Rating: 4 Stars
Date Started: May 18, 2017
Date Finished: May 26, 2017
Sometimes, deciding if a book is 5 stars or 4 is as easy as pressing a button. But sometimes it’s more difficult. This was such a time… But ultimately I’m going to settle for 4 stars.
It took a while for me to get into the writing style, even though there’s nothing that really sets it apart from others. And yet, don’t you find that there’s always a bit of an adjustment period whenever you read something by someone new? So even though I can’t really say what the difference is between Robin Hobb and, say, J.K. Rowling, I know it’s there.
That’s not too say one is better than the other, or that they should even be compared. I found Robin Hobb’s writing extremely immersive and descriptive, and it was so easy to get sucked into the life of Fitz.
The pacing of the story was almost leisurely, and nothing terribly exciting happened for most of it. She seems to have focused mostly on world and character building, with the result that after a while, you feel almost familiar with everything and everyone.
Although I like Fitz a lot, he’s still a teenager in this book and acts like a typical teenager a lot of the time. Granted there’s a lot more going on and he’s actually pretty mature for his age in a lot of ways, he still irritated enough to sigh and roll my eyes at him. My favorite character is actually Burrich, even though he’s a stubborn old shit and I probably wouldn’t like him as much if I was Fitz either. And Verity definitely shone as another favorite, even though he took his sweet time to do so. Honestly I just really like all the characters… even Regal.
Ok maybe not him.
A lot of time is also spent on world building, but at the end of the day you feel like you’ve actually been to these places. It gets to a point where you even wonder if you could smell the scents of Buckkeep if you could just focus enough! Even though much of their world is still obscure and they don’t know much about the rest of the world other than their little corner of it, you know it’s all there and will all come into play soon.
Initially, I thought the main plot of the book would be the Red Raiders. Hint, it’s not. But even when I thought that, it was more of a background danger that aided more in the character development than actually being something that you’re constantly thinking about. I’m assuming again, but I think the Red Raiders will be the running plot of the series and probably only be resolved in the last book of the trilogy. Just a guess, and probably wrong, but it’s all I’ve got. I really want to know what’s behind the Forging!
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, although I’m probably one of the last people to read this. Even so, what turned out to be the main conflict was not as much of a surprise, even though I wasn’t expecting it to happen quite so soon. It was a satisfactory conclusion to a story arc, though I think it was also a bit anti-climatic because it had to be handled so diplomatically. I really felt like a certain someone deserved to die a slow and painful death!
I can tell this is going to be one of those series that just gets better as it goes along, and I’m thinking that all the character and world building done in this book is only laying a solid foundation to one of the most loved series I’ve heard fellow readers raving about. I’ll definitely be starting the next one as soon as I’ve finished this review!