Werthead

The Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb

170 posts in this topic

On ‎9‎/‎17‎/‎2016 at 2:54 PM, Jo498 said:

In addition to the general meandering and all those half-starts with hints (but nothing really definitive) about the Elderlings snarky PITA Nighteyes made book II a major disappointment for me. I though the Wit was infinitely better handled in book I.

I liked Nighteyes a great deal.

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4 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

As do most normal people. :P

LOL!  I found his dry humour great fun.

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I am admittedly not a great fan of telepathic animals (or generally of animals in literature, least of all stuff written from an animal POV). But I find both the warging in ASoIaF and the description of the Wit in the first book Farseer far more convincing than that simple telepathic talk with a snarky animal. Whatever it would be to have such a telepathic connection with an animal it would certainly be far stranger than the straightforward dialogue between Fitz and the wolf.

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I forget which book it's in but at one stage, Fitz says that Nighteyes 'brings up an image' or something along those lines. I picture their dialogue as mental imagery that they share that's rendered in English. It does stretch things a bit how detailed their conversations are I guess, but Hobb's love of animals shines through and makes it well worth it. I really enjoyed the first leg of their journey in Assasin's Quest where it's just the two of them, living off the land. 'Find that in a human, if you can'.

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Yeah Hobb's love of animals is apparent throughout her work (even if you go back to her earlier stuff you can see it). 

The whole point of the relationship with Nighteyes though is that Nighteyes becomes more human and Fitz becomes more animal. So I don't think Nighteyes maintaining his full animalistic ways would have worked as well.

As for Fitz 'mewling' at the start of Assassin's Quest

You try dying and being brought back to life and see how YOU feel

:P 

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16 hours ago, DaveSumm said:

I forget which book it's in but at one stage, Fitz says that Nighteyes 'brings up an image' or something along those lines. I picture their dialogue as mental imagery that they share that's rendered in English. It does stretch things a bit how detailed their conversations are I guess, but Hobb's love of animals shines through and makes it well worth it. I really enjoyed the first leg of their journey in Assasin's Quest where it's just the two of them, living off the land. 'Find that in a human, if you can'.

But it is precisely the problem that as opposed to Bran Stark's "warg dreams" or the more vaguely/emotionally described sympathy with some animals in the first Farseer book the communication with Nighteyes is not at all pictorial but that the wolf has a distinctly pseudo-human snarky style that is impossible to convey by images Fitz would see through the animal's eyes or similar non-verbal communication.

(I also hate the tired cliché that animals are so much more loving/trusting etc. than humans but apparently this will never die out.)

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2 hours ago, Jo498 said:

 

(I also hate the tired cliché that animals are so much more loving/trusting etc. than humans but apparently this will never die out.)

But animals are much more loving/trusting etc. than humans. 

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On 20 September 2016 at 7:58 PM, Darth Richard II said:

You should read her short stories set in the Elderlings verse then, they all feature Cats.

She has a non-Elderlings short story that features eating roadkill cats for power too. :P 

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On page 500 of Assassin's Quest and the actual plot of the book still hasn't begun. This is much worse than I remembered.

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You're not sufficiently invested Wert. That's the prob.

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Hey after that you get to LIVESHIPS! WOOOOOOO!

(I haven't read Assassins' Quest i like...*does math in head*...20 years? Jeez.)

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I remember Assassin's Quest being my favorite of the trilogy.  Don't remember any specifics, though.  It's been over a decade since I read it.  But yeah, Hobb sure does take her time.  I noted that in Fool's Errand, where Fitz is pretty much just chilling in his cabin for the first two hundred pages. 

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

On page 500 of Assassin's Quest and the actual plot of the book still hasn't begun. This is much worse than I remembered.

 

1 hour ago, stonebender said:

I noted that in Fool's Errand, where Fitz is pretty much just chilling in his cabin for the first two hundred pages. 

I really enjoyed both these parts, I respected that Hobb dealt with Fitz's reaction to the events he was going through before throwing him into another adventure. Seems to be the sticking point with Hobb, I just love the prose and really don't mind when the plot slows down.

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6 hours ago, Werthead said:

On page 500 of Assassin's Quest and the actual plot of the book still hasn't begun. This is much worse than I remembered.

I read the Assassin trilogy last year and I did feel it was the worst of the three (and possibly sidetracked me from rushing back to the series - although i will). As it's not a spoiler thread

Then again I sort of love the utter craziness of the final act essentially involving people sitting around a quarry trying to carve dragons. I honestly never saw that coming. And then the end isn't much longer in detail than this statement "Came back with a dragon and sorted shit out - to be continued..." That and having a plot revelation where the kid's girlfriend hooks up with the kids adoptive dad. But by that point you feel like both of them are better off without Fitz in their lives.

It's one of those books where looking back on it doesn't do it any favours but I still remember reading it and really enjoying the characters and the non-events at the time. I did like the fact that on the never-ending plod along a magic road, Fitz was the only guaranteed male out of a group of 5. It shouldn't stand out but I had trouble thinking of another example where this could be the case and even though I can think of cases with a balanced gender mix - I can't think of one so unbalanced in female character's favour. Given the series is fairly old these days I thought the ease with which female characters could be soldiers (or whatever trade) was probably ahead of its time. It simply wasn't a big deal what their gender was in that sense - something other fantasy books still get a little wrong with the whole "wow, it's a woman who can kill folk with swords!" approach.

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When you get to the part where he's

in the Elderling city, can you post what chapter number that is?  I'd really like to read it again after having read 

The Rainwilds Chronicles.

 Or if anybody else knows which chapter that was.  Thanks.

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