I love RH's work because she is a very accomplished writer. I love reading books where I don't have to nitpick at the clumsy prose, and the characters feel so damn reeal. Maybe she doesn't have the most dazzling of worlds, but they feel real enough, are consistant, and take a back seat to characterization. What is so wrong with that? For me a great book has great writing and great characters, and to heck with the rest. Well, okay I don't like Hemmingway even though he has amazing prose and realisitc people. But Robin Hobb clicks with me, and even if she is not your cup of tea, there is no denying her talent.
In Fool's Errand when
I was balling my eyes out for half an hour. I don't think any fictional events have ever affected me so much. Now that's the sign of a good writer!
And what is this about her being a "female" author? Since when is there a need to catagorize authors according to women and men. As Virginia Woolf wrote in "A Room of One's Own" a good authour is a female male or a male female. i.e. she/he tracends his/her sex and is simply the storyteller. That is what I get from a good author: when I don't feel the author's prescence at all in her/his work.