[LMB] Robin Hobb and other authors

Carol Cooper carolcooper at shaw.ca
Fri May 5 00:48:04 BST 2006

>Elizabeth Holden wrote
>Auntie Helen said, re Robin Hobb:

>> I'm currently almost at the end of the second of the
>> Liveship Trilogy by Robin Hobb (Ship of Magic and 
>> The Mad Ship are the first two). This second
>> book is 902 pages and I only started reading it this
>> morning - this tells you how gripping I've found it.

>I suspect you read faster that I do!

I'm a big Robin Hobb fan and have generally found her books to be quite
un-put-downable.  I'm a slow reader so I hoard them until I have a nice
chunk of time to devote to reading and savouring them.

>> What has been particularly interesting to me is the
>> characterisation; she seems able to portray 
>> completely different people with their changing
>> motives and foibles. 

>Cool. Interesting, too, because I would have said that
>one hundred per cent of my problem with "Assassin's
>Apprentice" was with the characterization. I don't
>know whether this just means that we react differently
>to characters (almost certain, everyone does) or
>whether I would find the characters in the other books
>just fine.  

I'm with Helen here - I think her characterization and world-building are
quite exceptional.  Her characters really came to life for me so that I
really cared about their wellbeing, and I found myself among the many fans
who were seething with frustration with where she left Fitz at the end of
the first trilogy - I couldn't wait for the further development of the

>> I don't understand all her characters and why they
>> behave the way they do, 

>I would say that in "Assassin's Apprentice" I didn't
>understand any of the characters or why they behaved
>the way they did - in fact, they all seemed just a
>little brain damaged to me. This was a problem in the
>reading. No one seemed real.

I think that the motivations and actions made more and more sense the more
you learned about the back-story as more and more layers of history and were
uncovered as the trilogy progressed.  Motivations and behaviour which may
have been obscure initially all became much clearer once you got to know the
characters and their history better.  For me, that's what made the books so
gripping - they're not cardboard cut-out characters - they're very complex.
Just think how the way a reader perceives Mr. Darcy changes during the
course of Pride and Prejudice - the whole meaning of his actions and words
changes once you learn more about the context and his background.

Carol Cooper

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