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  1. #1
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    What's the big Deal about Robin Hobb?

    Maybe you folks can help me see the light that most people here think shines forth from Robin Hobb's books, but personally I don't see it. I've read the Farseer Trilogy and sorry to say but I kinda thought it was lame.

    Are the other series better? Did I miss something that makes this series great?

    Seems like most people here think very highly of her stuff, and I agree with many other likes and dislikes, so maybe I can be converted...

  2. #2
    Greetings Corporal. Welcome.

    It's hard to say whether you might like Hobb's other series without a sense of what you didn't like about Farseer. For example, if it was the 1st person point-of-view, then you may like the next series, Liveship Traders, as it was written in 3rd person. On the other hand, if you don't like her style, then maybe she just isn't the author for you.

    Which of course is fine. I happen to like Hobb, but there are tons of authors that others think are great, that I don't care for at all.

  3. #3
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Hmm... I'm a bit skeptical, when I see that this was your first post on the site. You joined the site, to post your dislike of Robin Hobb... and you didn't mention any authors you do like (though I assume by your name, that you are a Steven Erikson fan).

    Anyway, I'm a huge fan of Tolkien, Martin, Erikson, and Hobb, and while Hobb does not exactly excel at action or battle scenes, her strengths lie elsewhere: namely, with character building, and emotional impact. Perhaps its the fact that she's a woman author, I don't know, but she brings something to her books that most other authors can't achieve.

  4. #4
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    I think Hobb is badly overrated. For female epic fantasy authors, JV Jones and Kate Elliott are both a lot better.

    That said, I don't think Hobb is terrible. She can create good characters and she generally has good ideas. Her worldbuilding is rather flat though. Unfortunately, she's as bad at padding as Robert Jordan. She takes stories that would make good, single, fat novels and then spams them out into increasingly tedious trilogies.

    So, I think she's a good writer, but she's bad at pacing and padding. I also dislike the character of Fitz immensely, so for me The Liveship Traders is much, much better (and the worldbuilding is superior) than the other two.

  5. #5
    Registered User Blog_the_troll's Avatar
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    If you didn't like the Assassin books how come you managed to slog through all three before discovering they weren't for you .
    I would say that her other books are similar so they are probably not for you.
    Even the most popular authors have readers who don't like their style or plotlines.

  6. #6
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Because in general readers like to finish stories that they start to see if they get better, especially if they're critically acclaimed. Also, because if you've spent 21 on a trilogy, then you're going to be damned sure you get your money's worth. And because, whilst many aspects of the story were poor, there were enough good things to keep up interest.

    Unless of course you were referring to the first poster, in which case I don't know

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Werthead
    ... She takes stories that would make good, single, fat novels and then spams them out into increasingly tedious trilogies.

    So, I think she's a good writer, but she's bad at pacing and padding. I also dislike the character of Fitz immensely, so for me The Liveship Traders is much, much better (and the worldbuilding is superior) than the other two.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the Fitz trilogies could be shorter - in both cases I sort of liked the first book, really liked the second, and impatiently read the third wishing she'd just get on with the bloody thing...

    I also read the Liveship Traders first - and for me it was definately superior, particularly the second two books.

  8. #8
    I want to be a princess sic's mom's Avatar
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    I discovered Hobb after joining this forum about 6-8 months ago and read the three trilogies. Now I absolutely loved them, but I can see why some wouldn't. I personally loved the way she did her characters. I'm not big on battle scenes or a lot of fighting, so I loved how she built the people in her stories. For me I really grew to care about these people and if an author can get me to do that I will read just about anything they write. Until they stop doing it of course. And maybe it is the fact she is a woman and sees things from a different point of view than maybe Jordan, Martin and Goodkind. But I can relate to a character like Fitz so I grew to really care about the people in this world.

  9. #9
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Funny, because I don't think the Fitz trilogies had too much padding at all. On the contrary, I think Liveship Traders was the weakest trilogy, precisely because of the padding. Yes, Liveship had superior world building, a more complex plot, and a larger cast of characters... but the books were too long, and got tedious at times. The Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies, on the other hand, were too short if anything.

    I guess it really comes down to whether or not you like the character of Fitz.

  10. #10
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Evil Agent]Hmm... I'm a bit skeptical, when I see that this was your first post on the site. You joined the site, to post your dislike of Robin Hobb... and you didn't mention any authors you do like (though I assume by your name, that you are a Steven Erikson fan).

