still wasn’t as impressed as I was with her others that I have read but I liked it. I liked it in a couldn’t put it down lost hours of sleep over it kind of liked it. I’d be all sleepy and planning on just reading one chapter then suddenly I’d be sucked into sailing and dragons and battles and I’d be wide awake and reading far too long into the night. Now the fact that the first book, was lame makes sense, but that was a big book of lameness to make it through to get to this one!
Would I recommend it? Yes, but of course then you have to read the first two (here and here) or this wouldn’t make sense and I didn’t like those near as much. So as for the whole trilogy I’d say it was good, not great, but good. I think my full recommendation is to start with Assassins Apprentice and read those, then if you liked theme come back to these. Plus technically these fall between the Farseer Trilogy and the Tawny Man Trilogy so you should read them first anyway, but you could skip these three altogether and still understand everything in the Tawny Man books.
Whew, apparently I’ve got nothing succient in me about this book… check out the next review I’m not confused on my feelings coming up for that one!
I have no idea, but I’m requesting the next one from the library tonight.
Would I recommend it? No, I can’t recommend the second if I didn’t like the first even if it was better. Perhaps the third will swing my vote back to a yes we’ll have to see…
While we are on the subject of things that I don’t love I have a question.
Who is in charge of cover art for books?
Don’t they ever worry about the artists actually reading what they attempt to portray? This isn’t the worst example of an inaccurate cover ever, something like this picture sort of happened. Characters, ships and sea serpents are described to sort of look like that… seriously, I find it to be totally annoying.
I probably should have taken a breather between finishing the Tawny Man series (also by Robin Hobb) before starting a new one, but I was on a roll and I didn’t.
I really wish I had.
I loved The Farseer Trilogy and The Tawny Man Trilogy they were awesome, for reasons I have already spoken of here, here and here. This book was not as good, reading it right after Fool’s Fate made it seem even worse. Too many view points, too cliche of characters, and an unsurprising plot. Near the end things were looking up I’ll read the next one and cross my fingers it gets better but as for this one…
Would I recommend it? No. I hope it was a fluke and the writing that so impressed me with her other books returns in the second of this series.