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The Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb

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Just finished Assassin's Fate and this 16 book series is BY FAR my favorite series I've ever read.  It ended absolutely perfectly and hit all the right notes.  It's emotionally draining, but eventually I'm going to start over and go down this ride again.  I just can't believe how good it is.

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I am up to the final trilogy! I can't believe how much I love them. It's rare to have a book series written for the pleasure of reading. :) It's like a great TV series: lots of side stories, recurring characters and beautifully paced world-building.

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15 hours ago, Yukle said:

I am up to the final trilogy! I can't believe how much I love them. It's rare to have a book series written for the pleasure of reading. :) It's like a great TV series: lots of side stories, recurring characters and beautifully paced world-building.

Oh man, are you in for a treat.  I was expecting it to take me a couple months to get through the last trilogy... Took about a week to get through the first book, and another week to finish the other two.  Took a 'sick day' just to read.

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I still haven't started yet, due to the return to school term being such a rush.

Did Robin Hobb ever say why she decided to return to the series? A decade between publications, and the Tawny Man trilogy had a beautiful ending. No complaints, I'm just wondering.

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I'm still hoping I can get away without reading the rain wilds. 4 long books that many say are chore is a tough investment of reading time. Shame when all the other series are highly rated.

Mark Lawrence had a good review of the final book and the series as a whole and said he was envious of Robb's great characterisation. He also noted there aren't many characters who age along with the reader and that it's rare the love of said character survives the reader ageing 22 years.

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3 hours ago, red snow said:

I'm still hoping I can get away without reading the rain wilds. 4 long books that many say are chore is a tough investment of reading time. Shame when all the other series are highly rated.

Mark Lawrence had a good review of the final book and the series as a whole and said he was envious of Robb's great characterisation. He also noted there aren't many characters who age along with the reader and that it's rare the love of said character survives the reader ageing 22 years.

I completely disagree.  Many say the same about Liveships too, and I would vehemently disagree with it.  Rain wilds explains A TON about dragon and elderling culture that you don't get anywhere in the series; plus it ties in pretty heavily to the last two books of Fitz/Fool that you would be missing out on.  I also happen to love the characters more than Liveships.  The first book is kind of a chore, but I cruised through the last 3 in about 2-3 weeks and couldn't put them down.  The world building in those are amazing.

I think you would be doing yourself a disservice by skipping 4 (or 7) books of a 16 book series based on how other people feel about the non-Fitz stories/characters.  It would be like telling people to skip AFFC because all the good characters are in ADWD and you can figure out what happens anyway.

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2 hours ago, aceluby said:

I completely disagree.  Many say the same about Liveships too, and I would vehemently disagree with it.  Rain wilds explains A TON about dragon and elderling culture that you don't get anywhere in the series; plus it ties in pretty heavily to the last two books of Fitz/Fool that you would be missing out on.  I also happen to love the characters more than Liveships.  The first book is kind of a chore, but I cruised through the last 3 in about 2-3 weeks and couldn't put them down.  The world building in those are amazing.

I think you would be doing yourself a disservice by skipping 4 (or 7) books of a 16 book series based on how other people feel about the non-Fitz stories/characters.  It would be like telling people to skip AFFC because all the good characters are in ADWD and you can figure out what happens anyway.

I've had no issue with liveships at all so maybe I'd be more tolerant of Rain Wilds. I guess the best thing is to try the first and see how I get on.

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Rain Wilds starts off slow but really picks up. I believe it was all written as a single novel that got split into 4, cause publishing nonsense. And anyone who skips liveships is a heretic.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, red snow said:

I've had no issue with liveships at all so maybe I'd be more tolerant of Rain Wilds. I guess the best thing is to try the first and see how I get on.

Try at least 2, the first one is just an intro

1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

Rain Wilds starts off slow but really picks up. I believe it was all written as a single novel that got split into 4, cause publishing nonsense. And anyone who skips liveships is a heretic.

This I agree with.  But I have to go against what's most popular around here and say that Liveships is the weakest of the 5 series.  I know it's just me, but a bunch of rich families squabbling as the central character plot is not nearly as interesting as Fitz or even the super poor rejected kids from the Rain Wilds. 

But it's also like complaining about getting a delicious pie when you really wanted cake.  It's still better than most everything out there ;)

Edited by aceluby

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none of the Rainwild books are "as" long as the other installments so that's not as bad as I was fearing. I thought I had over 100 hours of reading/listening to put in.

 

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So as someone poised to begin Fitz and the Fool, should I read the Liveships first? I know that I've already missed some of the references (such as the significance of the character "Amber" and the beach with "the Others"). Is it crucial to read through those books, too?

Similarly with the Rainwilds; will I miss a lot by either not reading them or waiting until after I read F&F?

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7 minutes ago, Yukle said:

So as someone poised to begin Fitz and the Fool, should I read the Liveships first? I know that I've already missed some of the references (such as the significance of the character "Amber" and the beach with "the Others"). Is it crucial to read through those books, too?

Similarly with the Rainwilds; will I miss a lot by either not reading them or waiting until after I read F&F?

Yes.

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Liveships is brilliant.  The best series of them all, followed by Fitz and the Fool, IMHO.

Robin Hobb's great strengths are characterisation and intricate plotting.  Her weaknesses are too much padding (some of it very good padding, but still padding), and a tendency towards fairly pathetic villains (Captain Kennit being a marvellous exception to this).  While I greatly enjoyed the last book, I found the four rulers of Clerres something of a disappointment.

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I dunno, I thought the villains in both Rain Wilds and whatever the final trilogy is called to be pretty vicious.

But you should definitely definitely definitely read Liveships at least.

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4 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Rain Wilds starts off slow but really picks up. I believe it was all written as a single novel that got split into 4, cause publishing nonsense. And anyone who skips liveships is a heretic.

Actually I think it was planning stuff on hobb’s part. Originally a stand alone, then a duopoly, then it just kept growing.

i do agree it’s the weakest of her stuff but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. And I agree with Ace, it (and Liveships) gives a lot of info on dragons and ederlings. And the final fits trilogy is full of little references that’s you’ll appreciate more if you’ve read them. Hell, omen on the villains of book one and two is a key player in Rain Wilds

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I don't think Rain Wilds are a chore at all, but the first two are a little slower than usual for Hobb. It's obvious from the structure that it started as a 1-book concept.

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

I don't know about the move from 1 to 2 to 4 exactly but I know one of the splits was the publisher.

That was the 2 to 4.  

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3 hours ago, SeanF said:

Her weaknesses are too much padding (some of it very good padding, but still padding), and a tendency towards fairly pathetic villains (Captain Kennit being a marvellous exception to this). 

Regal is an outstanding villain, I reckon!

And by that I mean awful. But I really cared about him losing, and followed his actions with close attention.

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7 hours ago, Yukle said:

Regal is an outstanding villain, I reckon!

And by that I mean awful. But I really cared about him losing, and followed his actions with close attention.

If you liked reading Regal then I recommend Rain Wilds, if only for Hest.

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