Some years ago1 I first discovered Robin Hobb and her wonderful wonderful awesome series of books The Farseer Trilogy. They are wonderful2 and I love and adore them. I’ve loved all the trilogies set in the Realm of the Elderlings, but when I read Shaman’s Crossing I was left a little underwhelmed, and I never read further in that series. I did buy the second book mind, it resides somewhere3 upon my shelves waiting for me to read it. I liked the first, I enjoyed it, but it just wasn’t the same. Or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood, that can happen. I’ll have to get back to it at some point.
Point being, I loved the Farseer books, and this is a telling of one of the ancestors of Fitz and his family. So I had to read it. Also, I love this style of cover. Not enough for me to buy a second copy of all the original books even though they are so very pretty. This is the story of how the Wit entered the Farseer line, the story of Princess Caution and her son Prince Charger.
And I really enjoyed it. Not quite Farseer trilogy level of enjoyment, but it is a much different sort of book. Fitz’s story is all about what he was feeling and emoting and learning. Felicity, the narrator of this story, is not really telling her own story, although her life is an integral part of the story. Her actions are a turning point and she is a key figure. But the people who drive the story aren’t the ones telling us why and how they did what they did. Felicity is reporting on their actions, not explaining why or what they were thinking at the time.
Its also quite a sad story. Nothing new with Hobb and the Farseers I suppose. And dark. But then again, that is nothing new for this setting either.