Robin Hobb's Rain Wilds... Opinions, Pls

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by ShandaLear, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. ShandaLear

    ShandaLear Writer, Artist, Beeyotch

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    OK... I did Hobb's Assassin series after avoiding it for years. My response to it was (oddly, I admit) similar to Stieg Larsson. I wanted to love it, started reading, then wanted to hate it, but couldn't stop reading.

    In the end I loved it, but was grateful to move on. Sort of like an incredibly passionate affair with a guy who was a good looking scoundrel, emphasis on the scoundrel.

    Anyway...

    I did not read anything else by Hobb til I picked up the first two in the Rain Wilds Chronicles. The premise looked good and they were on sale.

    GOOD LORD!! :eek:

    I am just shy of the half-way mark in book 1 and it's painful. The characters and world building are incredibly intriguing, but I get ACTUALLY ANGRY at the never-ending chunks of repetitive exposition. Two-three-- or MORE-- pages to tell me that Alise is miserable. Honestly? And the three sub-plots have yet to merge, though I can finally squint a little and see it coming.

    I'm slogging onward with hope in my heart, but am I the only person who thinks this was in BAAAAAAD need of an editor who would stand up to this author and say "cut it in half and tighten it up or we want the advance back."

    Or is it me? :confused:
     
  2. CFogle21

    CFogle21 Registered User

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    I loved The Farseer, Liveship, and Tawny Man books but the Rain Wild Chronicles are really bad IMO. I couldn't finish them.
     
  3. ArtNJ

    ArtNJ Registered User

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    Deleted because I was confused and actually never read this series...lol
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  4. Johnny B

    Johnny B Registered User

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    I enjoyed these books a lot. They may not be quite as good as Farseer/Liveship/Tawny Man, but Hobb's wonderful prose kept me enthralled as always.

    It might help if you read The Liveship Traders first, since these books are somewhat of a continuation of a plot line that began in those books. (I also feel that the Liveship books are the best of her series and some of the best books I have ever read.)

    I'm anxiously awaiting the next one in this series which I think is going to be released soon if it is not already.
     
  5. Severn

    Severn boss of several cats...

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    I had the same issue - by the middle of book one I just thought 'oh hell, this better get better soon!' It did for me. By the end of book 2 I was hanging out for book 3, and I'll reread them again once that is released.

    All I can say, though, is that she is seriously lucky she's an established author with several powerful novels behind her because if this was a debut she'd struggle to gain a readership - there is no real hook at the start, and it's so slow, so very slow. Often, I like slow. Guy Gavriel Kay is often slow, but things happen in his books - exciting things, just in a slow way heh.

    I thought, until I got past the middle, that it was another Soldier Son scenario: boringly slow, chunky writing, characters I don't care about etc etc.

    Fortunately, I now care about the characters very much. And the sub plots are interesting and tying together nicely.

    I'd say keep going ShandaLear and hopefully you'll find things improving for you also.

    ETA - Forgot to say, another option for you is what Johnny_B suggested: put them aside for now and read Liveship Traders, which is one of her best trilogies, and a shining example of her writing at its best. It helps that the plot ties in also.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  6. Eventine

    Eventine Uh, Staff Member

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    I finished the 2nd book a few weeks ago and said the following:
    Definitely read all the preceding Liveship and Farseer books first - they make all the hidden gems that much more valuable.
     
  7. jagilki

    jagilki Registered User

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    Today I believe.
     
  8. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    Yeah, I'm pretty sure you should read the Liveship Traders trilogy first (which is followed by another Fitz series, the Tawny Man trilogy). Nothing since then has quite equalled the quality of the first Farseer trilogy, though (which is one of my all time favourites).
     
  9. Johnny B

    Johnny B Registered User

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    Sweet! Thanks :)
     
  10. ShandaLear

    ShandaLear Writer, Artist, Beeyotch

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    Thanks everyone! I'm glad it wasn't me, but encouraged to keep trying.

    Think I am leaving off, because Elizabeth Moon's new release is singing a siren song.
     
  11. Pub

    Pub Registered User

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    Just started reading the 3rd book i will agree the rain wild chronicles hasnt been as good as her other books i still enjoyed them
     
  12. rx8

    rx8 New Member

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    Admittedly its been busy for me at work but I've not been able to complete City of Dragons.

    I loved Farseer, Tawny trilogies. Liveship was okay. Her Soldier Son and current have been disappointments.

    It may be evolution of my tastes as I now have GRRM, Rothfuss etc. to compare her against. I will have to re-read her earlier works to assess.
     
  13. Heather Myst

    Heather Myst Chocolate.....Count Me In

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    Like rx8 I loved the first three trilogies. The Soldier Son series is one of the worst I have ever read but off the power of the first books I purchased Rain Wilds. Average is the word that comes to mind for me.
     
  14. TheEvilKing

    TheEvilKing Registered User

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    I thought they were fairly mediocre. The relationshippy stuff was painful. Dragons kept it interesting.

    I haven't read the third book but probably will at some point, just because I've read the previous 11 in the series.
     
  15. Ozziespur

    Ozziespur Avaricious Aussie

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    I have these books in a to be read pile ... not going to priortise these after reading here (and hearing from friends) that they are not as good as Royal Assasin or Liveship Traders series. I could only hope that it's better than the Soldier Son trilogy ....

    Luckily I have plenty of other books to keep me busy.
     
  16. Dyloot

    Dyloot Registered User

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    Hobb has always been a slow starter. I've always enjoyed it... until now. How the Rain Wilds turned into four books--each slow starting--is beyond me.

    I finished book 3 this weekend. The final third of the book picked up a bit, but there's just too little plot movement throughout the series to match her earlier works.
     
  17. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    In my attempts to get my wife to read fantasy fiction, I have only marginally succeeded. She has read Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Patrick Rothfuss and Robin Hobb. She recently finished the third book of the Rain Wild series. Knowing that she has nothing to do with sci-fi & fantasy fiction boards anywhere, and wouldn't know what the prevailing opinions were, even if it would save her life, I asked her, "Which Elderlings series is the best?" Her reply was the Rain Wild series.
     
  18. Dyloot

    Dyloot Registered User

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    She's read the previous nine as well? That's interesting. I don't want to post spoilers, but after three books, it's been mostly character development and very little else.

    I'm glad she's enjoying Hobb.
     
  19. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    Yeah, all 12 - consecutively no less.
     
  20. Dyloot

    Dyloot Registered User

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    I'd be curious to know what she likes about them. The series is very strong on developing and exploring relationships between two (or more) characters. It's clearly a theme Hobb wanted to explore with Rain Wilds.

    If you have the chance, I'd love to hear why these books are her favorite.