Saturday, September 3, 2011

Recent Read

I just finished this series:

Combined, the three books are something like 2000 pages.  Most authors do a great job of giving an ending to each book in a series, even though there are many unanswered questions to persuade us to find the answers in the subsequent books.  Robin Hobb, however, does not follow that theory.  I think she just ended the books when they were sufficiently large to warrant a new book.

While the story was captivating and the writing was good, the words were too many.  Now, I am someone who loves Dickens, so it's not that I don't like wordiness.  Ms. Hobb's approach to wordiness was exhausting and frustrating, instead of interesting and captivating.  She needed some extensive editing and trimming to give the story inertia.

Secondly, her protagonist never saw the good he did in his world.  In the Hunger Games books, while Katniss never saw herself for the amazing person she really was, at least the author had other characters vocalize it for us.  In these Assassin books, I was left wondering if I was the only one who realized the good Fitz was doing and often doubted my interpretation:  Was I supposed to see that deed as a good thing?

My final critique is that I was never allowed to trust any of the characters.  Ms. Hobb let us know of "prophecies" regarding Fitz that made it so that we couldn't trust anyone.  That many pages of having trust in no one made for an exhausting read.

It wasn't terrible and there were a few characters who were remarkable.  The villain was vile and well-written (though he never got his, so to speak).  The book did make me think--mostly about how she was going to resolve all of the problems she posed.  But, basically, if I am going to read over 1500 pages, it better be Les Miserables.  My time is precious.


  1. This was a series I heard about online somewhere and its been on my list to check out for a while, but now I think I'll drop it, love hearing your thoughts, I'm getting more and more impatient with books that are just a waste of time.