Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Read Lately: The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

  • ...or at least the first one and three quarters thereof. And I'm really not sure if I want to keep going.

  • I started reading The Farseer trilogy based on the recommendation of a World of Warcraft guild mate. I haven't read any fantasy since the last George R. R. Martin book and I'd been getting restless for another. Since my wonderful wife had a number of Robin Hobb's books in the To-Be-Read warehouse, and I'd enjoyed one of her short stories before, I thought I'd give it a shot.

  • I got through the first book okay, if a little slowly. It was nice to read a well written fantasy (and Hobb is a good author), though the plot did not have the drive and excitement that I look for in a fantasy. As a matter of fact when I finished the book, I did not have much desire to continue with the series, even with many dangling plot threads. Like so much fantasy now, the book was written to fill out a trilogy, never intending to make a satisfying standalone experience. Instead I went on to read other things.

  • However that same guild mate eventually asked me if I'd finished the series. Instead of saying what I felt about it, I just said I was about to start the second. I wish I hadn't. I got three quarters of the way through the book before my anger at the characters got the best of me. The entire plot drives on the fact that no one will do act against the interests of a demonstrably evil character due to their personal strictures, insecurities, and just plain idiocy. By the three quarter point, I was so frustrated by the characters that I could not take it any more.

  • I turned to the last page of the book.

  • I know that doing so is blasphemy to a serious reader, but I couldn't help it. I wasn't doing so because I couldn't take the suspense. I just had to know if I was right all along and my frustration with the characters was justified. Turns out I was right. As a note to the authors out there, I don't want to read a book about a character that fails due to inaction! Thus, the book is stuffed in my desk (bookmark still in place, just in case) and going unread. I've read a few things since then, better things. Hopefully better reviews will follow.


  1. To-Be-Read warehouse . . . I like it. Sometimes it feels like one. :-)

  2. It does have a certain ring to it, doesn't it?