    Well, to clear a few things up, I didn't join the site just to voice a dislike of Hobb. It just seemed like a good point to start since so many people here like her stuff so much, and I didn't really like her, and I thought perhaps people might help me see the light.

    Authors I like are:
    Erikson
    Martin
    Tolkien
    Bakker
    Kearney

    I did read the whole trilogy, mostly because I dont start what I cant finish, and the low part of the series for me had to be most of the second book which felt like a romance novel (not that I've read romance novels).

    Anyway, I appreciate everyone's responses.

  11. #11
    I really enjoyed here 1st 3 series. Thinking back, they probably aren't up there with the very best fantasy (I usually considered her to be one of my top 5 favorite authors, but then it was a long time ago when I read the her books for the first time). Still, they're very very good. I also tend not to like female writers' work very much, but I think she's among the best.

    That said, Shaman's Crossing was total crap. I do believe she tried to write a story with the least interesting characters in the least interest premise imaginable just to see if it could sell. That or she *completely* lost her touch.

    Pretty sad, really. Tad Williams is another of my favorite author's who's lastest book was just terrible (couldn't even finish it).

  12. #12
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    I have to agree that she is not anything special. The first series was pretty awful. I think I had all 3 so I kept reading. I also pretty much finish what I start.

    I thought Fitz was weak and whiny and was much too passive throughout the whole book. He had his adventure thrust upon him, complained about everything though he refused to make any real decisions, and then adopted this world-weary air when done. The whole dragon thing seemed very Mercedes Lackey, and the books were much too wordy. They went on and on and on.

    Not the worst I have ever read, but not particularly good either.

  13. #13
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corporal Blues
    Well, to clear a few things up, I didn't join the site just to voice a dislike of Hobb. It just seemed like a good point to start since so many people here like her stuff so much, and I didn't really like her, and I thought perhaps people might help me see the light.

    Authors I like are:
    Erikson
    Martin
    Tolkien
    Bakker
    Kearney
    Good taste there. Kearney doesn't get as much respect as he should, and Bakker is a fascinating writer. Met him a couple of weeks ago and he's a really cool dude to chat to about the state of fantasy writing today. Martin and Erikson are probably my favourite and second-favourite fantasy writers today.

  14. #14
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    I have always found that whether you like Hobb's writing depends on the individual reader, and their sort of personality I guess. I love Fitz, so much that I named my cat after him! He's one of my favorite fantasy characters of all time. I think I see a lot of myself in him (if that makes me a whiner, and passive, so be it).

    As for Shaman's Crossing, I disagree 100% with Decado's statement:
    That said, Shaman's Crossing was total crap. I do believe she tried to write a story with the least interesting characters in the least interest premise imaginable just to see if it could sell. That or she *completely* lost her touch.
    That's a little harsh. It was not total crap, in fact many people loved this book, and some even think its her best work to date. Saying that she purposefully tried to write the least interesting characters, to "see if it would sell", is just a juvenile comment, not worth a response. In fact, it comes very close to mindless author-bashing, which is not allowed on this site. I, for one, found the setting and the characters very interesting, to say the least. Perhaps its too subtle for some, who need big brawny sword wielding barbarian action heroes in all their books?

  15. #15
    Fantasy & Sci-fi Artist ihsan's Avatar
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    I've only read the Farseer Trilogy and have to agree about the 'padding' - I felt the same way JJ_99uk did. The first one was great, the second was a bit too much of a romance, while with the third I was impatient for it to move on, and ended up being very disappointed and frustrated by it.

    Hobb does certainly have her own style, which to me has kind of an 'old' feeling to it, like a writer from a bygone era. The quality of her writing is high, but I agree she doesn't really pace the story properly, and there isn't much structure for my liking.

    She does have her fans though, a certain George RR Martin - my favourite author - among them, who's often declared his admiration for Robin Hobb's work, and that he is an avid reader.

    Quote Originally Posted by Decado
    Tad Williams is another of my favorite author's who's lastest book was just terrible (couldn't even finish it).
    Can't agree with you more - I so looked forward to 'Shadowmarch' as Williams' proper return to fantasy epic since 'Memory, Sorrow & Thorn' and was devastated to find it such an utterly terrible, and amateurish, book.

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